All You Need to Know About Landing...
WHEN SHOULD WE 'LAND':
After getting the PR visa, we are supposed to complete our 'record of landing', on or before the Visa Expiry Date [mentioned on the visa]. The visa Expiry Date is related to EITHER*:
a) 1yr. from the meds, or
b) Passport expiry date of the PA or anyone of his/her accompanying Dependents
*Whichever of the above 2 is earlier.
WHO SHOULD LAND FIRST:
It is the obligation of the PA to 'land' first. Which can be 'alongwith' one or more or all the accompanying family members. Let it be clear that the PA's dependents CANNOT land first.
PROCEDURE AT THE POE:
Irrespective of which city we chose to land, the 'landing' per se, is a simple process. Before debarking the a/craft we'll be provided with a 'Disembarkation Card/Form'. We take that form & first go to the 'Passport Control'.
At the Passport Control:
Here we need to inform the IO that we have come to do our 'landing'. The IO will check our Disembarkation Card and our passport/s & visa. S/he will then direct us to "Newly Landed Immigrants' Counter".
At the Immigration Counter:
The IO here will scrutinize our Passport/s & COPRs. He would [sometimes may not] ask to see our POF. Most of the times the officer will not count the 'actual' money & accept what we say. But, no false pretensions there. S/he will then fill some portions of the COPR & ask us to sign it, wherein it'll be attached on our passport. We'll be asked to fill-in the 'PR Card Application Form' & give an address where our PR cards will be forwarded within 3-6 weeks. Thereby, s/he would 'Welcome us to Canada' and direct us to another office.
At the Services Canada Office:
The Services Canada section is for assisting the Newcomers' settlement moves. Here we'll get lots of books/pamphlets, that'll provide all the crucial info on Canada and our Settlement plan here. From here will be directed to the CBSA counter.
At the CBSA [Customs] Office:
This is an important location. We are required to present (1) List of Items Accompanying; (2) List of Goods to Follow; (3) Currency Declaration [We'd have to 'declare' any amount of $10K or more]. Lists-1 & 2 must be brought in 2 copies, one would be retained by CBSA and the 2nd copy will be returned back to us. We'll need the 2nd copy when our shipments come-in.
Note:  If we are not bringing-in any goods later, we don't need the 'goods to follow list'.  At a random the CBSA might 'actually' check the POF here. Thus, no complacency is acceptable.  If there are 'jewelry' involved, do not forget to bring 'Printed Photographs' of the same (details later).
BTW: All the officers are extremely friendly, very understanding, cheerful and helpful. We'll encounter 'Welcome to Canada' many a times. If all the docs are pre-printed & available with us; and there is not much of a queue, we will be out of the a/port in 40mins-1hr. flat. Which includes the walk-distance, baggage collection etc.
FORMS REQUIRED FOR THE 'LANDING':
Even if you stay ONLY for a day at Canada, you will need the following:
1. Passport with stamped Visa. -off course
2. COPR (IMM 5292B)
3. POF. [for cases "without" AEO & family class] (details below)
4. Passport size photos. -2 or 3 for PRC (may not be needed, but good to have)
5. PR Card Application (IMM 5444E). -carry it filled pre-printed, for ease
6. Goods to Follow List (Form B4 / B4A). -carry it filled pre-printed, for ease
7. Goods Accompanying List. -as above, a table of things u r carrying on person (value & Totaled)
Forms required later
8. SIN Card Apps Form (NAS 2120). -Not Needed at the A/port [later at Services Canada]
9. Kids Immunization Record. -Not Needed at the A/port [later for School Admission]
10. If you are Driving your Car. -read below
NOTE: The more you are organized before hand, the better 1st impression you deliver and the IO/CBSA officer shall be happier. (BTW: smooth & fast processing). U'll be out faster. Go to your accom & relax for the day, you had a long journey, haven't you?
