Smooth landing. I'll be landing at Calgary soon. Many thanks. Please can i get the postcode of service canada.
landing1st part :
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 ...
I prepared the following docs :
- 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
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 ...