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My landing experience at Toronto (YYZ)

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by RookieMistake, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    I'm going to share my (first) landing experience. I've divided the post into sections, so feel free to jump/skip if need be.


    I chose to fly etihad (DEL-AUH-YYZ); though I wouldn't want to do this routing again. The only reason I chose this flight was - being an etihad guest member I had redeemed miles for an award ticket.

    Next time I'd prefer a non stop (from DEL/BOM) or via Europe so that I get a healthy break in between the two ~8 hour flights.

    Etihad in itself is good; nothing wrong with them.


    I checked in two suitcases. One was about 33.4 KG and the other was about 24.5 KG (though it was each 1.5 kg less at home - dint know it could gain weight in the new delhi traffic ;-)). The female staff at the checkin counter were helpful and wrote down one as 32kg and the other as 23kg. I had to pay INR 8281 for the overweight luggage (Etihad allows 2x23kgs as do most airlines to US/CA).

    I was one of the first few to checkin. It always helps in these "heavy luggage" situations to checkin (drop baggage) as early as possible. Also, I'd asked the staff to put fragile stickers on it. Don't know if it helps but it gave me "peace of mind".

    Also if you're certain you will need an extra bag checked in over and above your allowance - there's usually a discount if you book it while purchasing the airline ticket or add it to your itinerary some hours/days before the checkin (depends on the airline).

    I had a large backpack along with a leather bag for docs as a carry on.


    Landed at about 8:20 in the morning (40 mins before scheduled arrival time).

    Llanding cards were provided in the flight before landing - self explanatory mostly. One will probably select "NO" to most questions asked. Also the purpose of visit is a choice between business, study or personal - choose personal (if you've been granted PR and are coming to land for first time).

    First time landers join the visitors queue like other temp visa holders. There's a machine in front of which you have to stand and do the following (this is at YYZ T3 don't know about other airports/terminals):
    1. Choose your language
    2. Enter the no. Of people in your group entering Canada today with you.
    3. Enter Your country of citizenship
    4. Where are you flying in from - US, Via US or other county directly. I chose the last option.
    5. Some other self explanatory stuff which I don't rem.
    6. After this, the machine will ask you to place your passport in an area marked for scanning.
    7. Once scanned the machine will adjust the height of the camera and take your photograph. Look straight into the camera.
    8. Once done - it will ask for confirmation and print a slip which you are supposed to carry at the immigration counter.
    I tried several times and each time right up at the end it said it couldn't take my pic. Tried 7 times - received an error and a blank immigration slip.

    I asked a staff member to help - though she tried twice again, unfortunately, it dint work. She asked me to take the blank slips and show it to the officers at the immigration counter.

    At the counter the officer dint say anything about the blank slips. Looked into my passport pages and asked for the purpose of my visit. I answered "I've been granted permanent residency and I'm landing here for the first time". Among other things, He wrote IMM 22 or something on the Landing card and asked to go straight down the hallway and take left (there was another officer to guide the way).

    This is the hall where new immigrants are processed. There was no one waiting in queue and about 3-4 counters open with people being serviced. I was asked to come up within 3-4 mins. The officer asked me the following:
    1. Purpose of my visit - same as above
    2. What I do? - whatever
    3. Have I been sponsored? - "No I've been granted permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Program".
    4. Where's the wife? - "She'll be joining me later; next week."
    5. Have I been convicted of a crime? - no.
    6. Some other basic questions.
    7. How much money am i carrying - XXX In cash and YYY in travel cards and ZZZ in a bank account in India. No proofs/documents were asked. She wrote it down on the COPR.
    8. Asked for an address - gave my friends address. The officer had no problems and was okay with it. She even mentioned I can add the address at a later date coz the pr card delivery would take 10 weeks. I was okay giving my friends address so I wrote it down.
    9. Asked to sign and initial on the COPR in a few places and she stapled the COPR (my copy) on the passport page itself.
    10. Asked me no to lose this COPR copy as this is the only proof of first landing. The PR card itself is not the proof of landing.

    After all this, she stated the PR obligations (2 years) etc and guided me to the service canada desk - it's only a few feet away in the same hall.

    P.S. Though I wasn't asked anything i carried every relevant document including all of the ones I used in my application. I noticed few others being asked to shows some documents so it's safer to be prepared.

