Oh yeah, I applied to have an extra layer of security on my British passport, despite the leniency period that's still in force during the time I was scheduled to take off to Vancouver. Doing what I thought was the right thing turned into me battling with a bunch of "do not reply" emails. Over three weeks of frustration, anger, panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, as I battled with misinformation overload.
How I've managed to keep it together is thanks to you and my constant positive visualisation of greeting my parents on the other side of Customs at Vancouver International Airport.
What happened to me should of never happened in the first place. I was determined that justice would prevail. When I first got rejected for Canada's Electronic Travel Authorisation aka "eTA", I had no idea what was wrong. To make the situation even more aggravating, I hadn't a clue what they wanted from me in regards to documents, despite my several pleas asking them what they wanted.
My head went into speculation overdrive. Why was I being denied an eTA? Had the authorities found out about my kinky parties that involved covering myself and any willing participants, with maple syrup? Maybe they found out about my rendezvous with a moose? Or maybe, just maybe, they noted the time on Spanish Banks beach in Vancouver when I got caught by a police officer illegally consuming a Molson Canadian beer in a public place. The police officer yelled at me, "Down that beer!" I reacted by downing the beer, not onto the ground, but down my throat. I recall he was not impressed but did sort of chuckle.
It did transpire that they'd decided that I had permanent resident status in Canada and thus, I was supposed to board the plane with an up to date Canadian Resident Card, complete with a photo. I'd never even heard of such a card. What a crazy, confusing caper.
Today, I'm feeling rather smug. I must keep my smugness and my silly grin under control. After just over three weeks of sheer torment, I have defeated the Canadian bureaucratic monster! Today, I received, not one, not two, but three emails from the Canadian immigration authorities. Here's the gist of those emails. "Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's review of your Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) is now complete. Your eTA remains approved. You remain authorised to travel to Canada by air." They also stated within one of the emails that they conceded that I had been experiencing technical problems with the account I had to set up with them. I actually received an apology for any inconvenience caused.
It figures, yesterday I went and got a whole bunch of documents sorted. I spent almost an hour with a professional photographer as she had to get my photos just right for the Canadian government photo specifications. After a frantic day and at much expense, I sent all the information required to the Canadian High Commission in London to prove that I actually don't live in Canada. Then, today, I got those emails. What a difference a day makes.
In the words of those two Canadian legends, Bob and Doug McKenzie, I'm going to "Take off, eh!