SHORT STAY ACCOMMODATION:
For sure you must arrange a 'short-stay' accommodation prior to your landing. The necessity of which cannot be overemphasized more. If you have friends/relatives, they can be approached for the same, if you do not have anyone, the following is recommended:
*Both provide a/port pick-up services. The places are used by many satisfactorily.
Not much such places are available. However, this ad by a service-provider caught my eye...
"Furnished rooms with high speed internet are available for newcomers & immigrants. Close to all aminities. Pick up & drop off services also available. Call Girish # 403-255-8582 [or email: taradale @ live.ca] for more info".
Some other important sites on Vancouver are:
NOTE: Except for ppl with enough $$$ to spend, avoid Hotels & Motels. They are far costlier. Also, if you must take a hotel, avoid the ones close to the A/port -for obvious reasons.
The best way to do house hunting [long-term accom.] is to land at Canada & then start searching. Word of mouth & Bulletin Boards are a great ‘real-time' source. However, we cannot condone the importance of the web. Some of the good sites [there are many] could be:
a) http://www.hometrader.ca (Good site)
b) http://www.capreit.com (Property Management Services)
c) http://www.kjiji.ca/ (Good Classifieds site)
d) http://www.mls.ca (Mother of all)
MONEY: PROOF OF LANDING FUNDS:
What Proofs Are Acceptable?
If you are carrying more than C$10,000, tell a Canadian official when you arrive in Canada. If you do not tell an official, you may be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:
• Securities in bearer form (for eg, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills) or
• Negotiable instruments in bearer form (for eg, B/drafts, Cheques, TCs or MOs).
How Much Funds Can I Carry?
There is no Max limit... we can take Millions, if we can prove its legitimate source & declare anything at/or more than $10,000 [that's the CBSA regulation]. There is a Minimum limit though... we must carry at least or more than what CIC requirement states, vis-a-vis for the no. of pax in the family [accompanying].
Tax & Duties Component:
The funds we bring inside Canada are Non-Taxable. It is only the 'interest' earned on that which is taxed. The moment our funds start accruing interest [while lying in a Canadian Bank a/c] the bank will start deducting tax 'on source'. The same applies for any 'investment' in Canada that we make with these funds.
Though most international banks operate in Canada, the 3 main Canadian Banks are presumably the best, in terms of their presence, availability & location of ATM machines, branches etc.:
2) TD Bank, &
Besides, you can also pre-open a Canadian Bank a/c from your home country [not all, Dubai, India etc.] thru Scotiabank, SBI & *ICICI Bank. I have posted details about it earlier here:
*ICICI Bank offers one of the cheapest a/c charges. But unfortunately, both ICICI & SBI have very limited presence in Canada.
Usually BA & KLM change places frequently for their "lowest fares" to Canada. More often it'd be BA [especially from the UK, Dubai, Europe & the Gulf sector]. U can also ask your travel agent to select between multiple carriers to provide multiple-halt choices. But, from the UK actually that might not be required. Check BA today, it'll do the trick... Dubai-Heathrow-Toronto : AED 3,860/pp return.
However, personal choise prevails. Sometimes other carriers place envious promotions too. Emirates has recently commenced the A380 [Dreamliner] service. And all their flights are 'long-haul' -Non Stop.
NOTE: If our $$$ are a consideration, avoid 'non-stop' flights. They obviously are costlier. A single-stop flight is highly recommended. Also, we might avoid travel agents as well, the 'online' reservation of all the prominent carriers are absolutely good. I did mine thru BA & it was fantastic. Paid, printed and became an 'Executive Club' member -all thru the net. The e-ticket shall be delivered, on-the-spot, in your email in-box.
PR CARDS (PRC):
Your PR Card application (IMM 5444E) shall be done at the POE itself. It is part of the PR package [free] and the photos & details will be the same as you supplied for the PPR. Our PR Card/s come back to us via regular post mail, in 3-6 weeks, avg. 4 weeks. It is 'advisable' to stay in Canada for at least 45 days, collect our PRC and then return back [if you must].
