Today was my landing at the CIC office in Vancouver. As I mentioned before, if you already have legal status in Canada you don’t have to flagpole at the border or exit and re-enter the country.
I arrived at the office at 1:30pm with all my documents and a massive folder with everything to do with my PR application and my IEC permits. I had to be buzzed in but gave the security man a copy of my appointment letter, He took this and asked me to take a seat. The area was a large waiting room with a couple of numbered booths at the end of the room where some people were getting their paper work processed. There were other people waiting as well but it looked more like families and those with spouses.
At 1:30pm a CIC officer called my name and I went over to one of the booths with all my paperwork. He asked to see both my Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) documents, my passport and my old work permits (I had two). He asked me standard questions such as ‘Have I committed any crimes?’, ‘Have I been refused a visa/permit in any other country?’ ‘Do I have any dependents?’, ‘Am I still single?’.
He then asked about my last Port of Entry (POE) and date that I entered Canada, I had to think about this and then consult my phone. I found the answer (May 1st through Pacific Highway), the officer then wrote the dates under the relevant heading on both COPRs. He also asked for my first entry into Canada on my first work permit (September 1 2014) and wrote todays date as the date of my Permanent Residence. He initialled a couple of areas on the form, signed and stamped todays date and asked me to do the same with initialling and signing.
I was asked if I had any holidays outside of the country planned of which I said no and advised me not to leave the country until my PR card comes through (approximately 57 days providing Canada Post don’t go on strike). I asked him if I could still go through the border to the USA but he advised it was up to individual Canada Border Agency Service (CBSA) officers as to whether they accept my COPR.
At this point he voided both my work permits, stamped my passport with an immigration stamp and todays date, gave me a piece of paper on instructions on how to change my Social Insurance Number (SIN) and update Medical Services Plan (MSP); lastly, I was congratulated on becoming a Permanent Resident :). I thanked the officer and shook his hand – the whole process took about 10 minutes.
Next stop was Service Canada to change my SIN from a temporary number to a permanent one. This process took around 10 minutes as well as I got chatting to the Service Canada worker who actually knew where Milton Keynes was (where I was born) and the football team there. I also called Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) who confirmed that my two SINs will be linked ready for filing taxes next year and that I should just be able to log into my CRA account without creating a new one with my new SIN – I will wait and see as I have heard quite the contrary from other people. My employer and bank were also given a copy of my COPR and SIN as well. As a note, you only need to give your SIN to any financial institutions where they give you a T4 slip (usually for pensions, savings accounts, mutual funds etc.).
My next task is to go to the local CBSA office to ask about travelling in a private vehicle across the border and if they will accept my COPR as proof until my PR card arrives. I also need to bring in my ‘Goods to Follow’ forms (BSF 186) but that is for another day!
I did celebrate in the most Canadian way possible that I could think of…
Much better then a suggestion of taking a shot of maple syrup by one of my friends :S