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LaurenW

Settling Q & A

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LaurenW

My husband and I landed in Windsor, Ontario last year. We have been very lucky and have managed to buy a house and settle in very quickly and easily. In a PM last year I answered some questions and I figured maybe some other people could benefit from this thread. 

So see below the Q & A:

1.  When you arrived, how long was the process at immigration ?  This is stressing me out as I will already have 2 very grumpy little kids who have been on a very long flight !!  So am hoping to be out of the airport asap.

Immigration probably took us an extra 30 minutes to get the landing papers and customs goods to follow paperwork stamped. Its fairly quick and it goes quickly. We decided it was best to book at an airport hotel, that had a shuttle service, for the first night as it was a long flight and we rightly knew we would be too exhausted to want to travel far. 

2.  Out of curiosity, which airline did you fly with and where you happy ?

We flew Emirates as it was the cheapest. Emirates is a great airline but flight at over 26 hours (and that was short for Emirates) was killer if you have kids I would probably recommend you extend your stopover somewhere for a day so you can shower and eat and let them run riot somewhere that is not an airport. Most airlines let you break your flight up no charge too I have done this before on other routes. I probably not fly emirates on this route again purely because the connecting flight from London was not on Emirates but on the partner WestJet and it was basically crossing the Atlantic in the same plane you fly to JHB to Capetown in. There is no in-seat entertainment, food you had to purchase separately and the seats are less comfortable. But if you looking for an economical option the actual flight on emirates is normally great. 

3.  On your last post you mentioned you didnt have your PR card yet.  Have you received it now ?  Generally how long does it take to get these? 

4.  Why do you say it has been a nightmare to get the PR cards?

So with PR Cards we didn't have an address on landing so we had to send them an address later on a form we could fax. We took out a mailbox as we didn't have a permanent address. They then mailed us a month later to say our photos were not correct which was weird as we had not submitted photos as it was a fax so I duly posted off our photos (we used the same ones we sent in for our visas as we had extras). It been another month and no word. Eventually I found a number online and called only to find our photos were still wrong so we reposted new ones and finally got our cards at around 6 months after landing.

 If you travel by road though you can use your landing papers to get in and out of the US but if you need to fly you are stuck till you get your card. 

5.  I am so excited to hear you got a mortgage so quickly.  From what I had read, you need to build up a credit rating for about 2 years prior to being given a mortgage.  However, as a newcomer, is your mortgage very restricted, basically did you get the amount you wanted or did you get quite a low mortgage?

For the Mortage as I mentioned RBC was the best bank for all credit related things They have a specific programme to help newcomers and they were very nice to us. The other banks wanted us to put 30% down which was madness but with RBC it was only 10%. Bring a copy of your SA credit report with you (Transunion etc.). What may have helped was that my husband transferred with his old company to Canada at first so we had proof he had been employed for 5 years with them which may have tipped the scale in our favour. That and the fact I have a spotless credit history in SA and also kept my job with my old company as a remote consultant. Mortgage rates are pretty standard I think we are around 3.2% interest and we got the amount we applied for. We did buy quite conservatively down scaling from our last house in SA just because we don't know what our monthly expenses here and how much upkeep on a wooden house will be. It turned out to be the right move as everything is a lot more expensive than you think it will be and there are a lot of things we didn't budget for that have cropped up. 

6.  What did you do about accommodation when you arrived.

We booked an airbnb for the first two weeks and then moved to another one for the next month. It was a houseshare type wso sharing got old fast but was very economical working out to about $31 per night for the two of us. As a long term resident we just took over the lounge an kitchen :)

7.  Please tell me how to go about getting our driving records and credit records here in Johannesburg.  I have heard these are very important.

Driving records maybe see the threads on it on this forum thats what I did. But basically you need to drive to the RTMC in Pretoria and collect the letter fro m a guy called David. Took about 15 minutes once I was at the offices. Unless you have a spotless driving record don't bother to submit your old insurance letters to your new insurance as even one accident or claim regardless of fault in the last 2 years can mess up your record here. 

