A lot of us have taken “that” decision to migrate to Canada, and I am sure each one of us has our own reasons for this decision. But what does come along with migrating to a new country is a lot of planning and understanding of various rules, regulations, cultural impact and most important of all handling your nerves when you move.
I started this blog with an intention to help people like myself who migrated to Canada. My husband and I migrated to Canada while I was pregnant so things were a little more tougher than I thought, but I will get to that in my next few blogs.
The most important thing is before you move to Canada, the planning that starts before it, from your own respective home country. Some of you might be working with agents and some might be working on your own. I worked with an agent in Dubai and though they were very professional and helpful, there were a lot of things that you have to decide/do on your own when you are going to land.
Your first decision starts with are you going to land into Canada, and then continue to stay or are you going to land and then go back to your home country and then come back. We took the decision to do our landing and then go back to Dubai, wrap up stuff there and come.
But the common things that we all need to do before our landing is preparing the paperwork. Assuming that we have all got our Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), and our visa that has been stamped on the passport (if you’re from a country that requires a visa) then we may procced with the landing documentation.
Now the forms that are given to us, for declaration to the Immigration Officers, do look a little confusing and intimidating. But when you get down to working on it, it’s not so bad.
1. Regardless of which city you decide to land in, before leaving the aircraft please fill out the “Disembarkation Form”, you take that form and go to the passport control.
2. At the passport control you need to inform the immigration officer that you have come to do your initial landing. The officer will finish their due diligence and direct you to the newly landed immigrants counter.
3. Now this is the fun one, once you get to the immigration counter, it doesn’t take too long, but the wait is very long, so please be prepared to stand!! We landed at Toronto Pearson airport and had to wait for 4 hours till we got to the officer. So please come in comfortable clothing and footwear, carry some water and snacks you can munch on while you are waiting for your turn. But let’s be fair it is the 31stbusiest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. The immigration officers are sweet and to the point. One of my friend’s did his landing at the Billy Bishop airport in Toronto, and since this is not a very busy airport, he was out in half hour, so you can look at this as an option too. Please keep these documents handy with you, DO NOT PACK THEM IN YOUR CHECK IN LUGGAGE. At this stage the officer will ask you for your
· Your passport
· Your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR)
· Proof of Funds - the officer may or may not ask to see your proof of funds, which is the actual cash in hand. Keep the form “for cross border currency or monetary instrument report” in hand for this. Always as a rule of thumb please make two copies of all the forms and do not lie/hide about the amount you are carrying with you.
· Passport size photos – 2 or 3 (may not be required but no harm in carrying)
· PR card application (IMM 5444E) – carry it filled and printed for ease.
· Next the officer will have a look at the form for “goods accompanying” (Form B4/B4A) you at that time, he/she may not have a look at the “goods to follow” form, but make sure that they stamp all the forms. If you have jewelry in your goods to follow form, you will have to go to the customs office to declare it. Please carry a print of the photographs of the jewelry items, they will stamp each of these photos as well.
· Once this process is done, the officer will ask you to sign the COPR, then you will be asked for an address where your PR cards will be sent in 6-8 weeks. You can give them a friend or family’s address. If you don’t have anyone in Canada then you must send the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) your address through their online tool.
· Once you are done with this, you can go to the Service Canada Office, at the Toronto Pearson airport they have a desk, which will give you your SIN number (please do not share this with anyone).In case this desk is not available then you need to go to Service Canada office in the city and get yourself started. And this should be first on your list of things to do once you land in Canada.
· Child Immunization Record – Not needed at the airport, will be required later for school admission.
Refer to the links below for more information