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Landing Experience - CEC - Rainbow Bridge

Discussion in 'Canadian Experience Class' started by wm602, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. Hi everyone - given how fantastic this forum has been as a resource in helping me to receive PR, I decided to type up my landing experience, to share my experience and hopefully to help others make their landing decision.

    I should preface this by saying that up until this point, everything had gone smoothly for my application (aside from the Education Equivalency application, which took 4 months). I received my AoR on the 22nd of August, MEP on 13th September, Biometrics the same day, PPR on 17th October and finally CoPR on the 15th of November.

    After weighing the pros and cons of various entry points, I decided to flagpole, the most oft talked about method for those who are already in Canada to receive PR. After some deliberation, I settled on Rainbow Bridge. I knew that they would only take flagpole applications between 8am to 12pm Tuesday to Thursday, and as such planned to make my trip in the early hours of Tuesday morning, to get there before 8am.

    I'd read up to this point mostly pleasant landing experiences, of people only waiting for half an hour to an hour before heading on their way. I did however exercise some caution and parked in a municipal car park half a kilometre from the bridge, and paid $12 for all day parking, just in case something were to happen that held me up, and I'm very glad that I did.

    I arrived at the bridge at around 7:20 am, where I found a line of about 15 people, already queueing for the Canadian border. Nevertheless I walked across to the US side (lovely view by the way) and told the US Border staff that I would be returning to Canada. The gentleman checked my Passport, wrote a note on a slip (mine was white, not the yellow I had been expecting) and sent me back along the bridge. It was here where I began the first of my long waits. There was one border officer processing the whole line of people, and as such, I was waiting outside in line for an hour. Exercise caution and perhaps pack a couple of snacks and a bottle of water, unlike me. I had avoided eating breakfast and at this point was already hungry. after around 45 minutes the officer switched with his colleague, who was clearly more thorough, and began taking even longer to precess each individual. I mst say it may be worth taking note of who you see ahead of you, as these will be the people you end up waiting with in the Border Office, and they process applications on a first come first serve basis.

    When I finally reached the border officer, I handed over my passport and my CoPR document. He scanned my Passport, and as he began to ask me a question about my application a buzz came through his radio: "no more flagpole". I pleaded with him that I'd already been waiting an hour, and to see if there was anything he could do. He didnt offer much hope, but made a quick phone call through, and suggested there were only two flagpole candidates left (myself and the lady behind me), and they fortunately let us through.

    This is where the waiting really started - I walked through to the border office and handed the first officer my passport, US slip, CoPR and a slip from the first Canadian border officer, and sat down in the small waiting area off to the side of the desk.

    For 5 and a half hours, I waited as those who had arrived earlier had all forms of immigration documents processed, fingerprints scanned, questions asked. In the down time between their work with each of the applicants, the Border Officers, who are in absolute plain site to anyone in the waiting room, chatted amongst themselves, laughed and joked about, and occasionally appeared to process applications. I dare say they were more occupied than it appeared, but for it was extremely frustrating for me.

    I overheard numerous conversations between applicants in my waiting room, and people who had just appeared from the Canadian side of the border with the guards, none of which were very eventful, and always the same response. Firstly, that they couldn't be sure how long application processing would take, and secondly that flagpoling was closed for the day.

    They were also clear that most other border crossings in the south of Ontario were also closed. The suggestion was that Sarnia would be the best place to cross, as they have lower traffic, and as such would be able to process applications.

    There are bathrooms and a water fountain, but I was unable to go freely, as I was concerned that my name be called out whilst I was in the bathroom and my application rejected for the day (a threat that I had heard from on the border officers to a fellow waiting room-er)

    After 6 and a half hours total waiting, my name was finally called. I had been worrying about health insurance (if it was substantial enough), available funds (I'm CEC, and had proof of funds with me, but not FSW level of funds), and general other questions about my time in Canada leading up to this point (was there as a visitor, staying with my girlfriend). My worry was misplaced. He asked me to confirm that I hadn't committed any crimes, and that I still had no dependents, and to sign and notarise the letter with my initials. He also asked me for proof of address, of which I had none, but it wasn't a problem, and just asked for my Canadian contact number and to write the postage address down.

    That was it, 5 minutes later, he stapled the CoPR in my passport and welcomed me as a new Permanent Resident. I must say that even though I was upset and frustrated about waiting so long, it all washed away on leaving, and was replaced by joy and relief.

    Hope this helps someone, I can answer any questions about my own experience if you have any :)

    He then asked me to sit while he finalized my

    Take this advice: Call ahead
    Leave early
    Bring snacks
    ahanan likes this.
  2. Thanks a lot very informative, a friend of mine was bluntly refused and treated badly too. By the way, why did you choose not to go the the IRCC centers in Toronto (GTA) as advised in the information letter of cOPR and on the IRCC website recommends this as the best option, any insights as to why you avoided this options, Yesterday I have got my COPR and I am planning look at the best options :)
  3. You need to wait again for IRCC.. 1 week to get reply for request an appointment.. then the appointment is the next 1-2 weeks.. average 3 weeks or more
  4. as jhez alluded to, there is a longer wait for IRCC offices, and I was planning on starting work ASAP. They did ask at the border why I didn’t book an appointment, but they weren’t pushy.

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