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Canadian mums - a question

(27 Posts)
queenoftarts Fri 16-Feb-07 10:55:05

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can't answer for you but i'm in the same boat so i'm interested in any info!

queenoftarts Fri 16-Feb-07 10:57:48

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NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:00:22

It's citizenship first, then passport, from what I know. I keep meaning to do this for my DSes, but can't be bothered. As you probably know, the Canadian passport is a giant stonking pain in the ass to get, so I don't think I'll bother with one. They cost a lot, they need to be renewed often, and the pictures are a nightmare. As is the rest.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:01:26

You need specific Canadian-issued proof of citizenship to get a passport. They don't want to be checking all sort of weird foreign papers (e.g. British birth certificates) every time they're issuing a passport.

hana Fri 16-Feb-07 11:04:10

it's really not that difficult, have a look at the website, you can download all the info from there

they will need proof of citizenship first, and if you're applying from the UK, UK passport size photos are fine ( it says all this on the website)

once you've got citizenhsip sorted, you can apply for passports. I'm just waiting for their papers, then will get thier passports. It's v imp to me that our dds have thsi

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:06:14

Why do you want them to have Canadian passports? You have to renew them every five years, and they're a total hassle. As long as you have the citizenship papers, you're can get the Canadian passports any time you want, so why bother?

queenoftarts Fri 16-Feb-07 11:07:39

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NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:09:24

The pictures are also a total bloody nightmare. The passport pictures are different from the UK ones, and they have to be stamped on the back. You need a guarantor from some specific job categories (stricter than the UK requirements) and some referees or something, too. They've made the rules tougher reasonably recently - I got a new passport (for me) less than three years ago and it was a total 'mare.

hana Fri 16-Feb-07 11:09:42

it's important to me
i travel a lot without my dh - their father - and I get a lot of hassle because of the passports. I dont want a UK passport, and have done this instead. was 'held' and 'interviewed' when we landed in halifax once because I was without him and the passports weren't canadian, was awful

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:10:09

Just get the citizenship papers, but not the passport, as long as your kids have British passports. Much less work. And (I think) if you're travelling with kids with British passports, you can go in the 'British' queue at the airport.

hana Fri 16-Feb-07 11:10:21

the pictures can be the UK standard size ones

hana Fri 16-Feb-07 11:11:01

yes, I don'[t get hassle coming back into the UK, its the jobsworths in Canada that give me the grief!

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:11:44

Ah, I have only travelled once with a kid and no DH. I had a copy of their birth certificate, with my name on it. (Particularly as their last name and mine are different.) And I had a letter from DH giving permission to travel. They did ask for these things, and it was all fine.

I don't tend to travel without DH often. I do keep meaning to get myself a British passport anyway.

Canada is famously twitchy about parents abducting their own kids and moving country, so they are more nervous about kids travelling without both parents.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:12:42

The size is the same, but the proportion (ratio of head size etc) are different. Also, they can be glossy, but not too glossy. I've had pictures sent back, at least once, from the Canadian government. If you can be bothered going to that guy next to Selfridges, I guess it's ok, but otherwise, it's a real hassle.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 11:13:26

I am particularly annoyed about this as last time I went to a photo place in Camden that said they knew the Canadian format, but obviously didn't.

DaddyCool Fri 16-Feb-07 14:30:41

I managed to get hold of some incredibly helpful people at the canadian embassy in London. They did the passport and citizenship all at the same time.

Deal with people outside canada (consulates/embassies) if possible because the people in canada are a complete nightmare. civil servants from hell.

DaddyCool Fri 16-Feb-07 14:33:18

for pictures... go to a guy who specialises in the whole digital thing.

we went to a local guy and he farted about for awhile then eventually told us he just couldn't do it!

we went to some independent techy, geeky digital photo guy and he did some fantastic ones... with no humming and hawing, headshaking and whinging.

DaddyCool Fri 16-Feb-07 14:35:14

NQC - Canada is twitchy about everything

NotQuiteCockney Fri 16-Feb-07 16:28:51

Ah, see, I went to a nice studio in Camden, who said they knew the format, had done it before. I took them home, measured them, and saw they were wrong. Emailed, got mailed new pics. Great.

Then I sent the pics to the embassy, and got them sent back. I think the size of my head was wrong?

At any rate, I went to a nice local photo place, that mostly did developing, and brought the guidelines with me. They did the pictures quickly and cheaply.

I do keep meaning to get a British passport, just for the sake of it. I'm certainly eligible for one. But to do it, I think I have to send in my Canadian passport (while they do the admin), and the idea of that just gives me the wiggins.

DaddyCool Fri 16-Feb-07 16:58:32

i got my UK passport in Ottawa and it was really quick and painless. it was many years ago now but I remember the worst part being that I had to get the official full length copy of my birth certificate from some big official building in the center or ottawa. they wouldn't accept my little laminated card.

DaddyCool Fri 16-Feb-07 17:01:50

believe me, the UK authorites are far more efficient than the canucks.

get this. my scatty, useless mother lost her canadian passport whilst visiting us in the UK.

She had a huge amount of hassle getting one from the Canadian embassy in London and they just wouldn't give her anything to travel back on.

She's a british immigrant to Canada. She gave up on the CDN embassy and decided to just renew a british passport to travel on. Keeping in mind she hasn't lived in the UK for 35 years, they had her british passport to her in days.

christie1 Sat 17-Feb-07 20:30:17

its citizenship first then passport. the pictures for hte passport are not problem as long as you go to a photography company that knows exactly how to do them and you won't have a problem. (Try Blacks, they tend to be good).

As for twitchy, depends on your perspective, I had a nightmare getting visa's for my kids to come to the UK and the same hassle about long form versus short form birth certificates and this was from the british embassy in ottawa (and any questions had to be directed to a toll number which cost over a pound a minute. The embassy in ottawa didn't take questions. It costs us 125.00 pounds per child for the visas plus the same fee for my spouse and I. And the staff at the british embassy was incredibly rude to us. My friend got a similar run around at a US embassy in ottawa when she tried to get her US born child a canadian passport. I think it is just bureaucracy in general.

mapleleaf Tue 20-Feb-07 16:23:19

i applied for both of my dd's to get their canadian citizenship and passports without any hassle. in fact i did it all via telephone and post which was very handy as i didnt fancy going all the way to central london with a small baby or two in tow. i just rang them, between 10-12 i think, and they sent forward the papers needed. if you say you need the passport to travel by a certain date they will send it way before the citizenship card which can be a while. the photo's used to be a pain, but now even snappy snaps do the canadian format and i have never had any problem with them being returned. the guarantor is a pain but just ask a local solicitor and he will do it for significantly less than the notaries the consulate recommend. i usually pay around £8 for this service in sw london.

DaddyCool Tue 20-Feb-07 16:33:39

same with me mapleleaf. quite hassle free.

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