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  1. Good Day to the Forum, So this story has been long over due and I hope you at least have one laugh reading it. We started our journey in June 2018 with our EE application and getting all the required paperwork in place, finally by end Feb 2019 we received that coveted golden email as you say. At first you talk about immigration and as the process follows you start informing family of what is to come... but when that email hits your inbox, you suddenly have an epiphany: "What the hell should I do now? I am so not ready for this". Then you start working through a list, one by one ticking off the items. Suddenly you don't own a car, you live with family and frankly to everybody else you stuff is worthless, but you sold all of it. You have reduced you life into 8 suitcases and 4 backpacks. Ahead of us lies the next step, saying goodbye to family, some of which we will see for the last time, and you limit the gathering at airport. Don't care how tough you are...it hurts saying goodbye. Holding back the tears you wave as you pass through security. Wow... it hits you again, now what. The twins (almost 2 year old boys), they are going nuts in this big building with trolley rides and escalators. We take a seat on a bench to check our tickets again and then make our way to the boarding gates. The lady asks for our boarding pass before we can enter the staging area to wait to board the plane. We had all our paper work neatly in a flip folder, I put my backpack down and suddenly get that cold, scared and shock feeling from my ears to my heels. Where is the folder...passports, COPR, tickets, proof of funds, etc.. its all in there...THE BENCH... I flip around and bolt through the airport, I skip two three steps up the stair case hoping no-one has taken it... as I turn the corner approaching this bench I see two security ladies have just noticed our folder, out of breath I am trying to explain to the ladies that they can check the folder, my passport is in there with a terrible photo this guy in it. Ok got it back... Walk back to find my boys all over the place, and my poor wife trying fruitlessly to get them to sit still... but wait we went the Doc a week before our trip and he prescribe some awesome stuff to calm the buys down. Don't get me wrong I don't give my kids anything other than medication when they are sick and vitamins...but we are about to spend 27hours on a airborne box with two year olds that are hard to control at home... gave them a dose and 45mins later being boarded they were a lot more docile. Flying emirates, we had a stop over in Dubai 8hours later (Stop over 19hours)...boys slept the entire flight... we get out of the airport to go to a hotel, just to break the trip up and give the boys a bath and rest a bit before we continue our trip. Back on the plane, dosed again... 14 hour flight to Toronto... 3:30 hour stop over (enough for landing paperwork)... then on to Calgary... Oh no, no no no... Flight delayed in Dubai... All landing paperwork took as expected 1H30 including S/N numbers... but now our bags were offloaded, we need to get them, get on a mono-rail shuttle train and get our connection with westjet to Calgary... get there... O sorry, booking closed they cannot except more baggage... really? Now I leave the wife, kids and bags there... because the emirates counter is back on the other side of the airport... back on the rail... looking for one small emirates desk in the airport terminal. I finally found it... no more flights today... What? after I calmed down... ok next step... explain... O first flight in the morning...We are on it. Good, let me spend some more money to book into the airport hotel. Get back to the wife who is now livid with the boys because we have no communication between us... ok everybody calm down... hotel... there we go... nice room... had a good bath and rest. Next morning first thing we are at the gate...bags and all... "O, my apologies sir. You tickets have the kids booked as on-the-lap infants, this does not correspond to your original bookings and they will need to rebook your tickets again"............I go silent....... then..... what the do you mean... "Sorry Sir emirates will have to rebook you again"... Now... Wife, Kids, Bags...all of it back on the mono rail... other terminal... where the is emirates... O no sir they only have a desk person when there is a flight, only this afternoon there will be someone....bbbbbbbbbbbblllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeppppppppppp.... my heart just skipped a beat from the frustration... Ok... phoned them... through a airport link phone... booked us Air Canada to Calgary in departing in 30min... there we go. Finally we land in Calgary... no hassle... I got a bag with some prized cutlery, my pocket knife collection and so one... No-one stopped us once to check any of it... Awesome. We get a cab, get to the Airbnb and finally stretch out... we have made it. Since then everything has been great, awesome support from the communities, met some wonderful South Africans. Helped us a lot. Found a good job and we are enjoying Canada very much. The boys are still alive, we have settled... enough... have a place to sit, sleep, eat and watch the rugby... Well done Bokke! Glad we went through it all, it will be worth it in the end... I truly believe that.
  2. tanchett

