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Calgary - Sharing landing experience

kaegon

Star Member
Apr 27, 2017
75
7
Smooth landing. I'll be landing at Calgary soon. Many thanks. Please can i get the postcode of service canada.

1st part :

Hi All,

If this could help others guys, I am sharing my landing experience in Calgary (as I have not seen so many info about Calgary landing ...). Please note, this is only my personal experience and I could have done better or worse but this is what and how I did. It can work (or not) for other guys ...

Landing preparation:
I prepared the following docs :
- Passports
- COPR
- Detailed list of goods (basically, I have prepared a detailed list of all the items on a printed Excel sheet (i.e. detailed by suitcase => 6 suitcases in total) then I filled the BSF186 form out with summary of all the 6 suitcases (e.g. clothes, electronics, Toiletries etc ...) and I have mentioned that I have attached a detailed list for further information.
- and any other docs that are always useful one day or another such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, child health record booklet, copies of passport, driving license + international driving license, etc ...
- in the plane, the steward gave us the declaration form to complete that we submit at our arrival in Calgary


Landing :
I landed in Calgary on August 15th 2017 with my wife and 10 months old baby.
Flight from France directly to Calgary.
Our flight arrived in Calgary around 2:40PM then we went to the 1st immigration check (in the visitor line. You will see many nice airport agents with their local "cowboy" attire that will guide you), we presented our documents (passport + COPR) to the immigartion officer then she told us to pick our luggage up and then to go to the Immigration counter (bureau E, however I am not sure whether it is actually "E" or another letter ...) to finalize the landing.
However, this immigration counter can be packed so as an advice, once you pass the first immigration check and before your reach the luggage carrousel => try to find this Immigration counter on the left side at the end (you cannot miss it => it is written in big on the wall) => then check if there are many people inside the room (it is clearly visible from outside this room because there is a big glass window) => if there are many people => go into this room to check and take a queue line ticket before collecting your luggage (it will save you lot of time while you pick your luggage up).

Unfortunately, I was not aware about that so I picked up my luggage first then we went to this immigration counter so with our queue ticket number => we waited for in the immigration waiting room about 1h/1h15 before being received by an immigration officer. and I can tell you that when you have a baby especially after a long flight => this 1h/1h15 looked like an eternity ...

The immigration officer was very formal but nice. He just asked us what is the purpose of our presence so we told that we are here to do our landing for PR so he just requested our passport and COPR (he just asked us if we ever committed any crime and if we have already been refused entry in Canada => obviously ... our answer was ...no ...). He told us that it will take approx.10-15 minutes for him to do his stuff in their system and told us to wait for in the waiting room and he will call us back once done.
After 10 minutes, he called us back and told us that everything was OK and presented us briefly the "package" of "rights and obligations" as a PR. Once done, he asked us if we had any questions then he congratulated and welcomed us and wish us all the best for our new life in Canada. So, excluding the waiting time, the process with this immigration officer took 15-20 minutes max.
He, then, told us that we were good to go so we took all our luggage (total 6 suitcases) and went to the exit where were located the Customs agents. They just asked us our completed declaration form and told us that we are good to go (no question at all despite our 6 big suitcases! not even asked for the detailed list of goods!).

At almost 5PM, we were out and ready to start our new life.

So to conclude, this landing was very smooth. A bit long (especially when you had a long flight with a baby who did not sleep at all during the flight ...) but overall very smooth.

Note : regarding the PR card, since we didn't have a permanent address and we didn't want the PR cards to be sent to our friend in Canada (Montreal), we told the agent that we will open a UPS store mail box and would like the PR cards to be sent over there. So he just gave us a form to complete and to fax to CIC once we have the address where we want the PR card to be sent. (just FYI, you can open a UPS store mail box from overseas as long as you are OK to proceed to the payment with your debit/credit card by phone or E-transfer. As I was not really confident about that, I have just decided to open the UPS store mail box once I will be in Calgary).

Please note again, this is my experience but it could be totally different for other people ... because we have noticed that some others guys in the immigration waiting room spent much more time with the immigration officer (I am not sure if they were also PR or under work permit, refugees, etc ...)

After landing :
Before we left our home country, we booked 3 nights in an hotel just nearby the airport (more convenient for us) before moving in an AirBnb apartment closer to Downtown that was available to move in 3 days after our landing. We took it for 1 month so that we had enough time to find a more suitable place to live.

