First time landing in Canada on PR

I found this on Quora recently where a few people have recounted their experiences of the first landing in Canada after getting PR. Since a few of the community members already have PR and a few others have received ITA, it would be a nice way to keep track of our experiences and see if anything changes in the future in the way the formalities are performed. Hopefully it will help everyone here when they are ready to head to Canada.

It would be great to know which method of transport was used to enter Canada. I am guessing flying will be the most common but I have read of quite a few people driving or taking the train to Canada as well. I am not sure how common it is to enter Canada by waterways though.

@vik, @avj, @t.anand - Would you be able to recount your landing formalities too?

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.


@avj Can only secondary applicant land in canada?

That will be a solid No. Primary has to land with or before secondary/dependents.

@avj Thanks for the reply !

I am planning on making the first landing in Dec. I am planning on flying to Vancouver. How much money should one carry and in what form?

My plan is to make a “soft landing” and get most of the money back.

I landed earlier this year and only carried about $200 in cash. I used my US credit cards everywhere.

HI Anshul,

This is Pranav. My wife and I are in the process of moving to Canada from the US and I was wondering where do I declare our assets. We have our bank accounts and brokerage accounts in the US since we have lived here for around a decade and I am moving first and my wife will follow later. Is it in the goods to follow form ? We wont be carrying any cash and using our credit cards and debit cards.

Best, Pranav

Define “assets”.

Regarding tangible assets: Have you already landed and confirmed your PR? If so you may have already stamped the goods accompanying/to follow (B4) forms while landing? If not, you’ll need to do that by preparing a list of everything you own that you’ll be bringing into Canada and getting it stamped by CBSA (there’s another thread for this I believe).
You’ll need to provided a copy of this form to transportation company so that they can clear customs.

Regarding car: There’s a procedure for this on another thread.

Regarding cash: This is easy. You can either liquidate or take cash/cash equivalents across (you need to declare it if it’s over CAD10,000). Or you can wire the money to a Canadian bank assuming you have one.

Regarding cards: you can just carry these over and use them.

Note: You don’t need to declare cash/liquid assets on the goods forms. That goes in Proof of Funds and if you’ve already landed that part is done.


Thanks for detail information. I am hoping my PPR comes in Jan, 2019 been waiting for last 4 months.

As a primary applicant, can I go to canada for landing and get PR first and then after 3 months take my wife later?
is that possible?

Completed my soft landing over the weekend. Process was pretty straight forward.

  • Landed and did the normal immigration. Mentioned that I am here for my PR landing. They marked the immigration form and asked me to go to another room.
  • Entered the room, there were officers asking other people questions. We waited and went to a counter. Presented the Confirmation of PR document. Officer asked if anything has changed since the application i.e. information regarding name, location etc. I replied nothing has changed. She proceeded to process our application. 5 mins later she congratulated us on becoming a Canadian Permanent Resident.
  • We provided the goods accompanying and goods to follow form. She said goods accompanying doesn’t matter and proceeded in processing the goods to follow. We had an excel sheet with all the details on the items. This is to ensure we have the same items to bring in when we do a final landing.
  • The officer took a copy for us and asked us to proceed to the Service Canada counter. Here we got our Social Insurance Number - took about 10 mins to get this done.

Key takeaways

  1. Have all documents ready. Make sure they are up to date. We updated our financial documents and ensure we have them handy.
  2. Ask any and all questions to the officer. They are here to help. I know you can find the answers online, but it is best to ask the questions to the officer as the response we receive is an official response. You can always validate the answers after coming out.

Awesome and Congratulations. One question, how much time did it take for you to get your PPR? I mean time from AOR to PPR!

AOR is the confirmation of submission correct?

Submitted EE - March
Submitted ITA - May
Confirmation of PR - June
COPR - July

Yes. You got your PPR email in one month? That is fast!!!

Yeah, pretty much. I think it is a combination of the documents + location one is applying from. Also, I did mine a earlier this year, I think after July - August the volume of applications increased.

Yes, I think that’s the case. I submitted my application on August 5th. Still waiting!

Congratulations Vignesh.PR,
Arun - processing times seem to fluctuate a lot!
I too submitted in mid-May and it took slightly over 6 months to receive the Passport Request email.
I think it got really busy from May. You just got to be patient


Like I have any other choice. :slight_smile:

Congrats @Ash

I think its worth the wait anyways!!!

1 Like

Quick update on our soft landing:

We drove from Seattle to Vancouver. There was no line at the border(evening around 5pm). The officer asked the reason and we said we have a Co-PR. She took a look at the Visas in the passport and gave us a slip. We parked the car and went inside the building to process the PR. There was no line inside the building as well. 2 officers helped us, 1 to process the PR and other to help with Goods to Follow list. It took less than 20 mins to finish everything and get out of there.

Next day we went to a service center in north vancouver and got the SIN.

On the return back to Seattle, the US immigration officer asked bunch of questions like 1. Who’s car is this? 2. where do u live? 3.what were you doing in canada and so?

We stayed in Vancouver for 4 days and basically came back.


@yeesh congrats on a smooth soft landing!

Quick question. During your soft landing, did you have to get your car imported into Canada? Or show it as something that will come later (Goods to Follow)? Thanks!