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Landing Experience at Peace Bridge (July-2018) and reurn to US (AVR)

Discussion in 'Permanent Residence in Canada' started by rosuresh, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Hi Folks

    Considering the fact that I found all the experiences shared here in the forum as such a valuable source of information, I thought I'd share my experience:

    1. Drove from Albany NY on Sunday (29th July 2018) and arrived at Peace Bridge around 2 PM with my family
    2. The queue wasn't too long and the officer at the counter reviewed our COPRs/passports and directed us into building after waiting around 10 mins for our turn after handing us a yelloe slip
    3. There was only 1 family ahead of us to do their landing but since there were multiple officers again it was a short wait
    4. The first officer took the slip, the COPRs, our passports and asked for the proof of finance documents as well as a Canadian address. After a quick review of around 10-20 mins, he called us back and said everything was in order. He stamped the COPR with the date of landing as well as our passports after scratching of the single entry PR visa. After congratulating us and welcoming us to Canada as Permanent Residents he said we'd have to wait for the Customs officer for the Goods to Follow formalities
    5. Talked to the customs officer who asked to write the Total value in the BSF186 form, which i had completely missed out to do. After some furious calculations in my cell phone calculator, and entering the total values by hand, he stamped the documents. He was very patient about the whole thing
    6. Final step was a receipt paper of the BSF186 document at the next counter and we were all done.
    7. Whole process took a little less than an hour after which we celebrated being Canadian PRs with an awesome lunch at Niagara Falls!

    The next day on Monday, went to Services Canada in Mississauga to get our SIN (Social Insurance Number). This was really fast and took only 15 mins. Next stop was TD bank nearby for the Canadian Starter Pack (Chequing account, Saving Accoutn and credit card) for me and my wife. I also took a Canadian sim card in the mall next door which was easier with a SIN. After completing everything that we wanted to get done, we started back for the US.

    1. We reached the US Border Patrol around 2 PM and we waited in the queue in our car for 20 mins till we met the officer
    2. As my H1B stamp in my passport was expired, we needed to use AVR to get back in. The officer took our passports and our i797s with the i94 extensions and asked us how long we were in Canada. after noting that it was only for a day, he kept our documents in a pouch and asked us to park our car and enter the CBP office
    3. There was quite rush here and we waited for almost 1.5 hrs for our turn
    4. After the customary "where do you work", "where do you live" and "how long we've been in the US" questions, they stapled the i94s to our passports and we were on our way. Luckily they seemed to be knowledgeable about AVR

    And thats it. I hoped this information helps. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

    #givingback #moveNorth
  2. Hello rosuresh,

    First of all thanks for posting this and congrats to you and your family on becoming landed PRs. I have a couple of questions:
    1. What documents did you carry for completing the landing formalities? Other than Proof Of funds, do we need to take all original degree certificates, medical documents etc?
    2. For the SIN details, is there a plastic card mailed to your canadian adress or is it just a letter with the SIN Details?
    3. Most importantly, which US border crossing did you use? The one at the Peace Bridge or the Rainbow bridge crossing?

    Please let me know
  3. Hi Ptothej

    Would be happy to let you know:
    1. Other than the Proof of Funds, the most important piece is the Goods your carrying and Goods to follow list, which they will ask for. I also took along all my degree, work experience and birth certificates. they didn't ask for it but i just thought it was prudent
    2. the SIN details are provided to you in a standard printout on the spot. there is no card or the likes. it is just a number which you need to keep safe (similar to the SSN in the US)
    3. I used the peace bridge to Canada and back from Canada

    Hope this helps and best of luck!!
  4. Thank you so much! I appreciate your response! I am a bit nervous on the goods to follow and carrying lists. Do you happen to have a sample by any chance?
  5. Ok thanks! this is still very helpful. Quick question when you drove to do the PR landing, did you drive your own car? Or did you drive a rental car with US plates? I ask because I have seen on this forum that lots of people have had issues with driving US plated (rented or owned) cars. Any help or information here will be appreciated!!
  6. Thanks for your note, buddy.

