Recommended Posts

tanchett

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🇨🇦🇨🇦

  • Like 6
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jules

Thank you for sharing your experience. It's super helpful for those who are landing after you. 

Enjoy Toronto - we are having awesome weather right now. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andrew and Tash

Hi Tanchett

Thank you for the post about landing in Toronto - it's very useful for us as our aim is to land in Toronto next June and then return to SA.

I see that you also have a son, and that you broke up the trip by spending time in New York.

What route are you taking on your return to SA? Do you have any advice as to the best route to travel with two young kids - aged 4 and 6?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanchett
6 hours ago, Andrew and Tash said:

Hi Tanchett

Thank you for the post about landing in Toronto - it's very useful for us as our aim is to land in Toronto next June and then return to SA.

I see that you also have a son, and that you broke up the trip by spending time in New York.

What route are you taking on your return to SA? Do you have any advice as to the best route to travel with two young kids - aged 4 and 6?

Hi Andrew and Tash

We didn’t have much choice in the tickets we got. The timing between receiving our passports and when we could fly was insane so we had to book the cheapest tickets we could find at the time.

Despite this though, it definitely helped flying on an overnight flight. We left SA at 9pm. My son is 7, so slightly older than your kids, but I think it will help to fly at night - he spent most of the flight to NYC sleeping. We were also unsure about whether we should bring along an iPad so that he has something to keep him occupied when bored but eventually did. It helped tremendously as he played games on it when he was awake and starting to get bored.

Our flight back to SA is tomorrow via Ethiopia with a short two hour layover there. I’m hoping it will go as smoothly as the first😬 I’ll definitely update you on how it goes once we’re back in SA. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BobbyV
On 7/7/2018 at 8:13 PM, tanchett said:

 

- 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).

 

Hi, thanks for a very informative description. I am very interested in how you presented your proof of funds in the PR application as I plan to also use my provident fund. I would be very grateful for a more detailed, step-by-step account of how you went about it.

Best wishes for the great times to come!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tanchett
On 7/13/2018 at 5:44 PM, BobbyV said:

Hi, thanks for a very informative description. I am very interested in how you presented your proof of funds in the PR application as I plan to also use my provident fund. I would be very grateful for a more detailed, step-by-step account of how you went about it.

Best wishes for the great times to come!

Hi Bobby

I've sent you a message with some info, hope it helps 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now