Calgary man waits for years for citizenship document to prove he’s Canadian
A Calgary man who lost his wallet now finds he can’t prove he’s a Canadian citizen and can’t get answers from the government.
Verol Morgan has been in Canada since he was three years old. His parents brought him from their home in Jamaica and he became a citizen in 1978.
In 2015, he happened to lose his wallet with his citizenship card inside. He applied for a replacement card and was told there would be some delay in processing the request, but never imagined that years later, he would still be waiting.
“My passport expired, and they are saying to me my citizenship still hasn’t come after two years, I applied in 2015 and it’s now 2018, it just makes no sense,” he said.
He tried reaching out to the government many times, but without success.
“They haven't reached out to me in two-a-half years, not once have they asked me any questions or say what this investigation is,” he said. “I feel like it’s unfair, it’s unjustified, you can’t call in and say, hi, I’d like to see how my application is going.”
The matter is pressing, as he can’t renew his passport without citizenship documents. That means he can’t go back to Jamaica to visit his mother.
“My father was murdered in 2006, so I need to, I’m the one that needs to take care of my mom, I want to make sure she’s ok, I want to make sure everything is ok with the house,” he said.
The government's website says the average processing time for a citizenship certificate is five months. The immigration department says delays can happen based on volume, how easily information can be verified, how quickly applicants respond to concerns, and whether the application is complete. CTV inquired about Morgan's case and was told by a spokesperson that it's being reviewed.
“There’s no accountability, so you could be waiting for, I don’t know, I’ve been waiting for two-and-a-half years, who knows what other people are waiting for,” Morgan said.
In fact, hundreds of Iranians say they've been waiting up to several years for permanent residency cards. Ottawa has admitted there is a backlog for those applications.