Background: Came to USA on student visa and never got H1b stamping in the passport.
Flew to Calgary by American airlines on July 1 and the attendant at the boarding gate took the I-94 form while boarding.
Landed in calgary and was directed to the immigration officer after standing in the queue. I gave Bank statement, passport, COPR and Calgary address to officer.He was polite and asked how was I doing with job search. I signed the COPR document and he stapled a copy of it to the passport, told that it is a important document and to hold on to it till I get citizenship.
Then I was directed to customs. I gave Goods to follow list to the officer, he made a copy of it, signed and stanped it and gave a copy to me.He didn't check my luggage(a laptop bag and a medium sized carry bag). All this was over in 20-30 minutes.
The hotel that I booked didn't have shuttle service to the airport. In addition, July 1 was holiday(canada day) and there was no Bus Tours operators(not public bus). Car rental was expensive($77/day) because of Stampede festivities in calgary between July 1 - 19. Finally, had to take a cab and the price was crazy expensive. Cab charged me $55 for 10 minute ride(< 10 miles) to the hotel. Car rental from http://www.discountcar.com/English/
was the cheapest at $44/day and had reservation for the next day.
Next day with the car got SIN. With SIN, opened bank account(http://www.pcfinancial.ca/
). PC Financial had free checking account with no minimum balance and other rip offs. It was also conveniently located in super store( Real Canadaian Super store) where I got some freshly baked english muffins(buns - very good), juice etc. Food is bit expensive compared to USA. Cab fares are outrageous. The city is small, probably 10 miles end to end.
The following day went to the calgary airport and then through US Immigration/customs. The officer asked me the following questions.
1. Why didn't I get stamping while in calgary?
Answer: Was here for only 3 days and planning on going to native country for a longer vacation in couple of months and plan to get stamping there.
2. Purpose of visit to Canada?
Landing to become PR
3. How did canada give me PR while in USA?
Answer: Based on my education and experience
People in calgary were very friendly and helpful. Standard of living bit lower than medium sized cities in USA. Demographics - white (approx. 75%), rest minorities See http://liveincalgary.com/overview/calgary-facts/demographics/ethnic-diversity
. Weather was temparate but cloudy with intermittent rain.