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Work/education history asked for citizenship test

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geome View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 11:22am
This sounds strange to me. I just received the citizenship test date but I am being asked to give work/education history since Jan 2005. I applied in 2010 and have already included that information in the citizenship application form. Any idea why I am being asked this history again.
 
Thanks for the comments.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uofgoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 11:34am
Geome, that's normal, at least in mississauga office. Everyone taking test is required to fill that form. Don't worry. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dpenabill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 2:50pm


I do not know the answer to this question.

Agree, though, it is probably just a routine cross-check procedure, nothing to worry about (for any legitimate, eligible applicant anyway).



SOME COMMENTARY:

Again, I do not know the actual reason why this is done in any particular local office.

But I do know that in the last year, and especially so in a few areas like Mississauga (that is, areas like Mississauga in which widespread fraud has already been detected), CIC has intensified its screening for indications of fraud.

One of their top tools in ferreting out fraud is simply carefully cross-checking the applicant's information and history.

Sure, since a perfectly consistent application goes a long, long way toward passing muster, there is the sense that the real fraudsters will be the ones who go to extra lengths to be certain all their information is consistent. But in practice, it seems, the simple (but somewhat tedious) exercise of cross-checking information really works, that is, it actually ferrets out a high percentage of illegitimate applicants.

This does not mean that every little discrepancy will sabotage an application. Just because the dates reported on one form do not perfectly match the reported dates on another form will not necessarily be a problem, not a reason to impose RQ let alone deny the application. It is probably more about the nature of any discrepancies, the extent and number of the discrepancies.

Ironically there is one case in which an applicant lost his passport between applying for citizenship and appearing for the test, following which the applicant was required to submit RQ information including another detailed disclosure of travel, and in which the applicant reiterated exactly the same information as was disclosed in the original residency calculation disclosure. The Citizenship Judge based a negative decision in part on the lack of an explanation for how the applicant could recall those dates so precisely without having the passport to refer to, and inferred the applicant was not credible. The Federal Judge strongly criticized this, for obvious reasons. While this mostly illustrates how difficult it is to predict the thought processes for any particular Citizenship Judge, it also illustrates the extent to which the decision-maker's impressions (whether those of the CIC citizenship officer or the Citizenship Judge) loom significantly, and those impressions are about the way the whole picture looks taking into account how all the pieces fit into that picture.

In that case, by the way, the CJ did not even ask the applicant how he was able to reconstruct the exact dates without having the passport stamps to refer to. In contrast, I advocate maintaining a separate log of all travel abroad, so one has a single complete record, an assuredly accurate record, without having to refer to other documents or sources. That is, I specifically encourage PRs to not rely on their passports or CBSA records, but to create and maintain a complete and accurate accounting for themselves. Personally I keep this information with records I keep for tax reporting (I got into this habit a long time ago, having been an American expatriate required to report all trips to the States to the IRS).

While one's travel records are a separate, more directly material matter relative to the application for citizenship, it is obvious that CIC has moved toward requiring more history from applicants in order to corroborate (or not) the applicant's information. Work and address history are big elements in this. Where one works and where one sleeps are huge considerations relative to the resident-in [what country] issue. Verifying where an applicant worked and actually, physically lived, goes a long, long way toward proving whether or not the applicant was resident-in Canada.

Much of the fraud in this area, in contrast, is perpetrated through consultants of one sort or another, and much of the forms submitted in many of these cases is completed by the consultant, not the individual. Cross-checking the information at a subsequent date is probably a fairly easy, cost-effective way to spot many of these cases (not all of course but many). And to my mind, and this is the point of this commentary, a simple cross-checking process like this probably saves CIC money and time, and perhaps avoids having a lot of legitimate applicants sent to RQ unnecessarily. I favor simple, inexpensive procedures which will save the government time and money, and which in turn assist legitimate applicants in terms of avoiding longer processing times, with less inconvenience, while at the same time increasing the extent to which fraud is found out.


Edited by dpenabill - 21 Apr 2011 at 2:51pm
Bureaucracy is what bureaucracy does, or When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions.



BTW: Not an expert, not a Can. lawyer, never worked in immigration
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cc1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 3:28pm
dpenabill
It is inefficient and error prone how the physical presence requirement is enforced. all CIC needs to do is to scan/swipe PR card on each entry/exit. They have the technology and infrastructure already in place.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dpenabill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Apr 2011 at 3:52pm
Not really. There are a lot of ways around the system. Some people have multiple Travel Documents (including multiple passports) and it is way way too busy at many POEs to slow down processing people in order to scan everyone ... the cost and time involved would be hugely inordinate, and again, even if they did spend the money to attempt to monitor every person passing through a POE, it would still not be a totally reliable record (again because there are so many ways to work around the system ... many places where a person can cross a street, for example, and be in the U.S. or, going the other way, be in Canada, without even talking to a CBSA officer).