    Landing in Toronto: July 2018

    Hi everyone We landed in Toronto on Thursday and I wanted to share our experience with you before I forget anything. I’m typing this on my phone so it may be structured weirdly - apologies for that. We will be here for a week, after which we’ll head home to tie up all loose ends before heading back. We flew SAA to New York, where we spent a few days before flying AirCanada to Toronto. This didn’t add any extra admin to our trip and we weren’t asked anything about Canada when entering or leaving New York. Planning: Based on everything we read here and on Facebook, we carried the following with us: - Proof of funds (We used my provident fund as our proof of funds when we did our application. Because we are returning back to SA after this trip, I have not yet resigned and none of that money is available to me yet. For proof of funds, we carried copies of the tables and calculations we used for our initial application, and updated tables to reflect June dates). - Unabridged birth certificates for myself, my husband and my son (we were asked for my son’s in SA a few times but otherwise, none of these were asked for) - A detailed goods to follow and goods accompanying list. We did two separate lists in excel and brought three copies of each. The lists included the serial numbers for all electronic devices and approximate values in CAD for everything. Arrival: After landing, there are two lines available for you to join. One is for ‘Canadian and US passport holders and Permanent Residents’ and the other is for ‘All other passport holders’. We were directed to the ‘All other passport holders’ line. As the line is quite long, it took us about 25mins to get to a counter. The guy at the counter was approachable enough and immediately warmed up to us once he saw our COPR papers. He asked why we chose Canada, whether we’d visited before and then spent some time telling us all about the infamous Canadian winter. All in all, this was a quick and painless first stop. We were then directed to the Immigration section. Our flight arrived at 7am - I’m not sure if it was because of the early hour, but the line at immigration was very long. We spent about 40mins waiting in line before getting to a counter. From watching others at the counters while in line it’s clear that your experience is dependent on the immigration officer you get on the day. We were super lucky to be assisted by a really friendly lady. She checked our papers, asked for a Canadian address (we provided a friend’s) and asked how much money we have in cash. That was the extent of her questions. She didn’t ask anything about whether we’re going back to SA this trip, our goods to follow or our proof of funds. That being said, I’ve read many landing stories of people who have been asked these things, so it’s best to be prepared. We were ready to indicate that this was just an activation trip if we were asked, but no one did. We waited about ten minutes for her to process our documents and were then directed to the section for SIN numbers, a short walk away. As she said goodbye, she wished us luck and said ‘Welcome to Canada’ - it was at that point that it began to really sink in for us - after all this time, we were finally here. On the way to the SIN section we had to stop at a desk where we were handed a booklet with helpful info for newcomers. The two people at this desk were also very friendly and welcoming. At the SIN section, we had to fill out two short forms for my husband and I asking for our names, our parent’s names and surnames (both mother and father) and our address in Canada. There was no line here and we were helped almost immediately. The guy helping us was very helpful, gave us lots of advice and welcomed us to our new home. We received our SIN numbers within about ten minutes and then headed off to the baggage claim area to collect our bags. Once we had our bags, we had to head through customs. Here, we were asked for our goods to follow list. We were told that the goods accompanying list isn’t needed. We weren’t asked any questions about our lists - the guy glanced at them, filled in a form and within a few minutes, we were done. Because the immigration section was quite busy, I’d say the whole process took us about two hours. We’re now taking in all Toronto has to offer and loving every minute of it. Everyone we’ve met has been super friendly and we can’t wait to start our lives here. I hope this info helps anyone arriving soon🇨🇦🇨🇦
  3. Vantheman

    Passport Renewal Query

    Hi allHope you're all having a fantastic Friday! So, my wife's passport expires in June 2019 and she has visa's valid until 2023. In addition, all Canadian PR related documentation references her existing passport. We booked our flights today to activate our PR and land on 3 June 2018. We are not sure when we will return to SA. However the travel agent has advised that while she can travel on her current passport, she should apply ASAP to renew her passport before we leave. This means her existing passport will be deactivated but would need to be submitted with her new passport application at SA Home Affairs. A phone call to SA home affairs informed us that they cannot guarantee her existing passport will get back to her with her application (no comment). I am loathe to get ourselves into a situation where we have to replace the existing visas, especially the PR one, before our landing in June. We are concerned about this process and possible complications. Does anyone have any advice or similar experience being in this situation? Is it difficult renewing your SA passport while in Canada? We'll be settling in Vancouver initially. I'm thinking to rather play it safe, get our landing done and then apply for a passport from Canada as she'll have about 12 months left in the existing one, which she can use for her flights in and out of SA. Would thoroughly appreciate any advice you can give.Thanks Van
  4. AdeleDBN