    Service Canada:

    Two desks - one person was chatting on the phone, the other couldn't see me initially but came forward to help when she did. Told her I'm a new immigrant and ... "oh! you're here to apply for the SIN. Please come."

    She asked for my number and address - dint want the intl number and the address I gave was of the airbnb I'm staying. She said we will never call that number or send anything to the address so no need to worry or update it later. It's not reqd.

    Entire process took 5 mins. Got a printout and walked to collect my bags.

    P.S. There's only a few restrooms between arrival gates and immigration and customs AFAIK. You might want to get it done when you can in case immigration/customs takes time.


    This was the most time consuming process.

    You'll be guided to a huge hall with about 6-7 counters. It was mostly empty with 2-3 people being served. I was called up - the officer took my landing card, passport and entered some info in their system.

    I had already made a "goods with me" and "goods to follow" list in detail with all fields filled up and value mentioned. I carried two copies of this set.

    Handed them over - the officer went over it carefully and added the individual values up. I'd not mentioned the address on the form so he asked me to write it down. I asked him if I could give the temp airbnb address (I don't rem his exact response) but I ended up giving the same one as the PR card delivery address.

    He went into a room, came out with a CBSA printed form with the Total value of all goods I'd mentioned and stamped & signed over all the documents. Asked me to sign too AFAIR. He mentioned that if I'm having these items shipped I'll have to hand this to the moving company so that I'm not charged any import duty for bringing these items over (which were in the list).

    No questions were asked about the items or their value. He did not even ask me to open any of my bags.

    Though I did see some people being asked to open their bags. Maybe having a detailed list with all values helps. Maybe, Can't say for sure though.

    Exchanged pleasantries and he guided me to the exit.

    There's a restroom, a Tim Hortons counter and some small places to eat right before the exit door. You might want to give them a try if you feel like.

    Took a taxi from the rank and came to the airbnb. The taxi fare was $45+tip (AEROPORT TAXI AND LIMO) flat rate. The car was big enough for a few more people and some more bags. Uber estimates were higher and I had some heavy bags.


    This is not far from to the heart of Toronto. The place def costs much more than I would've liked but it's a nice place and it's close to EVERYTHING. It comes to about $2100 for a month. It's not a basement apartment and is a full floor one bedroom apartment. I'm sure one can find something for all price ranges and locations.


    Bought a TTC monthly metro pass for about $146. The passes are sold at stations and counters/select stores all over the city. The list in on TTC's website.

    Have been taking so many rides since ;-) - buses, streetcars and subway.

    Mailbox Rental:

    Sent out an email to a dozen UPS stores in the 10 km radius. Most of them were in the same price range - the one I chose had a 24 hour access to the mailbox and was on the subway line. It came up to be $216 incl taxes for six months including a $15 refundable deposit for the key.

    The mailbox address shows up like :

    "Abcd SOME STREET, Suite NnN, Toronto, SOME ZIP, ON"

    Please pay attention to the address - choose a UPS store which itself doesn't have any suite or unit number in the address.

    For e.g. If the address for the UPS store is:

    "XX-Yyy some street, some city, some province, Canada. Some Zip" Or "Yyy some street, unit xxx, some city, some province, Canada. Some Zip".

    What you'll end up getting is address which has two unit/suite numbers - one for your mailbox and one for the UPS store itself. You wouldn't want this.

    Bank Account:

    Had opened up an account with Scotiabank from India itself (startright program) but decided to move ahead with TD.

    Setup an appointment (their website allows to setup appointments) and the actual formalities took about 30 mins. They have a "new to Canada" package - quite similar to offerings by the other banks. Also, received a $1000 unsecured credit card along with a debit card.

    Will repeat this exercise (for my wife) next week with the same bank and same person. The entire process was a breeze. He recommended that I order the personalised cheques online from my account as the branch can only give out generic ones.

    Deposited all my cash (incl cash withdrawn from travel card) in the self banking machine and received all receipts with account balances updated immediately.
    lion.com, pulkit81, cvaib and 85 others like this.
  2. Continuing (each post has a 10000 char limit)


    For now I've signed up for the Public Mobile service. Will see how it goes.

    Talked to the guys at freedom mobile but have read many negative reviews about data connectivity problems and call drops. Their rates are very competitive though.

