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Planning tips for first time landing in Canada after getting COPR

Discussion in 'Provincial Nomination Program Immigration' started by Ivory, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Hi,

    Finally, your years of planning and hard work paid off and you got your COPR. Congratulations!!!

    Now, you must be excited to see your dream come true and eager to move to your final destination. You must be reading forums, searching in internet or talking to friends in Canada to plan your next big step. If you are a family person and planning to move with family then definitely you need to plan your transition more carefully. People and Govt. are very helpful here and you’ll find great assistance to settle down. So no worries, you made right decision and you will do good:)

    Recently, I moved with family to Regina, Saskatchewan thru SINP program and would like to provide advice based on our experiences. Hope this will be helpful to those who are planning to move to Canada. If you are planning for soft landing then some of the advice will not be applicable to you so feel free to ignore them.

    1- You can land in Canada just before expiry of COPR. However, I would strongly recommend to don’t wait for last minute to land. It is better to land at least 15 days before expiry of COPR. Following are few reasons:

    I. Private institutions (e.g. bank) may deny their services if COPR is expired and ask you to produce valid residency status. PR card may take 50-60 days if everything goes well. Change in address or photo request will cause further delay in getting PR card.

    II. Govt. institutions may take additional time to provide the services (photo ID card, Driver license, medical/health card etc.) as they need to verify your residence status with CIC before issuing any document. CIC will not expedite your PR card processing or issue any letter in this scenario so calling CIC will not help.

    III. If you can’t come in well before COPR expiry date then just be mentally prepared that things might be delayed but eventually you’ll get the services. So no need to be panic. Make your transition fun and enjoy the time.​

    IV. Make sure you have at least 4 hrs of layover to connecting flight as immigration may take 2-3 hours and you may miss your next flight. General flow is: Fill immigration/custom form(in flight)à Collect luggage àClear customs à Go to immigration à Wait for PR landing process completion à Get COPR signed and stamped à Go to next flight (in case you have connecting flight). Your next flight may not be in same terminal or port à Check-in your bags (assuming your bags have checking tags for final destination)à Go thru securityà on board to final destination. It is simple process but time taking so just relax and explore things around you.

    V. No need to say - carry cash, multi currency card with decent balance on it.

    VI. Have a scanned copy of all the documents, just in case.

    VII. Get your old driver license(s) and driving history records

    VIII. Get your car insurance history records​

    IX. Don’t bring anything which may cause problem in custom so please go thru border security website for more detail. You can find everything here so just focus on initial few days supplies. So don’t put too much pressure on you and don’t compromise your kid’s favorite toys with house hold stuff.​

    2- Once you land, do following things in given sequence:

    I. Get SIN number for all adults (you can delay for minor as it is needed only if you will be saving money for education and looking for Govt aid). SIN will be asked in most of the places. You may get SIN during immigration (depend on Airport, week day and crowd) but if not then visit Canada service center in your city. Make sure always carry your COPR, passport, kids birth certificate, bank statement etc.

    II. Get phone connection. Mobile services are costly here and vary from one province to another. Keep in mind, initially you need a really good plan and later you can change it to meet your minimum requirement. E.g. data plan to access internet, Google maps, bus routes, searching apartment, calling job consultant etc.

    III. Buy monthly transit/bus pass if you are not staying in walkable distance from the places where you’ll be visiting frequently in first month.​

    IV. Open bank account or activate it in case you have already opened before landing. You need access to money as soon as possible. Most of the time, bank gives appointment to activate/open bank account. If appointment is not available in few days then ask for appointment in other branch. It’d be wise if you can book an appointment from you home country before landing.​

    i. Clearly understand terms and condition of your bank account as banking is costly here and you need to pay all kind of fees which you may have never experienced.

    ii. Apply for credit card as well. Apply separate credit (not add-on) for your spouse as credit history is very critical here and you need good credit history to get the services which includes even getting rental apartment.