    After PPR - The When, Where and How

    We received our PPR exactly one week ago. With all of the excitement and such a lively bunch of people getting PPR at almost exactly the same time, I was hoping we could share some more advise and encouragement. I often wish that I was also based in Johannesburg so that I can join in all the Coffee Club meetups. We are a family of 3 and planning on landing 15 January 2018, we have not booked flights of accommodation yet because we are still not 100% sure where we want to go, however I am about 80% sure that it will be in the GTA (there is just more work for us there). So this is our To Do List for now - please let me know if I am missing anything 1) Minor renovations on house and sell house 2) Research Jobs, and Areas - Decide where we are going (advise and comments welcome) 3) Book Tickets (Emirates looks cheapest from Durban) and Accommodation (AirBnB???) 4) Investigate shipping - probably only taking 2 or 3 boxes of stuff (Make goods to follow list) 5) Get driving record (or whatever it is called) 6)???? 7)???? Eish, will add more later I guess, getting a bit stressed out now! Please share your When, Where and How maybe we can learn from each other
  5. Hi everyone My wife and I are very excited to have received our passport request about two weeks ago. When I checked our status on the CIC website it appears that our visa's are granted and we have until early August of next year to enter Canada! We should get our passports back this week. I have been looking at the costs of airbnb, and it is obviously much cheaper for me to stay on my own until I can find a job, and then my family can enter Canada once I have found a rental apartment, etc. I am the main applicant. We are all South African. My wife would be entering Canada after me with my 12 month old daughter. I have some questions relating to our landing separately from each other: What documents would I need to provide immigration with upon entering Canada, and then what would my wife need to provide? Do we each receive our own permanent residence confirmation letter , or is it one for the whole family? For example, I would need the permanent residence confirmation letter and proof of funds. Anything else? Then when my wife enters Canada with my daughter, I assume she would need my daughter's birth certificate. Would she also need proof of funds? Would she need any other documentation for her or my daughter, like a letter from me that she is allowed to travel with her? I think when leaving SA she would need this? Any other documentation> Any links with more information would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Ross
  6. graciax452