    I got my PPR and have sent my passports for stamping. i ma planning to travel by road to vancouver to make my landing, as i am residing in seattle. I am not planning to move immediately and hence have a doubt about the items i need to declare @ the border. can you please send an email about what needs to be declared? i saw the bsf186 form and what is the option i need to select. i am planning to head back to USA, after making my landing and spending a couple of days in canada, to take my sin number etc (which i may take it later too). Former resident, settler, seasonal resident? If settler, should i declare all household properties i have ? TV, furniture, mobiles phones, etc and its current value???

    i do have a valid i797 (expiring Jan 31 2019) and visa stamp(expiring Feb 15, 2019). So i should be good to come back in to the USA right??

    Please advise.

  7. Also, please let me know did u show the complete amount required (as mentioned in cic website) for proof of funds, even though we are not moving now.
    what did u show as proof of finance documents,

    Thanks in Advance

  8. well i took a rental car. they don't really mind if its a rental. they do say that if it' your own car, you will have to mention the car's VIN in the goods to follow list if you are eventually planning on exporting the car from the US to canada.. dont realy know the whole export/import process.. hope this helps
  9. I wasn't planing on moving immediately either. but you still need to list out everything you plan on eventually bringing into canada. I dont really have a sample of what i filled out, but you could check out this thread which helped me out a lot! you will need to declare everything from mobile phones with their serial number to approx. number of all your clothes to approx number of cutlery in your kitchen. (Also, for our similar situation, i used the Settler option)

    For the proof of finance, you have to show what ever you have in-hand. I provided the latest statements of all my checking and savings accounts here in the US. I also showed balance of my accounts in India. They need to see the entire amount which was specified. we had to show approx 19K CAD for my family of 3. also, you might want to show in addition to the USD values, the approx converted amount in CAD. One thing that i think that helped was i wrote a cover document with a brief of all my accounts

    As for your visa situation, i had an expired visa stamp but i had my i797 / i94 to april 2020. we didnt face any issue.

    hope this helps and best of luck!

  10. Thanks Suresh. This Should help a lot. I will probably download the form and fill up everything before hand, as it becomes easier while landing.
  11. #12 ptothej, Aug 6, 2018 at 4:35 PM
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
    Hi rosuresh,

    You have been very helpful answering our queries!! Cheers to you my friend!.. A couple more if you dont mind, for jewelry declaration with customs, is it a must to have everything appraised with color photographs and declared? Will it suffice if we only provide the color photographs without appraisal as they are extremely expensive? also for proof of funds do we have to declare everything stocks, bonds, retirement funds right now for both immigration and customs?

    Additionally, When you get onto the peace bridge from Buffalo do you exit the US Customs/CBP or directly go straight to Canada CBSA? Similarly on the way back to USA do you directly come to US CBP or exit Canadian CBSA? Are there peak/rush hour times that we need to be aware of or avoid? Lastly, what is the toll cost at Peace Bridge?

    Sorry for the volume of questions, just need to be as informed as possible!!

    Please do let me know.
  12. You are very welcome. I had received a lotta help in this forum and I'm glad to see my post is helping others too!!

    As for the jewelry declaration, we didn't have anything to declare, just what my wife was wearing in person (earring/necklace). We don't need to declare that.

    For the proof of funds, they look at liquid assets, so basically cash. I had that covered in checking/savings accounts in the US and in India which i listed out. I did mention my 401K balance just to make everything look good

    Exiting and entering US/Canada:
    When you leave the US, you go directly to the Canada CBSA queue. The agent at the drive in counter will ask you basic questions and when you say you are doing your landing, he will direct you to park you car near the CBSA building and enter with your passports/documents and a slip of paper he will give you. no formalities on the US side.

    Likewise, when you re-enter the US, you go directly to the US CBP queue. The agent at the drive in counter will take your passports and documents and ask you to park near the CBP building. once you get there, you wait for your turn and it should be all good.

    I'm not really sure about peak times. We got to the Canada side at around 2 PM and the whole thing took like an hour. Similarly, we got back to the US side around 2 PM the following day. The queue only took 10-20 mins, but the wait in the CBP office was closer to 1.5 hours

    I honestly don't remember what I paid at the toll. Pretty sure it wasn't very extravagant.. under 20 bucks I guess.

    I hope I answered your questions. Best of luck with your landing!

  13. Hello Rosuresh!
    You are awesome! Thanks so much!! this is very helpful and thanks for the good wishes, we will definitely need it!!


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