    iii. Make sure your spouse is joint account holder or open a separate account for her as most of the Govt. benefits are credited in kid’s mother bank account.

    iv. If you are depositing more than 10,000 CAD in single transaction then bank may ask you to prove that money belongs to you. There are Govt. laws which mandate bank to prevent money laundering. So bring all the evidences e.g. source bank account statement showing your name, address and the amount you transferred etc.​

    3- Find an apartment or home. Before start looking for an apartment/house, list down your must meet requirements and plan accordingly e.g. security, school, commute, grocery store, public transport, lease term, furnished/unfurnished etc.

    I. It is better to have 15 days temporary arrangement to stay. Finding right apartment may take longer than you anticipated and you don’t want to keep changing hotels in between.

    II. Better to call the leasing company and walk-in to their offices. Don’t depend much on email communication. It might be hard to get month-on-month lease so plan accordingly. You will give this address everywhere so changing home would be challenging and costly too.

    III. If you are doing lease transfer then be clear on apartment condition and security deposit. You don’t want to pay for mess created by previous owner.

    IV. Once you finalized the place, must sign lease immediately and get a copy of lease agreement. Don’t wait for move-in. This will be your one of address proof.

    V. Update new address in CIC so that you’ll get you PR card in your address

    VI. Update bank with your new address (if applicable) and get void cheque /statement with bank seal and sign. This will be your second address proof. Most of the places, two address proofs will be required.​

    VII. Apply for internet services in your apartment as it may take few days to start the services. Till that time, you have to use your mobile data plan. You are lucky if internet is included in your rental.​

    4- Visit Open Door Society in your city. They offer wide range of services at no cost to you and they are very resourceful. This will provide platform to meet with new comers as well and build your own network. Following are most common services offered at Open Door:

    I. Job search

    II. Resume and cover letter building

    III. Many trainings including English language assessment

    IV. Credential assessment

    V. Kids school admission

    VI. Child benefit application filing

    VII. Volunteer work opportunities ​

    5- Once you have two pieces of address proof then apply for following things:

    I. Health/Medical card : If possible apply in-person. It takes minimum 30 days to get your card. Please keep in mind, you have to pay for medical expenses until you get medical card. You may get reimbursement of your medical expenses. Please ask health office or look in their website for more detail. Please note, medical is not completely free (e.g. prescription, dental, eye glasses are not free). So please understand the benefits clearly. Once you get your health card, find and family doctor and register yourself with him.

    II. State ID card or driver license: Apply for yourself and your spouse. If you have valid DL from USA/Europe and some other countries (check province website), then you can get DL without test. You may need to provide driving history record. Also note, your car insurance history records may help you to get cheaper car insurance.

    III. Kid school admission: Open door will help you on this process. Your kids may go thru screening/test to understand where they stand with respect to Canadian schooling system and especially english language proficiency. Please note, it has no impact on school admission or the class/grade in which they will go. School wants to know if your child needs assistance in any specific area. So don’t put pressure on your kid to prepare for test.

    IV. Child benefits: Here Govt. provides financial assistance to families with kids. Open door will help you on this process.​

    6- All these things take around 2-3 weeks so you will be very busy in your initial few days. Once you are done with these initial arrangements then you are almost settled and then toughest part starts – getting a job. I’ll share my experience soon on this.

    7- I strongly suggest you to engage with society and learn and respect the local culture which will be vital in your transition. Few tips:

    I. Join your local library

    II. Go to a park or fair or any social gathering/festival. You can get flyers in library.

    III. Give back to society – volunteering, freelancer etc.​

    8- For any doubt or help, seek advice from Open Door Society. They will be happy to help you.

    Feel free to ask any question. I’ll be happy to help you.
     
