- Neha Singh, who has been living in Canada for more than 20 years, has become a Canadian citizen.
- She took the oath of citizenship in a Zoom ceremony with 57 other candidates nationwide.
- Singh admitted that she had delayed applying for citizenship due to her disdain for paperwork, but she was motivated to do it after discovering the online application process.
After living in Canada for over 20 years, Neha Singh, a resident of Sudbury, Ontario, has finally become a Canadian citizen. On Monday, Singh, alongside 57 other candidates from across the country, took the official Canadian citizenship oath during a Zoom call ceremony.
Singh moved to Canada in 2002 as an international student to attend Cambrian College in Sudbury. She made friends, graduated, started a business, and even got married, putting down roots in the country she now calls home.
Delay in Citizenship Application
Despite having all the necessary documents for citizenship, Singh had put off applying for years due to her dislike for paperwork. “A big part of the delay is — I’m terrible at paperwork,” she admits. However, last year she found out that Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada had digitized the citizenship application process, making it easier for her to submit her paperwork online.
Singh said, “One day when I was Googling I found that you could do your Canadian citizenship online. It took me about two hours to submit my paperwork online. A year later, I’m a Canadian citizen. It’s a miracle.”
The ceremony was conducted over Zoom, which allowed Singh to avoid a delay in waiting for an in-person ceremony. She suspects that there were others online from smaller communities across Canada. “I’m sure there are people from all over, all rural places that they’re trying to process together,” Singh said.
Simplification of Application Process
Singh’s friend, Erica Caden, who is also considering becoming a Canadian citizen, was pleased that the application process has been simplified. “It’s been digitized for the modern age,” she said. Singh, who plans to obtain a Canadian passport, also added, “The Canadian passport gets me into about 168 countries. So travel — the ease of travel — was my primary motivation to become a Canadian citizen.”
Singh had previously faced difficulties in traveling with only a permanent residence card, as she had to apply for a VISA each time. With her new Canadian citizenship and passport, Singh can travel more easily. “It’s a different sense of freedom,” she said.
A Celebration of Canadian Citizenship
To celebrate her new status, Singh invited a small group of family and friends to her home overlooking Ramsey Lake. She received Canadian-themed gifts like maple syrup, Tim Horton’s coffee, and Smarties.
For Singh, obtaining Canadian citizenship after 20 years of living in Canada is a significant achievement. “It’s a big deal for me. Really for me, it’s a case study in digital transformation because they’ve removed so many barriers by making this online,” she said.
Singh is now among Canada’s newest citizens, but as she plans to travel the world with her new passport, she will undoubtedly never forget the place she now calls home.