My flight landed at 6.30 AM local time. There were 2 separate queues at immigration – first one for Canadian / US citizens or permanent residents and another one for everyone else. I approached the information desk before immigration and asked them which queue I should be in, as I was landing as a permanent resident but I didn’t have a PR card. I was asked to join the second queue. It was a very pleasant exchange.
At the immigration counter, I presented the passports, COPR and customs declaration. As I was yet to complete the landing procedure, passports were not stamped by the immigration officer and there was only one question regarding the customs declaration – “What kind of food items are you carrying?”
After that, the immigration officer advised me to collect the luggage and check if the “new immigrants” counter was open. He also advised that the counter usually opens around 8 AM, so if the counter was still not open after the luggage collection then proceed to the customs area just before the exit gate. The landing procedure would be completed there.
I collected the luggage and checked if the new immigrants area was open. It was still closed, so I went to the customs area with my family.
We waited in the queue for around 5 minutes and then a customs officer asked us to approach one of the counters. He asked for the documents and looked over them once. Then he said he needs to ask me a few questions before the landing procedure can be completed.
He asked the following questions:
1. Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
2. Have you ever had any trouble with the police?
3. Have you ever been deported or refused entry by any country?
4. Where will you be staying in Canada?
My answers to the first 3 questions were “No”. I provided a family member’s address in Vancouver where we were going to stay. He said that PR cards will take 2 months to arrive and asked if we would be staying at the same address for 2 months. I told him that we may not stay there for 2 months but I was happy for the PR cards to be mailed to that address, and they will be mailed to us wherever we would be at that time.
I was expecting a lot more questions regarding proof of funds and other things and I was prepared with all my documents. However, nothing of that sort came our way. He asked me to sign both copies of my son’s COPR along with mine, while he asked my wife to sign hers.
While we were doing that, he was having a very pleasant chat with my 2.5 years old son, singing songs with him, asking him funny questions and taking delight in his answers. I got an extremely welcoming feeling by seeing this.
After we signed all the papers, he asked us to wait in the waiting area and advised that the whole process can take 10 to 15 minutes. He went to one of the offices to complete the process.
After waiting for about 15 or 20 minutes, we saw him again and he gave us the signed copies of COPR. He congratulated us and welcomed us to Canada, saying we had successfully completed our landing as permanent residents. He told us we didn’t need to apply separately for PR cards as these are our first PR cards. These will be completed as a part of this landing procedure without the need for a separate application. He asked if we had any questions for him. I asked about SIN and customs declaration forms for my household things which I might bring in much later. He said SIN is handled by Service Canada and I will need to visit one of their offices. Customs declaration for personal things will only need to be completed at the time of bringing those items into Canada.
I had no more questions. He escorted all of us to the exit, welcomed us to Canada again and wished us the best for our life in Canada. We were out of the airport at 8 AM.
All in all, it was way easier than I had imagined, and an extremely pleasant experience.
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