Santa Claus is an immigrant with various citizenships around the world

With Christmas coming up, it is time once again for many countries in the world to lay claim to Santa Claus.

The US has a Santa

There is a real live Santa Claus (legal name) currently living in Alaska. He’s not deciding if anyone is naughty or nice, but he is a US citizen, although he has stated he would like dual citizenship with Canada. This Santa legally changed his name to Santa Claus in 2005 to help with his work promoting children’s aid and social welfare programs.

Canada has given Santa Claus legal citizenship

Canadian officials want to remind everyone that Santa Claus is actually a Canadian citizen. Santa’s home at the North Pole lies in an area between Russia, Norway, Canada, the United States, and Denmark. However, a couple years ago, Canada declared (for a bunch of reasons) that St. Nick is legally considered to be Canadian. They even issued a  passport for both Santa and his partner Mrs. Claus.

Finland also lays claim to Santa

Known as Joulupukki in Finnish ( which actually translates to “Christmas Goat”) – Santa Claus is said to live in Lapland, a remote area of the country’s northeast.

According to Finland’s ambassador to Canada, Santa doesn’t need a green card or visa for any country.

“What would Santa need a citizenship and passport for? He’s older than states and above such bureaucracy. After all, he can fly over borders with his reindeer. And for Santa, every child in the world is equally dear, regardless of citizenship.”

Citizenship just makes global travel that much easier

We have to disagree with Finland here, having your paperwork in order really DOES make travel easier.

Back in 2010 -when Santa’s citizenship first came to light- Jason Kenney, the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism had this to say:

“The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete.”

Then in 2013 Santa Claus and Mrs Claus (no known first name – or as Immigration says FNU – first name unknown – so she may have needed special instructions and waivers for her passport) were issued Canadian Passports at a special ceremony in Toronto, just to make sure there would be no complications at the point of re-entry.

As was stated at the ceremony:

“Santa and Mrs. Claus live in North Pole, Canada, with their many helpers. Like so many Canadian citizens who enjoy extensive travel around the world, the Claus’ were thrilled to receive their ePassports – which are among the world’s most accepted and secure travel documents….Whether you are travelling by car, by boat, or with a team of flying reindeer…”

Letters to Santa go to Canada

Canada Post, the national postal carrier, have also set up a Canadian Post Office Box for Santa, and says that now that he has an official Canadian address, it’s easier for him to respond to all the mail he gets (Canada Post helps with some volunteers as well…Santa gets A LOT of mail).

Seriously, all the letters to Santa get replied to by Canada Post in over 30 languages in the name of Mrs. Claus (who is obviously very busy helping Santa with all the other preparations).

If you -or someone you know- wishes to write Santa at Christmas, just post it to the Canadian address below before December 11th:

Santa
North Pole
HOH OHO
Canada

Sadly the time for a mailed response has passed BUT Canada Post has set up Santa Emergency Response Replies that you can download and print HERE. 

Good thing he has all his paperwork in place, he must have had a great immigration lawyer;)

 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Harlan York & Associates! And Best Wishes for the new year.

 

Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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