8.  Do you have any recommendations for furniture transport to Canada?

We used Peter at ITTA (international trade and transport agents) to get our items and Dogs to Canada. They were great and we spent about R26 000 for the  crates and R24 000 for 3 the dogs. We didn't bring much furniture and its worth knowing that when you buy rent a house it comes with a fridge, stove, washer and dryer. We were lucky ours also came with a dishwasher and microwave. Basically we had sentimental items, paperwork, my husbands gaming PC  (you need to replace the power source on PCS but with all his gaming stuff it was cheaper to bring it) and a few things like my le cruset that I didn't want to part with. We hit the dollarstore for all our utensils and IKEA for almost everything else except our bed which we wanted to be a Seally. IKEA was the most economical range of furniture that was solid wood (pine) as opposed to laminate woods stuff which doesn't last. We have started staining the pine now and its looking great. 

9.  Finally, the one thing I am most nervous about is getting my drivers licence over there.  You guys seemed to have done this with no hassle.  Please let me know how you do it, I have read you first have to do basically your learners again and then your drivers ?  How long does the entire process take.  I am petrified of having to do parrallel parking and alley docking over there on the other side of the road.... :unsure:

Finally driving.... Passing your learners is super easy (they call it a G1 or knowledge test). We got the book to study from at Shoppers Drug Mart for about $16 (they have a Shoppers on almost every corner its like clicks crossed with a small grocery store). You don't book the test you arrive early, take your pictures and hand in your experience letter and the write straight away. In Ontario you write at the Drive Test center its like an outsourced licensing department lines rival SA at this place but its unavoidable. You then book for your G test which can be a months waiting. Both my husband and I passed first time after a few lessons to learn parking. There is no alley docking. Parallel parking, three point turn and emergency stop is done on street in a back road which takes some pressure off). Its not as bad as you think it will be though. You just need a G1 to buy a car and then have someone with a G's license number for insurance (they don"t have any risk giving this and anything you do wont hurt their license).

I hope this helps some of you. 

 

 

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Perry

Haha, there's no way on earth I'm leaving my Le Creuset behind either. 

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Stefolive
On 6/6/2018 at 4:14 PM, LaurenW said:

My husband and I landed in Windsor, Ontario last year. We have been very lucky and have managed to buy a house and settle in very quickly and easily. In a PM last year I answered some questions and I figured maybe some other people could benefit from this thread. 

So see below the Q & A:

1.  When you arrived, how long was the process at immigration ?  This is stressing me out as I will already have 2 very grumpy little kids who have been on a very long flight !!  So am hoping to be out of the airport asap.

Immigration probably took us an extra 30 minutes to get the landing papers and customs goods to follow paperwork stamped. Its fairly quick and it goes quickly. We decided it was best to book at an airport hotel, that had a shuttle service, for the first night as it was a long flight and we rightly knew we would be too exhausted to want to travel far. 

2.  Out of curiosity, which airline did you fly with and where you happy ?

We flew Emirates as it was the cheapest. Emirates is a great airline but flight at over 26 hours (and that was short for Emirates) was killer if you have kids I would probably recommend you extend your stopover somewhere for a day so you can shower and eat and let them run riot somewhere that is not an airport. Most airlines let you break your flight up no charge too I have done this before on other routes. I probably not fly emirates on this route again purely because the connecting flight from London was not on Emirates but on the partner WestJet and it was basically crossing the Atlantic in the same plane you fly to JHB to Capetown in. There is no in-seat entertainment, food you had to purchase separately and the seats are less comfortable. But if you looking for an economical option the actual flight on emirates is normally great. 

3.  On your last post you mentioned you didnt have your PR card yet.  Have you received it now ?  Generally how long does it take to get these? 

4.  Why do you say it has been a nightmare to get the PR cards?

So with PR Cards we didn't have an address on landing so we had to send them an address later on a form we could fax. We took out a mailbox as we didn't have a permanent address. They then mailed us a month later to say our photos were not correct which was weird as we had not submitted photos as it was a fax so I duly posted off our photos (we used the same ones we sent in for our visas as we had extras). It been another month and no word. Eventually I found a number online and called only to find our photos were still wrong so we reposted new ones and finally got our cards at around 6 months after landing.

 If you travel by road though you can use your landing papers to get in and out of the US but if you need to fly you are stuck till you get your card. 