SIN number :
we went early in the morning (once opened at 8:30AM) to the Service Canada Centre (Harry Hays building) in Downtown. There was already a long queue but before joining the queue, one agent asked the purpose of our visit. We told him that we were there to get a SIN number. He told us to go to a dedicated counter (with no queue). They asked us the COPR and passport to register in the system then asked us to wait until our name is called. 10 minutes after, our name has been called by an agent and then we finalized the process. It took approximately 20-30 min to finalize the SIN process with this agent (not sure whether this is a standard timeline but this is what happened to us).
Then once we got the SIN number, we went to the registered agent to get the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP):
Once our SIN # obtained, we went straight away to a registered agent to get the AHCIP.
We were told that we need to present a document proving that we have residency in Alberta.
Unfortunately, except having a temporary airbnb and a mail box in UPS store we could not provide them what they required.
For x, y, z reasons, 2 agents of this office told us that the UPS store address that we have cannot be accepted but if we present a bank statement showing this UPS store address => it would be accepted ... But of course, at this very moment, we did not have a bank account yet ...
So we couldn't finalize the AHCIP process ... Luckily, the same day, we had our appointment to open a bank account (will be described after) so that we could provide this UPS store address to the bank to reflect on our bank statement.

Once we got the bank statement from the bank (reflecting the UPS store address mail box that we have), we went back to the registered agent to get the AHCIP and once all the documents were submitted, they finalized in the system and we got our AHCIP insurance number (in case we need it for any medical matters).
The AHCIP cards have been sent to our UPS store mail box and we received them about 10 days after our application.
Useful note, the AHCIP coverage starts from the day you apply (even if you only have the AHCIP number but not the AHCIP card yet). However, just to make sure, it is preferable to get a personal health insurance for the first 2-3 months just in case the AHCIP does not cover any potential unexpected medical problems ...
FYI, we managed to get a family doctor quite fast (thanks to a person I met (networking is really important) with just our AHCIP number (not yet received the AHCIP card at that time) and it was free of charges.
However, unfortunately, we also very recently experienced the 911 and due to vomiting and difficulty to breathe when vomiting, my son (10 months old) was transported by ambulance at midnight from our temporary airbnb apartment to the Alberta's Children Hospital and the guy in the ambulance told us that we will receive in few days an invoice for the ambulance transportation. He told us that it would be around 300-400 CAD ... (I am waiting for this invoice ...). However, we did not pay anything at the Alberta's Children Hospital but we waited for around 3h before seeing the doctor ...
landing
 

PonJoub

Star Member
Sep 3, 2016
158
119
Calgary
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Paris
NOC Code......
0731
AOR Received.
19-12-2016
Med's Done....
12-12-2016
Passport Req..
22-05-2017
Smooth landing. I'll be landing at Calgary soon. Many thanks. Please can i get the postcode of service canada.


landing
the one I went is this one :
Harry Hays Building, Suite 150
220 4th Avenue Southeast
Calgary, AB T2G 4X3

Good luck and all the best for you new life in Canada
 

tata0692

Member
Sep 12, 2016
16
2
the one I went is this one :
Harry Hays Building, Suite 150
220 4th Avenue Southeast
Calgary, AB T2G 4X3

Good luck and all the best for you new life in Canada


Hi PonJoub
Your post was really useful.
I will be landing in Calgary Feb end. I had a dew questions if you could help me out.

1. I visited Canada in Oct and have opened a bank account in Toronto, so when i get to Calgary, can i give my Airbnb address to the bank and tell them to generate a statement with that address which can be used for the health insurance card?
2. Did you get the Alberta ID card? Is it useful?
3. For how many weeks you suggest staying in Airbnb until i find a rented place and how many days before u suggest i land before my job starts to get the medical,DL stuff sorted out?
4. Lastly, which are the good areas to live and whats the average rent for a 2BR house?

Thanks
Taher
 

steaky

VIP Member
Nov 11, 2008
9,675
614
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
Hi PonJoub
Your post was really useful.
I will be landing in Calgary Feb end. I had a dew questions if you could help me out.

1. I visited Canada in Oct and have opened a bank account in Toronto, so when i get to Calgary, can i give my Airbnb address to the bank and tell them to generate a statement with that address which can be used for the health insurance card?
2. Did you get the Alberta ID card? Is it useful?
3. For how many weeks you suggest staying in Airbnb until i find a rented place and how many days before u suggest i land before my job starts to get the medical,DL stuff sorted out?
4. Lastly, which are the good areas to live and whats the average rent for a 2BR house?

Thanks
Taher
With regards to the last question, do you really think that a family who lives in Calgary for merely 4 months can answer this??? I would get in touch with realtor if I were you.
 

PonJoub

Star Member
Sep 3, 2016
158
119
Calgary
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Paris
NOC Code......
0731
AOR Received.
19-12-2016
Med's Done....
12-12-2016
Passport Req..
22-05-2017
Hi PonJoub
Your post was really useful.
I will be landing in Calgary Feb end. I had a dew questions if you could help me out.

1. I visited Canada in Oct and have opened a bank account in Toronto, so when i get to Calgary, can i give my Airbnb address to the bank and tell them to generate a statement with that address which can be used for the health insurance card?
2. Did you get the Alberta ID card? Is it useful?
3. For how many weeks you suggest staying in Airbnb until i find a rented place and how many days before u suggest i land before my job starts to get the medical,DL stuff sorted out?
4. Lastly, which are the good areas to live and whats the average rent for a 2BR house?