If you leave the country before it arrives, u'll have to make arrangements for its collection & forward delivery to you, overseas, thru a friend/relative [Not a Recommended Action], however, done all the time by ppl. But there is a danger of losing it in transit. And if that happens, we'll have a tedious process to get new ones made.
How To Enter Canada W/Out A PR Card:
As per IATA & CBSA regulations, we cannot enter Canada w/out a PRC. However, if we are entering thru a Border Post by road, it doesn't matter -our COPR is enough for entry/exit. But, if we are travelling by an airline & boarding/entering thru an a/port we will Not be Permitted. At the embarkation port itself we will be Stopped by the airline staff.
The process in such cases is to apply for a 'PRTD-A31 (3)' [Temporary 'PR Travel Document'] at the local CHC [abroad]. It costs Ca$50. Details of it is provided at the 'Manual for Permanent Resident Card' (ENF 27).
Procedure Of PR Card Application:
NOTE: The PRC is probably the 'most important' document after we are thru with our PR application process. This is valid for 5 yrs. First time: Free; Renewals cost $50/card.
After 'landing' we'll have to visit the nearest Services Canada Office for the SIN Card. We get the SIN No. immediately as a 'print-out' -signed & stamped upon applying, the same day, the same time. That'd suffice for all our further actions in Canada, viz Job Search, Bank a/c, House Hunting etc. The card shall come to us in approx 3 weeks. For its collection -ditto applies as above, for the PR Cards.
NOTE: Remember, we don't need the SIN Card for anything. Only the SIN No. Which we'll get the same time as we apply for it. It'd be wise to visit Services Canada Office the very next day upon arrival.
Both PR Card & SIN Cards are Federal documents. Meaning? One card for the entire nation -Canada.
Health is a provincial matter. It is NOT FEDERAL. Thus, if you change provinces, u'll have to AGAIN get that province's Health Card. And again the waiting period* shall apply. Off course, a previous province's health card remains valid for few days/months in another province, but not all benefits could be availed.
*The Waiting Period:
As I know, Alberta [eg. Calgary, Edmonton etc] & Manitoba [eg. Winnipeg] are the Only provinces where there is NO WAITING period for the Health Insurance. Rest in all provinces there is some waiting time to get the Health Benifits. In Ontario [eg. Toronto, Ottawa etc.] it is 3 months.
Eg.: If Calgary Is My Destination Should I Get The H/Card In Toronto?
If Calgary is your Final Destination, but you are 'initially' landing in Toronto for a few days stay [Permitted action], I suggest you should first land in Calgary [get the health card] and then visit Toronto. Why? Mainly 'coz, you can get the Calgary health card immediately, but in Toronto you'll not. That Calgary health card will be valid in Toronto for a few days. Not the vice-versa. Secondly, if you land first in Toronto, you'll be staying w/out any health coverage.
Temp. Health Coverage:
It's wise to obtain a 'temporary' health coverage before you fly. Off course not required if you are going to Alberta or Manitoba. That temp. coverage shall come in the way of "Travel Insurance", which you can obtain from ANY insurance company in your homeland. The costs depands on the length of coverage. Usually we should take it for 3-4 months, as that is the waiting time in all provinces.
NOTE: It'll be a good idea to obtain the Travel Insurance from home country. For 2 reasons:  You are covered from day-1 even before landing.  In Canada it will be costlier & you'll be covered only from the day you apply. What if you get to do it later, as you'll be busy in the initial days? What if something goes wrong in between?
There is a way to obtain at least the Ontario G2 Driving Lincense immediately, if not the G1. For that some pre-arranged actions are needed, before you fly. I've written in detail on it. Check out this link:
ITEMS TO CARRY FROM HOMELAND:
Very debatable... I would say, do your maths first. Is the extra baggage costs worth the effort? Most items are readily available in Canada, also at very reasonable price.