5.  I am so excited to hear you got a mortgage so quickly.  From what I had read, you need to build up a credit rating for about 2 years prior to being given a mortgage.  However, as a newcomer, is your mortgage very restricted, basically did you get the amount you wanted or did you get quite a low mortgage?

For the Mortage as I mentioned RBC was the best bank for all credit related things They have a specific programme to help newcomers and they were very nice to us. The other banks wanted us to put 30% down which was madness but with RBC it was only 10%. Bring a copy of your SA credit report with you (Transunion etc.). What may have helped was that my husband transferred with his old company to Canada at first so we had proof he had been employed for 5 years with them which may have tipped the scale in our favour. That and the fact I have a spotless credit history in SA and also kept my job with my old company as a remote consultant. Mortgage rates are pretty standard I think we are around 3.2% interest and we got the amount we applied for. We did buy quite conservatively down scaling from our last house in SA just because we don't know what our monthly expenses here and how much upkeep on a wooden house will be. It turned out to be the right move as everything is a lot more expensive than you think it will be and there are a lot of things we didn't budget for that have cropped up. 

6.  What did you do about accommodation when you arrived.

We booked an airbnb for the first two weeks and then moved to another one for the next month. It was a houseshare type wso sharing got old fast but was very economical working out to about $31 per night for the two of us. As a long term resident we just took over the lounge an kitchen :)

7.  Please tell me how to go about getting our driving records and credit records here in Johannesburg.  I have heard these are very important.

Driving records maybe see the threads on it on this forum thats what I did. But basically you need to drive to the RTMC in Pretoria and collect the letter fro m a guy called David. Took about 15 minutes once I was at the offices. Unless you have a spotless driving record don't bother to submit your old insurance letters to your new insurance as even one accident or claim regardless of fault in the last 2 years can mess up your record here. 

8.  Do you have any recommendations for furniture transport to Canada?

We used Peter at ITTA (international trade and transport agents) to get our items and Dogs to Canada. They were great and we spent about R26 000 for the  crates and R24 000 for 3 the dogs. We didn't bring much furniture and its worth knowing that when you buy rent a house it comes with a fridge, stove, washer and dryer. We were lucky ours also came with a dishwasher and microwave. Basically we had sentimental items, paperwork, my husbands gaming PC  (you need to replace the power source on PCS but with all his gaming stuff it was cheaper to bring it) and a few things like my le cruset that I didn't want to part with. We hit the dollarstore for all our utensils and IKEA for almost everything else except our bed which we wanted to be a Seally. IKEA was the most economical range of furniture that was solid wood (pine) as opposed to laminate woods stuff which doesn't last. We have started staining the pine now and its looking great. 

9.  Finally, the one thing I am most nervous about is getting my drivers licence over there.  You guys seemed to have done this with no hassle.  Please let me know how you do it, I have read you first have to do basically your learners again and then your drivers ?  How long does the entire process take.  I am petrified of having to do parrallel parking and alley docking over there on the other side of the road.... :unsure:

Finally driving.... Passing your learners is super easy (they call it a G1 or knowledge test). We got the book to study from at Shoppers Drug Mart for about $16 (they have a Shoppers on almost every corner its like clicks crossed with a small grocery store). You don't book the test you arrive early, take your pictures and hand in your experience letter and the write straight away. In Ontario you write at the Drive Test center its like an outsourced licensing department lines rival SA at this place but its unavoidable. You then book for your G test which can be a months waiting. Both my husband and I passed first time after a few lessons to learn parking. There is no alley docking. Parallel parking, three point turn and emergency stop is done on street in a back road which takes some pressure off). Its not as bad as you think it will be though. You just need a G1 to buy a car and then have someone with a G's license number for insurance (they don"t have any risk giving this and anything you do wont hurt their license).

I hope this helps some of you. 

 

 

Lauren did you immigrate through a company or did you do everything yourself? Also how did you know what all needs to be done to be able to immigrate?

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Nelline
13 hours ago, Stefolive said:

Lauren did you immigrate through a company or did you do everything yourself? Also how did you know what all needs to be done to be able to immigrate?

Have you researched on the CIC website? Everything you need to know is on there, remember each situation for every person is different so best to review you specific scenario there

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Sharma

Our experience with RBC was completely different. We had to put down 35% deposit. Similar to you, I still had my job back in Botswana. 

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