Thanks
Taher
Hi PonJoub
Your post was really useful.
I will be landing in Calgary Feb end. I had a dew questions if you could help me out.

1. I visited Canada in Oct and have opened a bank account in Toronto, so when i get to Calgary, can i give my Airbnb address to the bank and tell them to generate a statement with that address which can be used for the health insurance card?
2. Did you get the Alberta ID card? Is it useful?
3. For how many weeks you suggest staying in Airbnb until i find a rented place and how many days before u suggest i land before my job starts to get the medical,DL stuff sorted out?
4. Lastly, which are the good areas to live and whats the average rent for a 2BR house?

Thanks
Taher
Hi,
pls see my reply below :

1) Not sure if you can do that with the AirBnb address to get the bank statement with the address in Calgary but it could potentially work (honestly, I think it will really depend on with whom you deal with ... i.e. if the feeling is good etc ...). You should contact your bank to get more info about that. However, at 1st sight, what I would do is the first day after landing to go and get a UPS mail box for 1 year (it would cost approx. 200-250 CAD) that gives you a kind of "official" address then go to a branch of your bank in Calgary to update the address with this UPS mail box (but don't necessarily mention that this is a UPS mail box ...).
Once they update that you should be able to get your bank statement with a Calgary address in order to go and get your Alberta health care.

2) I converted my driving license to alberta driving license asap after my landing. Then they give you straight away a temporary driving license paper while waiting for your final driving license to be delivered at your UPS mail box ;) because few days after your landing you may not have your final apartment/house with your final address, or you may not have a place/address where to send all your paperwork etc ...
Approximately, 1 week after my application to convert my driving license => i received my final driving license card in my UPS mail box (knowing that at that time I had not moved in my house yet ...so the UPS mail box was really necessary ;) )
Again, this is what I did ... opening a UPS mail box helped me a lot in many ways. you may find other guys who did differently and worked perfectly ...
And yes, definitely, having a Alberta ID card is useful because otherwise your only ID would be your passport that you will have to bring along everywhere you go ... so potentially risky ...

3) all will depend on your "standard" and expectations ... in my case, before leaving my home country I booked an airbnb apartment for 1 month because I had my wife and baby boy (9 months at that time) so I had to make sure that they will be OK while searching our new home. especially because moving in a new country is already quite a challenge ... I did not want to move every week from 1 airbnb to another with my family and all the stuff we had. It would have been much more challenging ...
If you go alone with only 1 or 2 suitcases, you can take & afford a "risk" of staying 1 or 2 weeks in an Airbnb and you may find quite quick your place to live. If you go on rentfaster website you will find many opportunities.
Basically, I landed mid of august and started my job mid of september ... and it was quite a challenge to make everything settled in 1 month (but this is mainly because we were with our baby boy ... so it took more time than if we were only my wife and I ...).

4) on that ... I agree with the post of steaky. we are here in Calgary only for 4 months so I would not be the best advisor on that ... but as I drive a lot in Calgary and I am lucky to discuss with many people due to my job, there is definitely an area in Calgary that apparently is not considered as the best ... basically you take google map, and to make it simple => whatever is on the "East" side of the Deerfoot Trail (which is the highway crossing Calgary from North to South) is considered as "less desirable" neighborhood.
But pls do not misunderstand me ... they are not ghettos ! They are not bad neighborhoods! It is just that apparently people in Calgary would prefer to live on the west side of Deerfoot trail if they can ...
For a 2BR apartments, all will depend on where you will and want to live ... obviously ,the closer you will live from Downtown => the more expensive it will be ... But for example, if you check Rentfaster website, you will see that you can find nice 2BR at 1500-1700 CAD per month not too far from Downtown or you can find nice 2 BR at 1000 CAD but it is quite far from Downtown ... all will really depend on where you want and need to live. I say "need" because if you live up north but you work in south Calgary ... I am pretty sure that you would prefer to try to live in south instead of having 45-60 min (or more) of commute.

Hope this could you.
Good luck
 

APPNOV2014NY

Champion Member
Nov 21, 2014
2,947
1,054
Category........
Visa Office......
Sydney/Ottawa
NOC Code......
2172
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
12-10-2016
AOR Received.
27-01-2017
Scotia had asked me to show address proof when I had opened account with them and I had shown lease agreement to meet this requirement.
 

PonJoub

Star Member
Sep 3, 2016
158
119
Calgary
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Paris
NOC Code......
0731
AOR Received.
19-12-2016
Med's Done....
12-12-2016
Passport Req..
22-05-2017
Hi All,
as an additional update ... to my previous posts ...

