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Eloff's

Landed Feb 2018

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Eloff's

 

This is our landing story, a lot like other stories but also unique in its own way. It’s a bit late but I suppose if even one person gains some insight, learnings or comfort it would be worth the time to write this. For the record this is PR activation & then returning back to SA to then settle later in 2018.

We departed via OR Tambo on the 9th Feb 2018 on Lufthansa airline, our first time on this airline. What I can say is when booking a flight on an airline & they offer an economy & premium economy class, be assured the economy WILL HAVE NO LEG room. We then landed in Frankfurt for a short stop over & then on to Vancouver again.

Landing in Vancouver the 10th Feb 2018 we were met by loads of friendly faces just waiting to assist us in any way possible. There we literally dozens of people standing around to direct you to the correct queue or answer a question. The officer at arrivals was full of jokes and allowed us through with our first of many “Welcome to Canada”. Next we were off to find our luggage this took a bit of time as this airport is very busy.

Then we went to immigration right next to luggage collections. Here we were met with a “Welcome to Canada”, we were given a Welcome to Canada what you should know booklet & directed to the correct queue. Being number 20th we had to wait a bit as there were only 2 immigration officers & after 20minutes another 3 joined in. A couple of questions & all they wanted were our passports & COPR documents (remember these needs to be signed in the presence of the immigration officer). Off to customs we go, now for customs we prepared a detailed list of goods to follow with pictures of all the jewelry including ZAR value & CAD value with the exchange rate used. The custom officer took one look at all this and asked where the valuation certificates for all the jewelry are?

Aaaaaah man “Nou wat nou”.  When I mentioned that we did not have any with us we were assured that it’s ok to bring them along when we finally move to Canada. I asked him if there was any maximum time frame to this he said 1 year. So I also asked about items inherited he said as long as they are specified in the will they will be consider part of goods to follow.

Now out & about in Vancouver my wife cousin met us at the airport & expertly navigated us via the sky train to the waterfront train station which was 15min walk from our air BnB. We spent the next few days exploring Vancouver restaurants, coffee shops & scenery like Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, Chinese gardens, Canada Place & Grouse Mountain.

Next on the list was my Instrumentation Inter provincial Red Seal exam (Canadian trade exam) I chose a venue close to where we stayed, it was in Burnaby. There are many venues available and ITC BC allows you to choose your venue & the date that suites you.

The next day it was off to RBC to activate our account that we opened from SA. Just a tip be sure to schedule an appointment beforehand.  Here they required originals of the documents we provided to open the account & our SIN documents that we did not yet apply for.  So get your SIN number from a Services Canada before going to activate your bank account, they need it for tax purposes & you will need it when applying for any job. Remember you will need a Canadian address for your PR card to be sent to as well as all communications from the bank & services Canada.

The weather in Vancouver was very sunny & in the positive low single degrees C. We were told by many that this is not the norm for Vancouver. It rains a lot and to consider drinking Vit D if moving to Vancouver especially if coming from sunny SA. Food was great & different we ate out a lot (gets very expensive) but noted the groceries were not so bad depending on where you shopped. We always felt safe with loads of visible policing in the less safe areas.

Next up was our flight to Calgary, our experience on Air Canada was a pleasant one. More “Welcome to Canada”, wow the people really are friendly in Canada. Again using only public transport we were off to our Air BnB. The very first night we were woken up by the buildings fire alarm screaming, at first I thought fire drill but decided to evacuate any way. Outside we found everyone looking on as the Calgary fire department went about check everything is ok & everyone was out. Luckily it was a false alarm, still not a lot of fun in the early hours in sub zero degrees C. Calgary was purely an exploration visit. Here we met some expats from all over the world very happy to be in Canada, just to name a few South African, New Zealanders & Europeans.

We went to Fort Calgary for Sunday brunch & a bit of history, Gasoline alley museum for a large selection of 18th & 19th century  brilliantly restored vehicles. Calgary zoo even had a large selection from Africa; all hiding indoors, even took a tour to the famous Lake Louise & Banff town. Not much of a lake view as everything was frozen. One thing was certain even if it was snowing & -13 degrees C people were not hiding inside there was always something to do or event to attend.

The weather in Calgary was mostly sunny with temperatures during the day anywhere around -10 degrees C. People were friendly & helpful. Restaurants were great & Craft beer is a big thing in Alberta. The sales tax is less in Alberta than it is in British Columbia so grocery shopping worked out cheaper. We will have to get use to not seeing a lot of our local brands on the shelf.  Public transport works well & is very reliable.

Now we are back in SA & finalizing a few things before returning to Canada.

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Marcola

Thank you so much for your post @Eloff's. Didn't know quite a few things e.g. needing a SIN before going to activate our RBC account; so thank you! We land on a long weekend (May 20th) so guess we will have to wait to do those. 

Love landing stories. When are you guys going back?

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Eloff's
On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 10:02 AM, Marcola said:

Thank you so much for your post @Eloff's. Didn't know quite a few things e.g. needing a SIN before going to activate our RBC account; so thank you! We land on a long weekend (May 20th) so guess we will have to wait to do those. 

Love landing stories. When are you guys going back?

Hi Marcola

Believe me I also love landings stories its a small bit of Hope & of course some info we can always use. Wow that's just around the corner, are you guys going & staying or looking at coming back ?

Where are you guys looking at settling?

Well my wife & I have 2 or 3 things that we can only get done around July to August so as soon as that is done we want to settle permanently.

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