  2. Thank you for your detailed post. I plan to settle in Regina too and it really helped to know all that you shared.

    Since i will be using AirBNB for the "15 days temporary arrangement to stay" when I first land, I will really have no address other than the AirBNB accomodation.
    1. Where all will I need to provide my address after I land ? I assume I may need it at the airport for the PR Card and SIN ?
    2. Do I initially provide the AirBNB address wherever required (and then change it to apartment address I lease subsequently) ?
    3. Can you provide me contact details (website url) for any leasing company you have used or found to be a good option ?
    4. Will be helpful to know the provider, the phone usage/cell data plans and any other services/utilities (internet/cable..) you have chosen to go with.
    5. Any recommendation for bank, credit card.. ?
    6. Did you take a private health insurance for self/family/child for the period till you receive the health/medical card ?
    Will ask more questions as I come up with more thoughts, and hope to stay connected here and also after I have settled in Regina :)

    Thank you !
     
  3. Thanks for the advices. So detailed!
     
  4. Thanks!
     
  5. For an address you will need an address for both your PR card and your SIN.

    However Service Canada no longer sends out SIN cards, and assigns you a SIN after they verify your documents. So you can provide a temporary address and you only need to update it with IRCC so you can receive your initial PR card.
     
    zohebshaikh likes this.
  6. #6 Ivory, Aug 26, 2018 at 11:47 PM
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
    Hi,
    Following are my inputs:
    1 - Initially, you need an address for PR card and SIN. And most likely in bank if you open bank account before you get your own address. You don't need to update the address in SIN but you need to provide updated address everywhere else including CIC so that you can get PR card in your own address.
    2 - Yes, you can do it. But note few things before deciding to use Airbnb address - 1) check with owner if he/she is fine with it 2) Bank address can be changed online, though it takes 60 days to reflect the new address in your bank statement (pretty weird - my own experience). Some people reported in other forums that CIC sent their PR card in old address. So make sure you verify with respective institutions that an address has been updated and any communication will be sent to new address.
    3 - I used https://www.kijiji.ca (people avoid north and central Regina due to safety concern)
    4 - There is a shopping mall in Regina in downtown and most of the offices are in downtown area. So you'll be visiting this place a lot in initial days. There are many mobile provider shops in the mall. Better to ask for all the deals and choose suitable plan as per your need. Make sure you understand the plan as Canada wide call is not included in all plans. Few providers are - Sasktel, Telus, Rogers, Bell, Virgin.....Internet is based on which provider is available in that building so check with apartment lease office.
    5 - More or less all banks have same plans for new comers. - you can check online and compare plans before coming here. Scotia, RBC, TD are few common banks. Just understand monthly fee, free transactions, AMT withdrawals and your need etc.
    6 - I took that risk and didn't buy any plan. Though it takes few weeks to get health card but coverage starts from the day you apply for the card. So if you visit doctor after applying the health card, the fee you pay will be reimbursed once you get the card. But if you have to see the doctor before applying the health card then you have to pay the fee from your own pocket or private insurance.

    No worries. Thanks.
     
  7. Thank you for your reply and detailed explanation.

    • Will appreciate if you can provide some more details on the "safety concern" you mentioned.
    • Also by central Regina you are referring to the downtown & Cathedral areas ?
     
  8. Hi,
    Most of the crimes happen in central part of Regina because pub, casino etc are in this area. There is not much crime as such but people prefer not to live in these 2 areas. Most of the families prefer to live in east or south part. I personally didn't have any bad experience (couple of times I was outside till mid night and walked to home) so far but I was suggesting based on advise I got from others. It is a safe city but when we compare the crime with other cities in Canada then it may not sound very safe.

    Yes, I was referring to downtown area.
     
  9. Hi a friend is landing as a PR thru SINP to Regina in December. His agent is insisting he carries cash/travellers checks to show the relevant pof and that showing bank statements is unacceptable. When I did my landing in Toronto in August I was not asked about my pof. So now he is confused . Can you talk about your experience regarding pof upon landing .. thanks
     

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