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Dueck family celebrating Canadian citizenship

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Will Dueck and his family have made a home in the Valley for over 10 years, but now they can officially call it home, for they were sworn in as Canadian citizens last week. The Duecks, along with 74 other people, completed the process to get their Canadian Citizenship.
“We first stepped foot in this country back on April 18, 2011,” said Dueck. “We originally lived in Germany and decided to look into moving to Canada. My wife had siblings who had moved here to the Valley and they had also known of other people from Germany who had done the same before them. They have moved away from here since then. We were fascinated by the idea and decided to come for a visit in 2009.
“We visited my in-laws and toured around the area. We fell in love with it, for it had many wide-open spaces, which is something we don’t see in Germany. I saw a lot of opportunities and good things that could happen here. I liked the idea of homeschooling our children and the other possibilities that we could consider out here. We went back home to Germany and started our application process.”
An announcement by the federal government to speed up the process for immigrants to get their Canadian Citizenship enticed Dueck and his family to get the process started.
“We applied for our Canadian Citizenship in April of 2019,” said Dueck. “We had just applied after the government had announced the process had been sped up, then COVID-19 hit. My brother was able to get his Canadian Citizenship in three months but, because of the timing, it took us 30 months. Now everything is pretty much online for it.”
It was an overwhelming process to fill out all the necessary paperwork and application, so the Dueck's were fortunate to find some local resources in the Valley that could help them out with the process.
We had to spend a certain amount of days in Canada and fill out an application form as well as provide a lot of information on ourselves,” said Dueck. “It was quite confusing and we had to enlist the help of Swan Valley Settlement and Immigrant Services. They helped us to complete it online.
“We had to prove that we knew English well enough. I’ve spent eight years here and run a business, so we were quite comfortable in that regard. We had to take an English test in Brandon. From there we had to get our fingerprints taken and a lot of red tape and paperwork after that.”
All the members of the Dueck household are now proud Canadian citizens. A ceremony was held virtually last week to welcome them as citizens.
“We all have our Canadian Citizenship now,” said Dueck. “We made sure to get the application processed before the kids turned 18, that way they are all considered under our application. If we had waited until some of them were 18, they would have to file an application on their own.
“There was a ceremony online over Zoom last Tuesday. As part of the ceremony, we had to answer some questions about Canada’s geography and history, which we all passed. There was an official who checked our identification and we had to cut our permanent resident cards in front of them on the screen. Another official had us take the Oath of Citizenship and we were sworn in as Canadian citizens.”
The Duecks are happy to be recognized as Canadian citizens. Although they considered the Valley to be home, it’s great peace of mind to make it official.
“I was relieved to finally become a Canadian citizen after all the paperwork and waiting,” said Dueck. “I feel a bit more included now because I can do things like vote. It was the next natural step for us as a family because we came here as immigrants and settled in the community. We were ready to take that next step and become Canadian citizens.
“We no longer have to worry about the hassle of applying for a Permanent Resident Card every five years to stay in Canada. The paperwork for that process is just about as overwhelming as what we just finished to get our Canadian Citizenship. We’ve spent 10 years in Canada making it our home and we’re so happy that we can officially call it our home.”