Hopefully my last visit for migration reasons. This was a very important and special trip to the border as I have already gotten my CoPR. I did this trip with all my family, as every family member is required to do the proper landing and sign the documents.
As always, I want to thanks my friend Jessica who drove us again.
In-Land vs Border Landing
When you get your CoRP, you must do a landing. If you are already in Canada you have the option of doing an in-land landing (not exiting from Canada). However, the problem of doing this is that this would need to be done by appointment. I did the call, and the next free appointment was in the next two months. As my previous experience going to the border, I just need to do what is called a flag point. Therefore, I decided to ask my friend to drive us.
Getting ready the Paperwork
When you get your CoRP documentation, it just says you take the CoRP document and your current passport. However, border officers ask for more documents. I recommend you to bring all the documentation you have. You never know.
Going to the Border
I do not remember at this time what entry point I went. If I am not mistaken, it was St-Bernard-de-lacolle highway 15. But not all the entry points have migration services. You need to look for them. The key here is you must get out of Canada and get in. As I am Mexican without a US Visa, when I get to the border I told both officers (Canadian and the US) that I want to bounce back because I need to go to migration. They will understand right away. In my case, I got a white paper of rejection from the US. The Canadian officer will need that paper to process. I need to come from outside the country.
And again, be ready, it is a long line going out and in of Canada by car. We did like 3 hours including the time we were sitting waiting to be interviewed by the US officer. Depending on the officer humour, your car may be reviewed or not. This time it wasn't; instead, the officer just gave us the empty whitepaper after we quickly explained why we needed to bounce back. My guess is that that was because of rush hours. It was around 3 p.m.
After the bounce back and being in Canada again, we passed to the migration office. A very nice border officer asked us about our business, and I just informed we wanted to do the landing for the permanent residence. I gave the CoRP documents and the passports of my family members. After that, I was told to wait.
Twenty minutes later, I was called and asked to show documentation about the money I was bringing in. According to what is written on the CIC website, you shouldn't show financial statements if you are currently employed (which I was). However, I was requested for that. After showing that, no more questions were asked. We signed the CoRP document and another document.
The officer gave us a welcome greeting and some extra papers with information for first landers. Most part of it I already know it. Mostly the information they give you is about what to do when you arrive like where to go (or call) to get your social insurance number (aka SIN), about the health care, government support and other things.
Some Tips after your First Land as Permanent Resident
Things you should know/do after your first landing:
- Update or Get your Social Insurance Number (aka SIN). You should go to any Canada Service office and bring your passport and the signed CoRP. If you already had a temporal SIN (those that start with number 9), you do not need to do anything extra. Give your employer the new number. If you already had access to MyCRA, do not get worried if you access stops working. CRA will move all information from you old SIN to the new one account. You just need to sign-up again.
- If you do not have your health care, you need to go to your province service. In my case, it was Ontario Service. This is going to be tricky, as it really depends on the humour of the person who is at the front desk. Bring your CoRP or Permanent Residence Card (if you have it), a proof of address (which sometimes this would be the problem, as if this is your first time in Canada, you will delay getting one) and the passport.
- If you have kids, sign up for the child benefit. It is a slow process and you will need to show many letters. You can read more about that in the article I wrote about How I got the Child Benefit.
- Get a debit card. Don't fall for the closest bank you may have where you live, do a little research. There are banks who offer newcomers cards with zero monthly fees. You just need to ask.
You will get by postal mail your Permanent Residence Card. You do not need to carry any migration documents in your wallet, just bring them on request when you need them.
You are all set! Good Luck!
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