Ditto for Indian Food & Spices [Rice, Dal, Pickles, Papad (?) etc.] And ditto for Italian [Pasta, Lasagna etc.], Japanese [Sushi, Tapanyaki, Teriyaki etc.], Tex-Mex, you name it.
Besides, many items are also not permitted entry. And there is otherwise a quality/quantity restriction as well. Check the CBSA website for those. Moreover, hiring a container full of goods? I'd say No... No. It may not be worthwhile at all.
What To Take? [Purely My Advise]:
1. Personal effects [for imdt use, large quantities... No]
2. General clothing [some warm ones also]
3. Laptop [no desk top, printer etc.]
4. Digicam / Camcorder
5. Heirlooms [heritage collections, murals, artifacts etc.] -Check CBSA rules.
6. Original Certificates / Documents
7. Prescription Medicines
8. Books & DVDs
9. Mobile Phone* [non CDMA] -a NA charger will be needed
*Only GSM850-1900MHz models [that's the Canadian frequency -not all countries have that]
What "Not" To Take? [Purely My Advise]:
1. Furniture [whatever, small or big]
2. TV [even if it's an LCD], Fridge, Washing machine etc.
3. Curtains, Bedspreads, Pillows & linens
4. Cars, Bikes etc.
5. Large-sized Toys of kids
6. Food [Perishable or Non-perishable] items
7. Over-the-Counter Medicines
8. Meat or Meat products [including Fowl, Fish etc.]
NOTE: Asian make electronic/electrical items won't work in Canada. [read 230 vs 110 Volts]
GOODS LISTS [FORM B4 / B4A]:
All goods that we carry, either 'on person' or 'following' needs to be 'listed' in form B4 / B4A, separately. These forms are available in the CBSA website, link given below:
It is the same form for 'Goods Accompanying' & 'Goods to follow'. We should club similar items in groups [eg. DVDs: Qty-98, Books: Qty-42 etc.].
The entire list should be priced against each group & totalled in the end. We should carry 'original' invoices for high-end items [Diamonds -MUST]. Others can be broadly/generally priced, but appropriate.
Jewelry items MUST be listed [each item wise]; and should carry their "photographs". We should print-out the pics under similar groups [eg. Rings -all in one or more pages, Necklaces -in another page etc.]
We'll need 2 copies of each form, as one would be kept by the CBSA & one would be returned to us, for 'customs' clearance. This 2nd copy will be signed & stamped by the CBSA at the POE.
NOTE: All goods brought for 'landing' are non-taxed. If we were to bring-in goods 'later', either by personal carriage or thru a transporter, this list MUST be stamped on the 1st Landing. Else, they will be 'dutiable'. No compromise on that is possible. That's the law.
ABOUT KID's SCHOOLING:
Canada has 2 types of schools -the 'Public Schools' & the 'Catholic Schools'. There are some 'ethnic' schools as well, but not for regular education. Most of our kids [say 70%] go to the Public Schools -this education is FREE. The Catholic Schools are Fee-Paid [payable by us].
Usually, our kids will be accepted imdtly into the *neighborhood school, whether we arrive mid-term or during a new session. There can be an 'entry test', but that's not for rejection -but for assessment of the extra care that the school need to provide to a kid.
Even if our kids are not very good in either of the 2 Canadian official languages -English &/or French, by law a school is required to provide admission to our kids.
*Each neighborhood will have their own Public School/s; and our kids are required to ONLY be admitted there. We have no choice on that. The only way out [if we think that a particular school is better] is to move our residence to that area [neighborhood]. We have to provide our 'residency contract' for this purpose.
NOTE: Do not be hooked by the thought that the Catholic Schools are better than the Public Schools. Both are equally compititive in Edu-care. In fact some of the Public Schools are 'excellent' & remember, 70% Canadian kids study in them.
Topic: All You Need to Know About Landing...
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