I haven't been around in about a month and a half, but I wanted to get on and tell you my landing story as I am indeed a permanent resident now
. Anyway, to the details (sorry it gets wordy):
We got up in the wee hours of the morning on May 23, put my two cats into their carriers, finished up some details in my apartment (which caused us to be late getting to the airport), then drove to the airport. When we got there, the ticketing agents decided we were too late for international flight (it was just over 30 minutes until our flight) and would not process our tickets and allow us to fly. I would like to point out it is a very small airport and security takes moments to make your way through, the flight was not yet boarding, and the ticketing agents took one look at the cats and decided there needed to be more time for processing. Long story short, 12 hours later we were finally allowed on a flight to Edmonton, which threw off our time frame. ANYWAY. (ps. we flew Untied)
We landed at the Edmonton International Airport at midnight on May 24th. We approached the customs counter where I informed him that I was landing as a permanent resident, he asked for my paperwork (the COPR and passport), and then told me to follow the Canadian Flag signs. So, that's what we did and it brought us to the first CBSA office in the airport. The gentleman there took my passport and COPR. He had me sign the two copies of the COPR, and then he signed and dated it himself and attached my copy in the passport. He said that I was to keep it in my passport until I receive my permanent resident card in the mail, then I am to take it out and put it in a safe place. He did quickly glance at my B4 and B4a as well as my cats health certificate (for cats), but didn't actually do anything with them. He told me to take the Welcome to Canada book off of a nearby shelf and told me to continue to the cashier outside of the baggage claim area where they would deal with my B4 forms.
So, we went to the conveniently marked cashier, where another CBSA agent was and she told me I was in the wrong spot (??) that I needed to go out of the international area, to speak to the woman who was collecting the customs cards, so we went to her, and told her that I was there to finish the landing process. She said something along the lines of "oh, ok, you're all set, go ahead" and proceeded to point us to the way out and I looked confused because still no one had looked at my B4 forms closely, and I spoke up and explained I didn't think I was done yet (thank heaven I did too) and she snapped out of whatever daze she was in and said "oh, you aren't done yet, go through those doors there and wait for an agent to call your name", so we did.
That late at night, there wasn't anyone in that area, so an agent came up to us right away. He was very nice, and very impressed with my paperwork. I had everything documented, from my cats health/rabies certificate, to my B4 and B4a documents with attached spreadsheet goods lists. He was about to start the inspection of my accompanying goods, when he spoke to his boss, which happen to be walking by, and asked a question regarding procedure of inspecting when the boss guy said, "make it easy, just write "goods on hand" and sign it and date it. So, instead of inspecting, that's what the gentleman did and then took a quick look at my cats in their carriers, and that was it for inspection of goods. He added bar codes to my B4a forms (its how they track your case), told me I was all set and welcomed me to Canada. We were out in less than an hour total.
All in all the CBSA people were very nice. And the landing was very smooth.
For those that want to know, the next morning I went to Service Canada and applied for my SIN number, the wait in that office was longer, but relatively painless and I left with my SIN on a sheet of paper. We then went to CMA to trade in my PA license and get registered for my health card, but they informed me I needed proof of residence, that the easiest thing to do was open a bank account and have the print my summary page that would show my address. We were headed there after anyway, so we quick jumped over to Bank of Montreal where my husband does all of his banking and opened up a Us Dollar checking account and a Canadian checking account (both because I still have US funds coming in and it's easier to deposit into the USD account then transfer to my Canadian account as the exchange rate is better). The gentleman there, named Lucky, was very helpful and got us all squared away, and was more than happy to provide the summary sheet. We headed right back to CMA where I filled in my Alberta Health Insurance application and also was able to trade my PA license in for the Alberta one.
Note on the driver's license thing, I did not get a copy of my driving record from PA when I left, I figured my license was enough, and technically it was, however because the issue date of my license was from just after my wedding when I changed my name, it looked like I had only been driving for a few months and they were going to issue my license as a graduate license (a starter license) which would have impacted my insurance big time. However! I did have not one, but 4 old driver's licenses that they also took and were able to give me a regular Class 5 license. So, yay for my pack rattiness. Just keep this in mind if you are trading in your license so you can avoid a graduate license.
This past week, the rest of my household goods were delivered, we used PODS to move my stuff up. In order to clear it through customs we had to drive to Calgary and get the "bond", then proceed to the customs office. The woman there was very nice, she took a look at my B4a, and inspected it. We brought more wine than we were allowed, but she decided not to charge duty on it, and she also let go some of our wedding gifts even though they were new and past the three months mark. I think we were there 15 minutes. She asked if everything was now in Canada, to which I replied yes, this was the very last step for us, she smiled, said my case was now closed, stamped everything, including my bond form, and then once more welcomed me to Canada. We brought the bond back to the warehouse where my POD was, and that was it. The company brought the POD to my house this past Monday and we officially unpacked.
To date, I've already received my Alberta driver's license in the mail, as well as my health card (got that one twice actually). I am still waiting on my PR card, but they said it would be 6-8 weeks, so I am not worried about it yet. I also got my SIN card already. I am pretty well set. I've started applying for jobs, and my husband and I are very happy.
I hope this account helps someone out. I will float in and out on here for the next couple weeks if someone should have questions. Thank you everyone on here who has every reached out and answered any of my questions. I don't know what I would have done without this board. It's so helpful. To those still waiting, try to be patient. It's a long road but you will find happiness at the end.
Tonight we're going to dinner to celebrate the very end of this process for us. Happy Landing everyone.