Few weeks ago I had promised to share my landing experience in Canada. Well, it happened over the weekend and it went so smoothly. My wife and I landed from US in Halifax, NS. Most of what is told here is practical and informative. The last part is a personal reflection on how I personally felt when we crossed into Canada.
Here's how it went:
We got our visas stamped in our passports couple of weeks ago and although we didn't plan to move to Canada right away, we wanted to do the landing and then come back to US for a few more months. And that's what we did. We landed in Halifax and the process of checking our immigration documents took about 10-15 minutes and the officer was really nice. Not too many questions asked, except three mandatory ones that I guess are asked at the time of landing. Those three questions are: "have you ever been conviceted of a crime?", Have you ever been denied entry into Canada?", and Have you ever been asked to leave Canada?". After a No, No, No, from my wife and I, we were asked to sign our landing forms, present proof of funds, which in our case were simple letters from our banks in US stating the amount of money we have in our bank accouts. No money orders, no checks, nothing from all those fancy money-transfer things. By the way, we didn't even have the exact amount they require for two people. But we were off I guess by three hundred dollars or so.
Although, we weren't told anything because we missed the exact money mark, I' d suggest don't risk it by appearing there if you can't show some significant amount of money in your posession or perhaps close to or all the money required. Anyway!
We signed the papers, left them our address (of our friends) where we wanted our PR cards to be mailed, and were directed to the costums to go over the forms on things to be imported at a later date. We spent another five minutes or so--you know just filling forms and actually cracking jokes with the immigration guy (he was really nice) and then they welcomed us "to our new country".
Outside, we had friends waiting fo us. The night was misty, chilly, but the air was fresh. We hopped into our friend's car and we began driving over the rolling lands of the Nova Scotia. Although I had visited Canada before and it's not that different really from the US in many respects, this night was special and it felt different. I thought of all of you waiting for many weeks, months and years dreaming of experiencing this moment. And it may not be the best and proudest moment of our lives as immigrating here is a statement in itself of the quality of our lives in our home countries and the ones we leave behind. But the thought of starting a new life, having another chance, and dreaming of future is as exciting as it is perhaps frightening and uncertain for many.
It felt too much to deal with these thoughts, anyway, so my friends brought me back with their laughs and excitement. We began catching up on all those "lost" years--telling stories, and calling old times, but I felt that each os us were trying to remember telling the most important episodes first. Outside, the night looked serene and peaceful.
your story sounds so nice and emotional. I surely believe that there is a bright future ahead of you and your family & plenty of opportunties to tap into.
How long the did entire process take......I mean from application to getting your passport stamped?
When do you hope to receive your PR card?
Do you mean all you mean thats all the process of landing? You don't have to visist any other immigration office before you have your PR card. It sounds simple, once one follows all the instructions.
Congratulations again. Hope to see you more often in the forum; your experience will surely be useful to those of us still waiting.