My landing process was pretty smooth (except the turbulence during the descent that was scary). I flew in to Toronto Pearson (YYZ). They have these cool new kiosks right before customs & immigration check where you state your purpose of visit, declarations, and it takes your picture. First time landing, I wasn’t sure whether to select “PR” or “Visitor” so I selected “Visitor” to be on the safe side since you aren’t a PR till the CBSA officer processes you. You don’t really need the customs form they give you on the plane ( I had filled that one out but they threw it in the trash right in front of me).
You are then directed to another desk where a CBSA officer will check your PR visa and direct you to secondary immigration where there are many CBSA officers at various desks, similar to a DMV office. My CBSA officer seemed like a nice guy. He asked me the basic “has anything changed since you got the CoPR document”-style questions. He did not ask for any other document except CoPR and PR visa. When I gave him the address to send the PR card to, he wasn’t sure if it was a right address so he google-mapped it to confirm I guess. Did not ask for Proof of Funds but asked how many “CAD I had access to” and wrote that amount on CoPR. I did ask him about social insurance number and where to get it, but it was a long weekend holiday that day so the service Canada office at the airport was closed. Then he signed and stamped on the CoPR thus confirming it, canceled my PR visa with a pen (it’s a single entry visa) and I was out of there. Took maybe 5-10 mins in all.
Then I had to go do my customs (B4) forms. I did not know this at the time but apparently, if you’re not actually moving on the day of your landing, you can do your “goods following” (everything else you will be bringing in later) forms later when you’re actually moving. Anyway, I had done a list of everything I owned in the US in the goods following and basic stuff like clothes, laptop, headphones etc as goods accompanying. It involves filling out a form on the CIC website and making a document (e.g. excel sheet) with list, serial number (if applicable) and the estimated value of the item. It was 5 pages long for me.
After I was done with PR confirmation I went into customs. At YYZ “nothing to declare” people take a left at customs checkout desk and people who have stuff to declare take a right and go down the hall. There are more desks in the customs area and these people were a lot more serious than the CBSA immigration officers for some reason. They went through my list but disagreed with a few things I had in there (e.g. mattress, documents that I had placed a $ value on, and some non-perishable food items that I should not have included in the first place). I simply told them to cancel those out and I was good to go. After they stamp your customs forms you’re supposed to go to the checkout window where they will print you a receipt of $0 custom duties paid. Then I was out of the airport and drove to Toronto. Driving is pretty much same as the US, except the exit lane markings look a bit different but that’s about it.
The next day I went to service Ontario office and wasted some time there before realizing SINs are done at Service Canada* office. The wait there was long but when I got to the counter they just generated a SIN for me on the spot and I was good to go. Then I was basically just walking and shopping around for bank accounts and opened one the same day. Visited Niagara (much better from the Canadian side!), met some friends, roamed around a bit.
That’s really about it. If you’re going there for a few days during landing this is what you might expect.