So you decided to become a Permanent Resident err.. decided to apply for Permanent Residency. Mind it, one cannot decide to become a PR. One , with the limited powers at ones’ disposal, can only choose to apply. And the powers that be would choose to either grant or reject the application. So, as a mere mortal , one should gather enough strength and start the process of applying for a PR not being aware of the travails that were in store ahead.

One should stop thinking for a while when one contemplates to file an application for PR. Reasoning and logic would need to be suspended for some time and one should know that every one is assured of ones’ rights to suspend ones’ own reasoning. And that is one of the most essential attributes for one who wishes to apply for a PR.

Say you want to apply for PR. Then the only thing that you need to do is to go ahead and apply for one. Never, ever, stop to think on what basis applications are approved or rejected. They are beyond human comprehension and of course definitely beyond the comprehension of the mere mortals that apply for one.

So an auspicious day would need to be chosen and the PR application would need to be  downloaded from the website. A week’s vacation would need to be  applied for as the documentation would be  so vast and detailed that one would need to have all the powers of the language to (1) understand what they wanted and (2) provide the details in the minimum of space that would have been  provided. Sometimes one had to burn one’s midnight oil to fill in the forms. Well, oil burning is not a necessity as power supply is stable.

And then a couple of suit-cases would need to be purchased. One is needed to file all available documents in duplicate ranging from ones’ kindergarten notes to secondary school mark sheets and love letters ( if applicable ). And then one had to hire a trailer lorry to carry the documents to the office that processed the application.

And voila, I forgot the most important stuff. You needed to book an appointment on the internet that always gave you dates three months from any day you tried to book.

On the day of appointment, one needs to get in to the designated office and pick up a token. Remember that a token is the most important document in the whole system. One could afford to be without ones’ mark sheets but never without the token.

Then one comes face to face with the officer. The conversation, if you can call one that, goes thus :

“What is the purpose of your PR application?” – this is the most important and most difficult to answer. If one thought that the purpose of ones’ application was to get oneself a PR status, then there is a 99 in 100 chance that one is wrong.

So one would need to  mumble some reason and wait for the next missile.

“Mark sheets are okay. Show me the original birth certificates” , upon which you produce the original.

At this point one needs to ponder and think along the lines what Mary Antonite would have thought when asked for bread.

“Show me the English version of the original”. With this, one is done for ever.

“Madam, my birth certificate is in Tamil”.

“I said show me the original or its English version in English”.

“……”

“Don’t have already ? So proceed to the high commission and ask them to produce an English version. We need to know your father and mother”.

“But Madam, the passport contains my parent’s names”.

“Is your passport your birth cert?”

“No but, the passport contains the names”.

“Per our procedure, we need two documents. You may come back within the next week”.

So the sojourn to the high commission starts Several dollars later, the commission produces this:

“This is to certify that, as per the passport issued by the Chennai RPO bearing number XVXVXVXVXV, the person Right Off Center was born to so and so on this unfortunate date in such and such god-forsaken place”.

So the moral of this piece of interaction with the high commission is that one needs to go to them to get ones’ birth certificate in English which they would certify based on the passport that they had issued. And how did they issue the passport ? No questions here.

Bureaucracy is like weather – unpredictable, unreliable and unexpected. And the other aspect of bureaucracy is that they are eminently adept in making one believe that they are working and that ones’ work is getting done. This is the knowledge that dawn on oneself as soon as one interacts with the bureaucracy in any country.

Okay. The high commission issued the birth cert right ? So one would give that to the PR officer.

And the PR officer would gladly  receive the document and produce an acknowledgement which would ensure that one would have to wait for an year to know the result that the application has been rejected. And as usual with no reasons assigned.

And mind it. They are well within their rights to not assign any reason. Not because they don’t know the reason.

” I will not write the answer in the exam. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know the answer” – Anonymous.

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