    Public mobile SIM cards are available at Walmart, wow mobile stores and online (no tracking on delivery though). I bought it at a Walmart (was asked to pay "exact" cash. Lol. Paid by card instead).

    The sim costs $11 and some change. Plans and inclusions are available on their website.

    Service up until now has been good. LTE and 3G speeds have been excellent.


    It's been overcast for the past few days with intermittent showers. Not too cold and not too warm.

    Hope this helps.

    Open to queries or other pointers if anyone needs.

    Hope you all have a wonderful time in the country.

    Best Regards,

    AbhiS44, pgpg, lazarus and 59 others like this.
  3. Apologies for all the typos and grammar mistakes. I'm using my cellphone.
  4. Wow very helpful post. congrats on landing. I also went thru almost similar process last week at YYZ. But they didn't ask me anything about money and didnt staple the COPR in my passport.

    I opened account in Bank of Montreal as it had one full year of free banking and no transaction charges.
  5. I overheard few of the guys at customs talk about an officer who staples docs all the time. Maybe I was the lucky/unlucky one who got her ;-)

    Wow that's an excellent deal!
  6. Wow, that was very detailed. As a person who's going to do his landing in a couple of weeks, I appreciate the effort. :D

    I have planned something similar to your case, but taking a layover in France to split the 16 hour flight, arranging an AirBnb for the first few weeks, etc... so it's good to know that my head is in the right place.

    I just have a query regarding the B4 (accompanying goods) form, since I am not carrying much other than 'loads' of clothes + my PC + a few accessories/ random things. So I do not know how to go about filling this form. Do I just have a section for just clothes and a random value assigned to it? (most of my clothes are 5+yrs old, so I do not remember how much did they cost)

    And still undecided which bank to go with, mostly I will be splitting the dough between Scotia and Tangerine. But I will decide post-landing.
  7. For clothes I wrote the estimate market value (as of today). It's good to overestimate.

    P.S. I carried my PC too. Just that I took out all the HDDs and removed everything from the PCI slots - like graphics cards etc. I carried the HDDs in my carry on. Neatly wrapped in a bubble wrap, but not sealed, so that I can quickly open and show it to the security guys if they have any issues. No questions asked as such. Just that they were curios coz I was carrying some photography equipment too.

    At AUH they take swabs of all your carry on items and your fingers to test for Explosives (they feed into a machine which checks for traces of explosives). Also all laptops, mobiles, cameras much be able to switch on so that they can see it working as a device and not some "carrier". My laptop battery died on me but they dint bother. They continued with the swabs.

    This is done for all flights to US/UK & CA. Don't know if it's enforced at CDG too.

    P.s. Carrying your pc - Fellow Developer? I have one more back at home setup for remote access. Will be carrying with me next time. So in the b4a form I added one pc as "goods to follow".
    tonygunk likes this.
  8. Got it, will probably do the same.

    Good tip! Will keep that in mind. Had no clue that they did that at AUH, I have mostly been through DXB and never experienced this thing.

    Nope not a dev :p (still getting to grips with coding)
    But I freelance in Graphics & UI design, so i have my rig all set up and I don't want to go through the whole process again, plus my precious resource files are on it too :rolleyes:

    Thanks for answering my query, wish you all the best for the future.:D
    RookieMistake likes this.
  9. Hi. Sorry but how long did the full process take at the airport/
  10. Thanks for the details, have a blessed future ahead :)
    RookieMistake likes this.
  11. Hi,

    It took me around 90 mins from the moment I landed to the moment I exited the airport and was able to take a cab.
    Emmemm07 and Yellowcat like this.
  12. This is extremely helpful... Really thankful to you God bless you my friend.
    RookieMistake likes this.

  13. Thanks for the share !!

    Wishing you good luck for an excellent life in Canada !!
    RookieMistake likes this.
  14. Nice summary. We would also like to hear on your experience upon finding your first job as a Developer .....;)
    RookieMistake likes this.
  15. For some reason when I landed at YYZ earlier this week, I was never asked to fill in the CBSA forms. They only asked for CoPr and they made me sign the 2 copies. That's it. It seems like the experience might be different depending on your nationality. It was extremely fast and I got to pick up my luggages and I was out of the airport even faster than some other tourists/residents who were on the same flight.

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