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Monday, November 07, 2011

Rule #1 - always follow up

My Permanent Residence card didn't show up in the six-weeks that I was told to expect it in. I got this timeline from my interaction with the immigration border agent when I landed in Canada in August. So I called CIC to see what was happening, and if they might have a status on it for me. You see, I have a trip back to the States in a week and a half and I need it to get back into the country, because I'm flying commercial. What I found out just made me shake my head. The agent at CIC told me my card had not been processed yet - BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE A POSTAL CODE ASSOCIATED WITH MY STREET ADDRESS. Excuse me? The CIC lacks the ability to look up a postal code? It takes how many seconds? Then they confirmed my address and phone number. They were the wrong ones - out of date by four years. But, I gave the current ones to the border agent when I landed. Why weren't they in the system? "Our computer systems aren't coordinated." Excuse me? Shaking my head, I gave the phone agent my current information - postal code and all. Now I'll have to wait until December to receive my card. In the meantime, I have to get what's called a "travel document" from the visa post in Seattle. That means two trips in - one with the application and one to pick up the visa. And it will cost me $50.

So what would have happened if I checked right after the six weeks were up (I waited a couple weeks, thinking, "tomorrow it will show up...")? Well, I'd still be in the same position for this trip. They cannot expedite the first PR card, and the service standard is 31 business days. The lesson here - until you have all the documents you initially need - check, check and check again with the government. While their intentions may be fine, they simply don't think like you and I do.

1 comment:

  1. Maintaining an unlinked system seems to be right up there as far as Canadian bureaucrats and public services are concerned. I knew not to hold out much hope when I registered at my Doctors. My children received immunisations, a year later when I call to enquire about making an appt for the rest of the jabs, I'm told I need to come in and show them the booklet I have that lists what they've had already. It seems it's not on the system!!!???