So this just arrived today. In less than four weeks we will be Canadian citizens. We’re so excited! So how does this work? From what I understand, there will be a few speakers and guests and then we take the Oath of Citizenship. What is the Oath of Citizenship? Here it is:
I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen.
Yes, that Queen Elizabeth. We are a constitutional monarchy after all.
After that only a few things change:
First off, we’ll need Canadian passports. While we can travel outside of Canada using our US one if we like, we will need it to get back in. It will do a few things our American one won’t like get us in to a few countries without a visa that the US one doesn’t. It will also look really cool under a black light.
When we do get visas, for example, for our trip to India in January we can choose which passport we want them to be in. That will be the one we present when we go. For a few countries one might be better than the other as you can see below:
We get to vote in elections here after August first. We’re a little too late for our provincial one but we have a municipal one coming up in October. And there’s a federal one in October of 2019. Or sooner if the government decides to call one sooner.
Of course the question we’re always asked is “Do you have to give up your US citizenship?” The answer to this is no. We will be dual citizens sharing the rights and responsibilities of both countries. We will vote in the Canadian election in 2019 and you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be voting in the US elections this November and again in 2020. We file taxes in both countries though we haven’t had to pay US taxes. If we’re ever lucky enough to win the lottery that would change because lottery winnings aren’t taxable here but they are in the US – and the basic idea behind our tax treaties is that we don’t pay double taxes. What we pay in one country is credited in the other.
The other similar question that I’m asked, usually by people with a similar, if maybe a little more radical, political bent to us is “Will you renounce your citizenship?” Right now that doesn’t make sense. I do enough work in the US that it would make no sense for me to effectively ban myself from working there. Being able to freely cross the border and work without a visa is a big benefit. If, however, the tax laws significantly changed so that I did have to pay double taxes or things went from bad to horrendous I could give up my US citizenship. Likewise, I wouldn’t be surprised if Daegan were to consider that as an option if there were another draft.
But in the end, mostly our day to day life doesn’t change from what it was like as a permanent resident. Except that we can call ourselves Canadians. This will come in very handy in avoiding having to account for a certain president when travelling abroad.