Long wait to take citizenship oath in Calgary
Published Thursday, September 23, 2010 6:24PM MDT
The desire to become a new citizen in Calgary requires a lot of patience.
The city has one of the longest wait times in the country. Canada's Citizenship and Immigration office has a backlog of applications with a wait time of up to19 months.
Robert Ferguson works with the citizenship office and says Calgary is popular because immigrants are able to find work here.
Before taking the oath, immigrants must complete and pass a citizenship exam.
Many say they are ready to take the test, but can't book an appointment.
Rebecca Andrada helps newcomers prepare for their citizenship test and she has many clients waiting.
"I teach students who do get frustrated because of the wait, it makes it more difficult for them to travel if they are waiting for a passport," says Andrada.
Constanza Pinilla is one of her clients. She moved to Canada in 1999, and received permanent resident status in 2005. Last spring she applied to take her citizenship exam but she's still waiting.
Ferguson says the backlog should be dealt with soon. Extra officers have been dedicated to the office with the goal of processing 14-thousand new immigrants this year. That's four-thousand more than last year.