Regarding the PR card :
As mentioned in my previous posts ... we did not give our address to the immigration officer at the time of landing so the immigration officer provided us a specific form to fill in once we have an address and to fax it to CIC (all instructions are mentioned on this form).
The day after our landing, I opened an UPS mail box for 1 year (but you can chose to get it for 3, 6 months etc ...) and completed the form with this UPS mail box address then we faxed this form to CIC.
Approximately 7 weeks after faxing the form, we received an email from CIC stating that the pictures we provided were not conformed to the requirements. (basically, the only pictures we sent were the pictures sent to Visa office during the PR process to finalize the COPR ... and then we never sent other pictures to CIC afterwards ... => so I guess many of us received/will receive this kind of email after landing ...)
Anyway ... the email received from CIC required us to send new pictures as per the instructions CIC provides in the email and you have 30 days to provide the pictures.
We did that straight away and we received the PR cards in our UPS mail box approx. 2 months after sending the required pictures.
So basically, it took us almost 4 months to receive the PR card after faxing the form to CIC after our landing.

Other topics :
the details are only for information to get an idea of the living cost. Obviously, this is based on my (short) experience and it will depend on each person "standard" and abilities to find better deals etc ...

House : rentfaster is very useful site to get an idea of the accommodation pricing. for example, we live in Crescent Height area (not too far from Downtown - from door to door about 15-20 min max by bus and 35 min by walk) and we pay 1700 CAD for a 2 BR house (+ 1 big extra room that can be converted in 3rd BR) approx. 1500 sqf (main floor + living basement) + 1 garage + garden etc ...). This house cost does not include utilities.

House insurance :
approx. 25-30 CAD per month

Utilities (heat+ hot water+ water recycling, etc ...) : approx. 100-150 CAD per month (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

Other Utilities (electricity, garbage) : approx. 70-100 CAD (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

Internet : approx. 80-100 CAD just for internet (optic fiber + unlimited or 1TB data plan). if you want the TV cable you can add approx. 50 CAD more. but now I am paying about 55 CAD (just for internet) till March 18' because there is a promotion and I am pretty sure there will have another promotion after etc ... so I guess I can count around 60 CAD per month for internet. Telus and Shaw are the main operators in Alberta. So far we chose Telus (despite many people told me to go with Shaw) because of the internet configuration of Telus is better. I explain ... when we arrived in Calgary we were in an AirBnb having Shaw as internet provider but everyday between 5 to 9 PM we noticed that internet was super slow. So when we moved in our house and after discussing with a technician from Telus and Shaw, we quickly found out that the internet configuration is completely different. i.e. if you take Telus, the internet cable you have in your house will come directly from the main Telus optic fiber cable. but if you take Shaw, the internet cable in your house comes from a dispatching box that comes from the main cable that Shaw set up in different neighborhoods. So basically, during peak hours (around 5 to 9-10PM) you may face slow internet because all the neighbors that have Shaw as internet provider will take internet from the dispatching box (like you). So the risk of facing slower internet seems to be higher in this set-up. Btw, I am not an IT guy and I am not sure if this explains everything ... but since we are with Telus we have never faced any slow internet (we contractually have 150 mbps flow but we actually have around 170-175 mbps constantly)

Mobile phone : for a prepaid plan (top up) with approx. 2 GB data plan => approx 60-70 CAD per month depending on the operator. Obviously if you take a contract, you could get better rates. FYI, we took a prepaid plan that we top up every month with Virgin Mobile for my wife. And so far we are OK with that. We did not take a contract because if she finds a job => her job may provide the company phone so no need of a personal mobile number.

Car : as mentioned in my previous posts, you may not have the choice to choose your car. If you are a good negotiator you may have what you want but if you are like many people (like me i guess) you will end up with a car you have not necessarily chosen (i mean ... if you want black or red car, this type of wheels, etc ...). Let's not make it illusionnary ... if you want/need a new car (which was our case) and do not have a credit history in Canada => unless you pay it cash, it will be super hard to get a car you want with a financing plan. we had a leasing plan (365 CAD per month) on 4 years for a Nissan Rogue but we had to make a down-payment of approx 8000 CAD. We were OK with that (even though we were not expecting to pay so much down-payment). you may find it a good or bad deal ... but again all depends on one's expectations and needs. I am not a mechanical guy so I did not want to have potential mechanical troubles (in a new country with a kind of "harsh" climate) with a used/2nd hand car that would be cheaper but may end up with much higher cost than what we got with a brand new car (that includes warranty etc ...)

Car insurance : as we do not have driving history in Canada we may be considered as new driver for insurance companies ... so we pay approx. 250 CAD per month for a new Nissan Rogue we got in lease. (just FYI, we also got a quote for a NISSAN Micra and the price was approx. 190-200 CAD per month ...).
Not sure if we had a good deal with this insurance price but so far this is the cheapest one we got (generally the other quotations we got were around 350-400 CAD per month). 1 friend of mine (who is also a new immigrant) bought a cheap used car at around 3000-4000 CAD and was paying 360 CAD per month for his car insurance so he decided to contact my insurance company.

