How long have you been a resident in Canada for?
I moved here in June 2010 from Southern California. I was born and raised in San Francisco, California. I grew up there and graduated from a university in Northern California and continued my education in Southern California. After I finished my schooling, I began living there on a permanent basis and lived there for 22 years.
When did you receive your Canadian citizenship?
I took the Oath of Canadian Citizenship on June 29, 2016. It took place at the Victoria Conference Centre, and what a beautiful ceremony… very emotional for me. I felt so proud. I proudly sang the Canadian National Anthem and I proudly took the Oath of Citizenship.
What was the citizenship process like for you?
It was actually pretty smooth. I applied in January 2015, and took the citizenship test in October 2015. I had my interview the same day as the test. I then received my notice to appear to take the oath in June of 2016.
Why is being a Canadian citizen important to you?
Most importantly – being able to vote. Any place that I live I want to be able to express all the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and that includes voting.
I get to keep my US citizenship, so I will have two passports, and have two countries to vote in. That is absolutely thrilling to me. It feels great being accepted into a country, and with that comes big responsibility. I want to be my best and I want to give my best to this country. I feel very excited about that.
It’s like a dream come true for me. I always wanted to live in another country and learn about other ways of living, thinking, and being. I think if anybody has a chance to live in another country, wow, what an opportunity to learn and grow and expand your perspective.
How did you celebrate your new citizenship?
The nice thing about the timing was that it was leading up to Canada Day. The celebrations started on Wednesday with the citizenship ceremony and went all the way into Canada Day. It was a wonderful festive weekend celebrating being Canadian.
Having this opportunity is one step closer to becoming a citizen of the world, where there is global unity and no borders or boundaries. I am just so grateful.