On the other hand anyone and everyone can keep an ongoing totally accurate record of their travel abroad. Simple. Absolutely complete. And all that then needs to happen is that the person's real life in Canada show indicators that correspond to the dates. For anyone really living in Canada this is not a significant burden. And only those who leave Canada bear the time and inconvenience of maintaining such a record, rather than the government incurring the huge expense of monitoring every person traveling, rather than have the government intrude to that degree in making a record of the personal travels of every person traveling, rather than have the lines at POEs move incredibly slow to accommodate the process.

No rocket science necessary, just some personal responsibility.

Edited by dpenabill - 21 Apr 2011 at 3:54pm
Bureaucracy is what bureaucracy does, or When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions.



BTW: Not an expert, not a Can. lawyer, never worked in immigration
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote timbit_TO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2011 at 3:09am
Originally posted by dpenabill dpenabill wrote:


The Citizenship Judge based a negative decision in part on the lack of an explanation for how the applicant could recall those dates so precisely without having the passport to refer to, and inferred the applicant was not credible. The Federal Judge strongly criticized this, for obvious reasons.


Memorable Kafkaesque reasoning Smile in Johar v MCI , in which the FC judge also briefly mentions the sworn affidavits tendered by the appellant and his son recounting the events of the hearing and the CJ's failure to inquire how exactly was the applicant able to recollect the dates so precisely.  It was this last omission on the part of the CJ, and not simply his reluctance to believe the applicant in absence of a passport,  that led to the conclusion that the duty of fairness was breached and the appeal should be allowed.

Regarding improving the tracking of arrivals and departures, the options discussed in dpenabill's post are not only not mutually exclusive, they are complementary.  That is, CIC can and should do a much better job recording entries and exits of PR's (and only PR's, not 'everybody'), and the PRs themselves can and should keep as good a record as possible, provided they are given proper notice and clear instructions of what's expected of them. 

Otherwise this opens the door to all sorts of creative nonsense, along the lines of the idea of an "audit trail", where the most innocent facts (such as the lack of banking records, indicative of the applicant's low income and life on a cash basis) are cast in a sinister light, as they do not conform to someone's equally arbitrary and fantastic ideas of what such an "audit trail" should consist of.


Edited by timbit_TO - 23 Apr 2011 at 3:20am
Law (the). Nobody knows what it is.
Gustave Flaubert, Le Dictionnaire des idées reçues
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dpenabill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Apr 2011 at 3:14pm
Yes, indeed, Kafkaesque describes that reasoning. I can think of more derogatory attributions as well.

The "audit trail" of a life centralized in Canada cases (mostly if not all in Windsor) are problematic: they do suggest that for some CJs merely living in Canada may not be sufficient, but they want proof of a typical life in Canada. And for many immigrants, life in Canada is not typical, particularly not for a period of years following their establishing of a life in Canada. And that is perhaps illustrated by the Johar v MCI case, since that involves an older man who quite likely was not employed, who did not have many financial or social transactional events in his life, who mostly came to Canada to be with his son and his son's family, all who had settled in Canada. Such a person is not likely to create an "audit trail" of life in Canada. There are many, many other scenarios in which something similar to this is likely, and the less affluent the immigrant the more likely there will be less of such an "audit trail."

As far as CBSA recording PR entries: one of the problems, of course, is that PRs often have multiple travel documents, including multiple passports, so it is not always that easy to identify and track even legitimate travel by PRs even if CBSA had a policy to scan and record every entry by a known PR ... but there are many ways around the system, so a PR can deliberately manipulate border crossings to make it appear as if the PR is still in Canada even when abroad ... and such a PR can often re-enter Canada without a record of the re-entry being made, again by exploiting known flaws or loop-holes in the system (travel through the States in route offers some of the most common ways of going about this, and of course how to do this is rather widely known). So, again, CBSA and CIC are not going to entirely rely on their records to indicate a PR's travel history. Not likely to happen in any near future. More could be done, but it is simply not on the horizon for many, many reasons. So, a PR's best source for a record of all cross-border trips is, indeed, and emphatically so, the PR's maintenance of such records for himself or herself. The PR who thoroughly and accurately keeps such records can be certain of a complete and accurate record. It is simple. It is complete. It is accurate. But yes, while the PR can rely upon this, CIC will not necessarily do so unless it is consistent with other corroborating indicators . . . that said, a thorough and accurate record of this sort is likely to have, indeed, corroborating indicators, and virtually no inconsistent indicators, and thus carry a good deal of weight on its face

That said, just in the last year I have noticed that every time I have come through a POE, my PR card has been scanned. Prior to that, for the first year and a half that I was a PR, not once did I have my identification looked at when coming into Canada (all by private car at U.S./Canada land crossings). So I suspect they have been following American policy more, that is scanning identification at the border more, in the last year, and will most likely continue to do so going forward. I doubt, though, that CIC or CBSA will accept that the CBSA border crossing records constitutes a complete record of all entries for a PR.
Bureaucracy is what bureaucracy does, or When in doubt, follow the instructions. Otherwise, follow the instructions.



BTW: Not an expert, not a Can. lawyer, never worked in immigration
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