Fuel / Gas : price of gas changes quite a lot. Since we arrived in Alberta, it goes from approx. 95 cents to 130 cents per liter depending on many factors (weather, economy, etc ...). for the Nissan Rogue, we pay average 200-250 CAD per month (i drive approx. min 1000-1500 km per month). But i did notice that when it snows => price jumps drastically ... e.g. we just had a snow episode ... before the snow it was approx. 95 cents per liter and then after the snow it was 113 cents per liter... and this is not the first time i notice that...

Winter tire : if you arrive in Winter time, I would consider this topic in my initial investment budget ... when we got our car, the Nissan guys told us give a try with the provided all-season tires (since we have the 4 wheels drive) => we tried but finally decided to get winter tires ... and it is absolutely not comparable ! Few days ago, we just got 20-25 cm of snow and with the winter tires we can drive easily ! with the all-season tires, with just 5-10cm of snow, we were sliding every time we had to break or take off etc ...
Cost of brand new set of 4 winter tires vary but the ones we got cost approx. 850 CAD (including the service) but just bear in mind that every approx. 6 months you have to change them => so it costs approx. 100-130 CAD every 6 months to change them with All-season/Winter tires set. So you may consider to buy extra rims as well to (so that you pay only 30-50 CAD every 6 months to change them). Basically, if you plan to keep you car for a long time => i think it is worth buying another set of rim + the winter tires ... the initial investment will be higher but at the end you may save money after 3-4 years ...

Daycare : the ones we got in our area are around 1000 to 1800 CAD per month for full time (5 days per week). But you may find cheaper in other areas or if you chose family day home. Just bear in mind, that if you move to Canada => your baby/kid may fall sick quite often because of the daycare (many kids in confined spaces = more risk of sickness contagion ... + new climate + new life + other factors etc ...). So you or your wife may end up to spend quite some time at the doctor and your kid not going as often to the daycare because of the daycare sick policy ... So just be careful if you and your wife have a job ...

Groceries : we spend approx. 300-350 CAD per week (sometimes it can be more or less). This is for my baby boy, my wife and myself. We take a look on the price but we live comfortably with that.


I have to admit that so far, we are "lucky" because I obtained a good job before landing that eases our immigration but unfortunately many new comers will struggle much more than us and I hope this experience sharing could help other fellow newcomer.
FYI, my wife ,who has a Master degree in Project Management and some experience in construction and O&G industry, has not found a job yet ... We are lucky enough that she can focus on the job search for a job she wants but we know many other guys that have to take "survival" job(s) (not related to their wishes or competencies) to pay their bills.
Well ... I believe this would be my last update for sharing our landing experience.
Wish all the best to all of you.

Cheers
 

tata0692

Member
Sep 12, 2016
16
2
Hi All,
as an additional update ... to my previous posts ...

Regarding the PR card :
As mentioned in my previous posts ... we did not give our address to the immigration officer at the time of landing so the immigration officer provided us a specific form to fill in once we have an address and to fax it to CIC (all instructions are mentioned on this form).
The day after our landing, I opened an UPS mail box for 1 year (but you can chose to get it for 3, 6 months etc ...) and completed the form with this UPS mail box address then we faxed this form to CIC.
Approximately 7 weeks after faxing the form, we received an email from CIC stating that the pictures we provided were not conformed to the requirements. (basically, the only pictures we sent were the pictures sent to Visa office during the PR process to finalize the COPR ... and then we never sent other pictures to CIC afterwards ... => so I guess many of us received/will receive this kind of email after landing ...)
Anyway ... the email received from CIC required us to send new pictures as per the instructions CIC provides in the email and you have 30 days to provide the pictures.
We did that straight away and we received the PR cards in our UPS mail box approx. 2 months after sending the required pictures.
So basically, it took us almost 4 months to receive the PR card after faxing the form to CIC after our landing.

Other topics :
the details are only for information to get an idea of the living cost. Obviously, this is based on my (short) experience and it will depend on each person "standard" and abilities to find better deals etc ...

House : rentfaster is very useful site to get an idea of the accommodation pricing. for example, we live in Crescent Height area (not too far from Downtown - from door to door about 15-20 min max by bus and 35 min by walk) and we pay 1700 CAD for a 2 BR house (+ 1 big extra room that can be converted in 3rd BR) approx. 1500 sqf (main floor + living basement) + 1 garage + garden etc ...). This house cost does not include utilities.

House insurance :
approx. 25-30 CAD per month

Utilities (heat+ hot water+ water recycling, etc ...) : approx. 100-150 CAD per month (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

Other Utilities (electricity, garbage) : approx. 70-100 CAD (but it varies depending on the season and usage of each).

