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Wednesday March 10, 2004
That damned Permanent Residence card. I applied at the end of October but after 4 months I still hadn't heard anything so I decided to call them. Turned out something was wrong and they returned the application at the beginning of January. However I had moved so they sent it to the wrong address and Canada Post screwed up the mail forwarding and now nobody knows where the application is. I got a phone call this morning and I was told to re-apply again.

Fortunately I don't have to go through all the steps again such as paying but I will need new pictures. I downloaded a new application and applied for some other papers (wait time: 2 weeks) but now that I spent more time on it, I am not sure what they really want from me. For instance they don't need the information about the guarantor but they need a paper with my picture on it. However that picture officially needs to be signed by the guarantor. Of course I could call the call centre but the only person who knows the details is the person who called me this morning and who handled my case. Fat chance I will be able to get to her on the phone. But I don't really have a choice so I guess I am going to waste some time tomorrow.

On top of it all, the reason why the application was returned was that I forgot to fill in one section. I didn't fill in that section on purpose. It's the section with the absences from Canada in the last 5 year. I thought they were only interested in absences that were not vacation related. Turns out they are (which was mentioned in the manual so it is my fault). Of course there only 4 lines on the form in which I should write every time I left the country in the last 5 years. I would probably need at least 10 lines.

The whole process itself annoys me. I think it's good there is going to be a card because it replaces a simple piece of paper but it's a big pain in the butt to get it. Basically it feels like I am applying for immigration again. I needed to find a person with certain credentials (doctor, lawyer, professor) who could testify that he\she knows me for at least 2 years: the guarantor. I have been paying taxes ever since I got here and the government knows that (I hope) so why would I even have to prove that I exist. Sure, they want to make sure it’s me on the picture but how difficult would it be for someone to use a fake signature of a their guarantor on their picture. Now I just wonder if I need to have use a guarantor every time I need a new PR card because I am sure they want to refresh the picture every now and then. Does a person who applies for a passport (for the first time) need a guarantor? This process is just a pain in the butt and it makes me feel like a criminal.

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