As a Canadian living in the US, I face neat little challenges regularly. Red tape is a fact of life by being this kind of visitor. Now, of course, being a Canadian I am honest about what I am and what I do. I follow the rules, particularly when it comes to US Immigration et al. And so I was recently faced with the chicken and egg concept: when changing one’s name in the US, as a non-citizen, what do I change first: SSN or Passport? The answer, I figure, is passort and work visa. So I went to the TDELF to have them help me navigate the waters of the US legal system. Apparently, I’m one of the first they’ve ever had who has changed the name in the US and then gets to face the home nation and it’s red-tape.
Once all the appropriate documents were filed and once the name publication is done, I will be able to obtain my certified copies of name change (10 in all). YAY ME! So as the lawyer goes through that process, I decided to get a head start on the Canadian side of thing. I called the Ontario Registry (they look after births, deaths and marriages) and asked about how to get my birth certificate modified. They explained it, saying that all I’d need is the certified copy, a letter from a guarantor and why I was using a non-Canadian for it (i.e., have been living in the US for two years now). Simple enough. One red tape issue addressed. I then called Passport Canada.
Now things get tricky. To get the new passport I need the amended birth certificate along with a signed piece of ID. No problem right? NOT. The 2nd ID MUST have the new name. The thing is, I do not drive and have no other form of ID other than passport. So I’m kind of in a chicken-and-egg thing. In order to get State ID, I must use my passport and visa but I suspect that will only get ID that will reflect my now-old name. In order to get State ID with new name, I need my passport to reflect that and.. oh wait.. You can see the quandary I’m in. So, I think I’m going to try to see about updating my SIN card (that’s a Social Insurance Number in Canada for those of you from the US). I think I used that previously to get my passport done.
I figure the wait time for the two initial pieces of ID — birth certificate and SIN card — will take until sometime mid-November. So come January I’ll have to trek up to Toronto or Montreal or even Halifax or even Calgary (actually, maybe Montreal, Halifax or Calgary– I can visit family in any of those cities and get the NEXUS while there as well) to get the passport done. Perhaps I should also get a federal ID card while I’m at it (Canadian citizenship card, I believe they are called). I think once the SIN is done I can then do all the credit cards. And once the passport is done then I can get the US SSN done and have that reflective — FINALLY — on my work email. I’m still hopeful that a green card is in my future but if I can get all this done before the final application for that is done, then life will be good. Whatever the process, I will be documenting it here as I have a feeling I’m not the first nor will I be the last person who has to do this.
Ain’t government process fun?? 🙂