Internet : approx. 80-100 CAD just for internet (optic fiber + unlimited or 1TB data plan). if you want the TV cable you can add approx. 50 CAD more. but now I am paying about 55 CAD (just for internet) till March 18' because there is a promotion and I am pretty sure there will have another promotion after etc ... so I guess I can count around 60 CAD per month for internet. Telus and Shaw are the main operators in Alberta. So far we chose Telus (despite many people told me to go with Shaw) because of the internet configuration of Telus is better. I explain ... when we arrived in Calgary we were in an AirBnb having Shaw as internet provider but everyday between 5 to 9 PM we noticed that internet was super slow. So when we moved in our house and after discussing with a technician from Telus and Shaw, we quickly found out that the internet configuration is completely different. i.e. if you take Telus, the internet cable you have in your house will come directly from the main Telus optic fiber cable. but if you take Shaw, the internet cable in your house comes from a dispatching box that comes from the main cable that Shaw set up in different neighborhoods. So basically, during peak hours (around 5 to 9-10PM) you may face slow internet because all the neighbors that have Shaw as internet provider will take internet from the dispatching box (like you). So the risk of facing slower internet seems to be higher in this set-up. Btw, I am not an IT guy and I am not sure if this explains everything ... but since we are with Telus we have never faced any slow internet (we contractually have 150 mbps flow but we actually have around 170-175 mbps constantly)

Mobile phone : for a prepaid plan (top up) with approx. 2 GB data plan => approx 60-70 CAD per month depending on the operator. Obviously if you take a contract, you could get better rates. FYI, we took a prepaid plan that we top up every month with Virgin Mobile for my wife. And so far we are OK with that. We did not take a contract because if she finds a job => her job may provide the company phone so no need of a personal mobile number.

Car : as mentioned in my previous posts, you may not have the choice to choose your car. If you are a good negotiator you may have what you want but if you are like many people (like me i guess) you will end up with a car you have not necessarily chosen (i mean ... if you want black or red car, this type of wheels, etc ...). Let's not make it illusionnary ... if you want/need a new car (which was our case) and do not have a credit history in Canada => unless you pay it cash, it will be super hard to get a car you want with a financing plan. we had a leasing plan (365 CAD per month) on 4 years for a Nissan Rogue but we had to make a down-payment of approx 8000 CAD. We were OK with that (even though we were not expecting to pay so much down-payment). you may find it a good or bad deal ... but again all depends on one's expectations and needs. I am not a mechanical guy so I did not want to have potential mechanical troubles (in a new country with a kind of "harsh" climate) with a used/2nd hand car that would be cheaper but may end up with much higher cost than what we got with a brand new car (that includes warranty etc ...)

Car insurance : as we do not have driving history in Canada we may be considered as new driver for insurance companies ... so we pay approx. 250 CAD per month for a new Nissan Rogue we got in lease. (just FYI, we also got a quote for a NISSAN Micra and the price was approx. 190-200 CAD per month ...).
Not sure if we had a good deal with this insurance price but so far this is the cheapest one we got (generally the other quotations we got were around 350-400 CAD per month). 1 friend of mine (who is also a new immigrant) bought a cheap used car at around 3000-4000 CAD and was paying 360 CAD per month for his car insurance so he decided to contact my insurance company.

Fuel / Gas : price of gas changes quite a lot. Since we arrived in Alberta, it goes from approx. 95 cents to 130 cents per liter depending on many factors (weather, economy, etc ...). for the Nissan Rogue, we pay average 200-250 CAD per month (i drive approx. min 1000-1500 km per month). But i did notice that when it snows => price jumps drastically ... e.g. we just had a snow episode ... before the snow it was approx. 95 cents per liter and then after the snow it was 113 cents per liter... and this is not the first time i notice that...

Winter tire : if you arrive in Winter time, I would consider this topic in my initial investment budget ... when we got our car, the Nissan guys told us give a try with the provided all-season tires (since we have the 4 wheels drive) => we tried but finally decided to get winter tires ... and it is absolutely not comparable ! Few days ago, we just got 20-25 cm of snow and with the winter tires we can drive easily ! with the all-season tires, with just 5-10cm of snow, we were sliding every time we had to break or take off etc ...
Cost of brand new set of 4 winter tires vary but the ones we got cost approx. 850 CAD (including the service) but just bear in mind that every approx. 6 months you have to change them => so it costs approx. 100-130 CAD every 6 months to change them with All-season/Winter tires set. So you may consider to buy extra rims as well to (so that you pay only 30-50 CAD every 6 months to change them). Basically, if you plan to keep you car for a long time => i think it is worth buying another set of rim + the winter tires ... the initial investment will be higher but at the end you may save money after 3-4 years ...

Daycare : the ones we got in our area are around 1000 to 1800 CAD per month for full time (5 days per week). But you may find cheaper in other areas or if you chose family day home. Just bear in mind, that if you move to Canada => your baby/kid may fall sick quite often because of the daycare (many kids in confined spaces = more risk of sickness contagion ... + new climate + new life + other factors etc ...). So you or your wife may end up to spend quite some time at the doctor and your kid not going as often to the daycare because of the daycare sick policy ... So just be careful if you and your wife have a job ...