    Ottawa Landing Story

    Hi all, busy typing this at Heathrow on my way back (another super long layover), not an exciting landing story by any account, but will hopefully help someone. I had to chaperone Girl Guides who had a WHO Violence against children conference in Ottawa which pushed up my landing a bit. I prepared my Goods to follow lists and proof of funds, and we flew via Heathrow to Ottawa, super long 8 hour layover at Heathrow, definitely not fun even with 16 year olds. We arrived in Ottawa but were last off the flight as we were in no rush and of course the girls wanted to freshen up so we were last at customs. The line actually halved whilst we were in the bathroom... They have a new declaration system at customs now, you go to machine/self service terminal and scan your passport, answer questions, get your picture taken etc and declare, all on the self service terminal. If all goes well you get a receipt from the terminal and voila you are done, no mess no fuss.You go to the immigration line just show the receipt and you are through. Because the system is new there were number of assistants helping people. If you are not so lucky e.g. passport will not scan or it if bombs out after taking photos which is a glitch they said they are fixing then you join the normal customs line. We had to do this as ours bombed out after the photo. The immigration agent used a yellow declaration slip, and asked us how long we were there, funds on hand and if we had food etc. When done he said have a safe trip so I asked him where I could do my landing and he said to go to immigration, which we had to anyway as we had a yellow slip. We collected our bags and went to immigration. Only two agents were working and the people in front took an age about half an hour each, but after they were gone everyone else took only about 4 to 7 minutes. I got the girls passports stamped then did my landing. The immigration lady took the COPR. She asked how long I was staying and I said 5 days so she said I could not give an address to send PR card to as they can't send it if I'm not in the country, even if it's sending to my sister, she said it has to be sent where I'll be in Canada. She said to update the address when I am about to move to settle so they PR card can be sent there. So I'll have to update my address online to get the card sent to my sisters' in Edmonton. She then stapled my completed COPR to my passport told me I'd need a PRTD in order to come back. She asked me if I had a goods following list, but that I didn't need it as yet, as I was going to come back later and could bring it then. I told her I had it and she said if I was sure it was complete I could go get it stamped by the second guy who was checking bags. We went over, he took my passport filled out a form and stamped my copies of the goods to follow lists and gave me copies of the one he filled as well. No one asked for proof of funds. We then took the bus from in front of the airport to our hotel. Easy peasy. As I was there with the girls and had to stay with them I did not manage to apply for SIN, the one time I passed by Services Canada was during lunch and the wait time was 1 hour long, about 10 people in front of me so I left it. The Services Canada lady said it would only take 10 minutes to get if there was no wait time. So week is over and now we are on our way back
  7. Hi all, so had only planned to land in Dec/ Jan and visit with family then come back with my PR card or get it sent back to me. Now I'm going to be chaperoning some girl Guides to Ottawa for a UNICEf Stop the Violence summit in Ottawa in October, thus pushing up my landing quite a bit (and hours away from my sister... sigh) So the bare minimums I need are Confirmation of PR letter Passport, and Goods to follow list yes? If I don't have a goods to follow list ready right now can I add that on at a later stage? The only thing I can think of right now are my harps, that I would want to 'follow' but as I was only planning on going to settle end of 2018 who knows what will have changed by then. I wanted actually to go school full time to do my masters as I want to change careers so no need really to take a lot to follow me. Can I make generic lists like clothes, books, musical instruments, furniture (highly unlikely)... or does it have to mention everything down to my toothbrush? ciao D
  8. Hi everyone, We are landing and activating our PR in Vancouver soon and I just have a question. My husband and I will each have a laptop and 24 inch computer screen with us. These belong to the company that we work for. Will it be sufficient if we have a letter from our boss stating that we are allowed to bring these with us as well as their serial numbers and value? Do we need any other documentation or need to do anything else with regards to this or is it not something that I need to worry about? I would appreciate any information, thanks! :-)
  9. Hello all, While a wheedle out the fun in the last steps of the application process, I have started considering what I'm taking and what I am leaving behind when I go and I have a couple of questions, mostly to those who have already landed. I am a single person going, not a soul going with me, or a soul really meeting me when I land. So far, the plan is Vancouver area, but if work calls elsewhere in the meantime, I could be going anywhere. Anyway, I have read a lot about people taking steps back in career and lifestyle, giving up what they had, managing their families and many other things, but I'm moving from basically nothing. I have no house in my name, no car in my name, no debt (or credit score). I won't be shipping a houseful of goods with me. None of that. I left varsity in 2012 and I moved back in with my folks and since then I have been working solidly. That, and my 21st birthday gift of a unit trust account, is how I'm affording to leave. I have left home before; I moved from JHB to GHT and went to Rhodes. Basically student living is my norm so I don't know if there is a backslide from that? My career is baseline Admin Assistant, although I specialize in cash handling and have spent 2.5 years in a position of trust (I keep the safe keys, so they must like me). However, now that the nuts and bolts of reality are setting in, I have a few questions: 1. If you are moving, by yourself with just one blue metal trunk to you name, what would you bring? At the moment I have clothing, the books that are important to me and a few other things, but it will maybe fill half the trunk. Everything else I own is getting sold because my parents are also emigrating, just to Europe and not Canada. 2. I am finding the job thing very confusing all around but the biggest question is: what are my chances of finding a job before I leave SA and landing to one when I get there. I don't really want to be an Admin Assistant for the rest of my life but it's fine for a bit longer. I have a Masters Degree but I don't think the fields of Literature are all that wide open. and now for an awkward but really important question: 3. For my 25th birthday I was given a gift. There were some incredibly sad circumstances that led to this incredible gift, but I will always be thankful for it. However, I'm not sure how to legally get it into Canada without paying my own body-weight in money. I don't want to go into detail but after a string of bad luck with people taking things that don't belong to them, which was my reason for finally deciding to go, my mother was paid out by insurance and decided to get myself and my sister something with the money, rather than try and replace goods with heavy sentimental value. To put this plainly, my mother bought my sister and I a diamond each. I got mine for my 25th, she got hers for her 21st 6 months later. I don't really want to disclose any more than that because I'm paranoid but, it's unset (for now) but certified via Antwerp and all that jazz. How do I get it to Canada legally without making customs have a heart attack? (You're from Africa and you have unset diamonds? go on... no really.) Will I pay tax on it? Is there a form? Would it be easier to just have it set and wear it in? If anyone has insights, please share.
  10. Hey guys, We're hoping to finalize our booking for accommodation for the month of July on Airbnb, in your experience what is a good area to form a base in terms of job interviews / sorting out landing admin & viewing potential apartments to rent for the first month upon arrival in Toronto? Thanks!