Hopefully this was 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 vs Airport Landing
Once 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 was successful, I just need to do what is called a flag point. Therefore, I decided to ask my friend to drive us.
I must say that Airport Landing was not an option for us. It was way too expensive.
Getting ready the Paperwork
When I got my CoRP documentation, it just states to take the CoRP document and my current passport. Beware of border officers asking for more documents. I recommend you to bring all the documentation you have as I did. You never know.
Going to the US/Canada Border to do the Landing
I do not remember at this time what entry point I went to. 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 I must get myself out of Canada and get in. As I am Mexican without a US Visa, when I got to the border I told both officers (Canadian and the American) that I wanted to bounce back (pole flag) because I needed to go to the Canadian Immigration Office. They understood right away. In my case, I got a white paper of administrative rejection from the US. The Canadian officer required that paper to process to proof I came from outside the country.
And again, be ready, it was 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's 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 the first landers. Most part of it I already knew 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 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 a new number. If you already had access to MyCRA, do not get worried if you access stops working. CRA will move all information from your 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 the 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 that offer newcomers cards with zero monthly fees. You just need to ask.
I got by postal mail my Permanent Residence Card.
You are all set! Good Luck!