Groceries : we spend approx. 300-350 CAD per week (sometimes it can be more or less). This is for my baby boy, my wife and myself. We take a look on the price but we live comfortably with that.


I have to admit that so far, we are "lucky" because I obtained a good job before landing that eases our immigration but unfortunately many new comers will struggle much more than us and I hope this experience sharing could help other fellow newcomer.
FYI, my wife ,who has a Master degree in Project Management and some experience in construction and O&G industry, has not found a job yet ... We are lucky enough that she can focus on the job search for a job she wants but we know many other guys that have to take "survival" job(s) (not related to their wishes or competencies) to pay their bills.
Well ... I believe this would be my last update for sharing our landing experience.
Wish all the best to all of you.

Cheers
Very Informative Post.. Thanks..
 
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muggle84

Full Member
Apr 21, 2017
20
4
1st part :

Hi All,

If this could help others guys, I am sharing my landing experience in Calgary (as I have not seen so many info about Calgary landing ...). Please note, this is only my personal experience and I could have done better or worse but this is what and how I did. It can work (or not) for other guys ...

Landing preparation:
I prepared the following docs :
- Passports
- COPR
- Detailed list of goods (basically, I have prepared a detailed list of all the items on a printed Excel sheet (i.e. detailed by suitcase => 6 suitcases in total) then I filled the BSF186 form out with summary of all the 6 suitcases (e.g. clothes, electronics, Toiletries etc ...) and I have mentioned that I have attached a detailed list for further information.
- and any other docs that are always useful one day or another such as birth certificate, marriage certificate, child health record booklet, copies of passport, driving license + international driving license, etc ...
- in the plane, the steward gave us the declaration form to complete that we submit at our arrival in Calgary


Landing :
I landed in Calgary on August 15th 2017 with my wife and 10 months old baby.
Flight from France directly to Calgary.
Our flight arrived in Calgary around 2:40PM then we went to the 1st immigration check (in the visitor line. You will see many nice airport agents with their local "cowboy" attire that will guide you), we presented our documents (passport + COPR) to the immigartion officer then she told us to pick our luggage up and then to go to the Immigration counter (bureau E, however I am not sure whether it is actually "E" or another letter ...) to finalize the landing.
However, this immigration counter can be packed so as an advice, once you pass the first immigration check and before your reach the luggage carrousel => try to find this Immigration counter on the left side at the end (you cannot miss it => it is written in big on the wall) => then check if there are many people inside the room (it is clearly visible from outside this room because there is a big glass window) => if there are many people => go into this room to check and take a queue line ticket before collecting your luggage (it will save you lot of time while you pick your luggage up).

Unfortunately, I was not aware about that so I picked up my luggage first then we went to this immigration counter so with our queue ticket number => we waited for in the immigration waiting room about 1h/1h15 before being received by an immigration officer. and I can tell you that when you have a baby especially after a long flight => this 1h/1h15 looked like an eternity ...

The immigration officer was very formal but nice. He just asked us what is the purpose of our presence so we told that we are here to do our landing for PR so he just requested our passport and COPR (he just asked us if we ever committed any crime and if we have already been refused entry in Canada => obviously ... our answer was ...no ...). He told us that it will take approx.10-15 minutes for him to do his stuff in their system and told us to wait for in the waiting room and he will call us back once done.
After 10 minutes, he called us back and told us that everything was OK and presented us briefly the "package" of "rights and obligations" as a PR. Once done, he asked us if we had any questions then he congratulated and welcomed us and wish us all the best for our new life in Canada. So, excluding the waiting time, the process with this immigration officer took 15-20 minutes max.
He, then, told us that we were good to go so we took all our luggage (total 6 suitcases) and went to the exit where were located the Customs agents. They just asked us our completed declaration form and told us that we are good to go (no question at all despite our 6 big suitcases! not even asked for the detailed list of goods!).

At almost 5PM, we were out and ready to start our new life.

So to conclude, this landing was very smooth. A bit long (especially when you had a long flight with a baby who did not sleep at all during the flight ...) but overall very smooth.

Note : regarding the PR card, since we didn't have a permanent address and we didn't want the PR cards to be sent to our friend in Canada (Montreal), we told the agent that we will open a UPS store mail box and would like the PR cards to be sent over there. So he just gave us a form to complete and to fax to CIC once we have the address where we want the PR card to be sent. (just FYI, you can open a UPS store mail box from overseas as long as you are OK to proceed to the payment with your debit/credit card by phone or E-transfer. As I was not really confident about that, I have just decided to open the UPS store mail box once I will be in Calgary).

Please note again, this is my experience but it could be totally different for other people ... because we have noticed that some others guys in the immigration waiting room spent much more time with the immigration officer (I am not sure if they were also PR or under work permit, refugees, etc ...)

After landing :
Before we left our home country, we booked 3 nights in an hotel just nearby the airport (more convenient for us) before moving in an AirBnb apartment closer to Downtown that was available to move in 3 days after our landing. We took it for 1 month so that we had enough time to find a more suitable place to live.

