Journey to Canadian Citizenship: Patricia’s Story

By Claudia Porras 

Patricia is the main character in a love story that spanned over 20 years before a happy ending. Her boyfriend, with whom she had been in a relationship her entire life, had moved to Toronto many years before her in search of better opportunities. Finally, in 2016, the two reunited and enjoyed their lives as a couple in Toronto.  

Patricia, a communication and public relations professional, endured the long-distance courtship for years but due to the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, she decided to visit her boyfriend. She learned more about the Canadian immigration process and later got married to the love of her life back in Venezuela. The couple then planned to initiate the process for Patricia to move to Canada.  

The journey was far from easy, and unfortunately, Patricia’s father’s diabetes condition worsened due to the lack of medical attention, causing delays in her own immigration process. Despite the obstacles, the resilient woman persevered, and seven years ago, she arrived in Toronto to begin a new chapter and began the process of obtaining citizenship.  

In her first week in Toronto, Patricia’s husband made sure to help her settle in by assisting her in obtaining her social insurance number (SIN) and other necessary documents to kickstart her job search. However, because of her limited English proficiency, Patricia found it challenging to communicate effectively. To tackle this, she enrolled in English classes to improve her language skills.  

Patricia recalls an English classmate suggesting that she seek assistance from MNLCT in preparation for her Citizenship Test. The classmate spoke highly of the organization’s comprehensive curriculum, which covers a range of topics from history to politics in Canada.  

“When the pandemic hit, I had to put my plans of renewing my passport in Venezuela on hold and focus on studying for an important exam. Fortunately, I obtained assistance at MNLCT, they supported me in renewing my PR (permanent resident) card.” 

A little overwhelmed, Patricia decided to take things slow and only study on Saturdays for the citizenship test. This meant she would take nearly a year to complete the process. However, this approach proved to be highly effective as Patricia was able to recall every lesson and explanation during the exam.   

After two months, the enthusiastic immigrant received an appointment and, in November 2022, Patricia received a perfect test score of 100 and applied for citizenship. 

Now Patricia is officially a Canadian citizen. She is grateful to MNLCT staff and their hard work. 

“In this lengthy immigration process, what one must do is identify what he/she truly desires and begin working on it gradually; here is where the assistance of MNLCT comes in helpful. Of course, one must be consistent; one cannot quit since God’s time is perfect.” 

Patricia received invaluable assistance from MNLCT, which went beyond just acquiring citizenship. When her husband reached retirement age, the Centre’s staff were extremely supportive and helped the couple with the necessary paperwork.   

Additionally, new Canadian enrolled in MNLCT’s Employment Readiness courses, which opened doors for her to connect with various companies and gain knowledge about numerous opportunities. 

Today Patricia is thrilled to learn and train in social work, particularly to work with older adults. She says that she frequently recommends MNLCT to anyone who inquiries about her experience.  

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"The Mennonite New Life Centre and its BEMC program came in very handy for me at the lowest ebb of my life by providing a lifeline and I am eternally grateful for that,”

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