SIN number :
we went early in the morning (once opened at 8:30AM) to the Service Canada Centre (Harry Hays building) in Downtown. There was already a long queue but before joining the queue, one agent asked the purpose of our visit. We told him that we were there to get a SIN number. He told us to go to a dedicated counter (with no queue). They asked us the COPR and passport to register in the system then asked us to wait until our name is called. 10 minutes after, our name has been called by an agent and then we finalized the process. It took approximately 20-30 min to finalize the SIN process with this agent (not sure whether this is a standard timeline but this is what happened to us).
Then once we got the SIN number, we went to the registered agent to get the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP)

Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP):
Once our SIN # obtained, we went straight away to a registered agent to get the AHCIP.
We were told that we need to present a document proving that we have residency in Alberta.
Unfortunately, except having a temporary airbnb and a mail box in UPS store we could not provide them what they required.
For x, y, z reasons, 2 agents of this office told us that the UPS store address that we have cannot be accepted but if we present a bank statement showing this UPS store address => it would be accepted ... But of course, at this very moment, we did not have a bank account yet ...
So we couldn't finalize the AHCIP process ... Luckily, the same day, we had our appointment to open a bank account (will be described after) so that we could provide this UPS store address to the bank to reflect on our bank statement.

Once we got the bank statement from the bank (reflecting the UPS store address mail box that we have), we went back to the registered agent to get the AHCIP and once all the documents were submitted, they finalized in the system and we got our AHCIP insurance number (in case we need it for any medical matters).
The AHCIP cards have been sent to our UPS store mail box and we received them about 10 days after our application.
Useful note, the AHCIP coverage starts from the day you apply (even if you only have the AHCIP number but not the AHCIP card yet). However, just to make sure, it is preferable to get a personal health insurance for the first 2-3 months just in case the AHCIP does not cover any potential unexpected medical problems ...
FYI, we managed to get a family doctor quite fast (thanks to a person I met (networking is really important) with just our AHCIP number (not yet received the AHCIP card at that time) and it was free of charges.
However, unfortunately, we also very recently experienced the 911 and due to vomiting and difficulty to breathe when vomiting, my son (10 months old) was transported by ambulance at midnight from our temporary airbnb apartment to the Alberta's Children Hospital and the guy in the ambulance told us that we will receive in few days an invoice for the ambulance transportation. He told us that it would be around 300-400 CAD ... (I am waiting for this invoice ...). However, we did not pay anything at the Alberta's Children Hospital but we waited for around 3h before seeing the doctor ...

Hi, can I ask you about mailbox opening? What identification did they ask from you?

Because when I inquired with UPS, they told me I should have an one ID with photo, and one document showing my addresss. But my purpose of renting the mailbox is because I don't have a permanent address yet.

Hope to hear from you, thanks!
 
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happymamma2

Full Member
Mar 21, 2015
43
27
Hi, can I ask you about mailbox opening? What identification did they ask from you?

Because when I inquired with UPS, they told me I should have an one ID with photo, and one document showing my addresss. But my purpose of renting the mailbox is because I don't have a permanent address yet.

Hope to hear from you, thanks!


Would they accept your permanent address from home country?Just an idea..
 

PonJoub

Star Member
Sep 3, 2016
158
119
Calgary
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Paris
NOC Code......
0731
AOR Received.
19-12-2016
Med's Done....
12-12-2016
Passport Req..
22-05-2017
Hi, can I ask you about mailbox opening? What identification did they ask from you?

Because when I inquired with UPS, they told me I should have an one ID with photo, and one document showing my addresss. But my purpose of renting the mailbox is because I don't have a permanent address yet.

Hope to hear from you, thanks!
hey sorry for my late reply.
i was not coming on the forum for a while ...
This is what they asked me when I was still in France:
  1. 2 pieces of government issued ID (passport as one)
  2. We would require 2 pieces of ID for your wife as well (because she is also mentioned on the UPS box)
  3. Current physical address in France – we would require a change of address when you’re settled in Calgary
  4. For payment, you can send us email money transfer or call to pay with your credit card.
  5. The mailbox is accessible 24 hours once we give you the keys.
But basically, I opened the UPS mail box the day after i arrive in Calgary. I was much easier ... and for your PR card address that you will be asked at your landing just mention that you don't have one yet and you will open a UPS mail box straight away after landing and the officer will give you a document to fill in once you have your UPS mail box and just need to fax it (that you can do at your UPS store as well ...)

I hope this helps.
Good luck.
 
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PonJoub

Star Member
Sep 3, 2016
158
119
Calgary
Category........
FSW
Visa Office......
Paris
NOC Code......
0731
AOR Received.
19-12-2016
Med's Done....
12-12-2016
Passport Req..
22-05-2017
How easy can one get a survival jobs in calgary
depending on many factors ... but what i notice here is that networking is almost as important as your skills themselves ...