PR Landing Experience from US - June 2020

Hello Prasan, Can you share your experience? Did you wait for 14 days or return the same day? Are you aware whether they allow you to return to US before 14 days? I am planning to travel by car.

Hi Piyush, we were moving permanently so I can’t really answer the question on return. We let them know upfront that we are moving permanently with everything we have in the car. They seemed to more concerned towards the goods to follow than what we had with us right now. They do take the address of quarantine and phone numbers and also email address so I am guessing they really want us to quarantine for 14 days here.

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@arunb or @prasan - I was wondering if you got Health Insurance before your travel? Any recommendations regarding the same is appreciated.

If you could please advice on the Health insurance Plan , Website and Provider details it will be of great help.

We had taken Manulife visitors insurance. But at the border, the officer mentioned us that since there is no residency period requirement for OHIP now , if needed we can avail health services in Ontario using our signed COPR till we get our health card. I didn’t double check it yet neither have I heard this from anyone else. I also don’t know if manulife covers COVID19.

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Same here. Even I used Manulife travel insurance. There is currently no waiting time of the usual 3 months to apply for the OHIP health card. But I think you should apply for a health card only if moving permanently. I may be wrong though.

Even if you don’t have health card in hand I have read in OHIP website in May that all covid related expenses will be taken up by the government even if you don’t have private health insurance.

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Hi Prasan,

We are planning to travel by road from US on 3rd of July. Could you please share your experience at the border crossing. Do we need to go inside a building and wait or do the officers come to the side of the car for questions and paperwork? Specifically asking about this, as we are a bit concerned about our toddler as it might take a lot of effort to keep him engaged and not running around.

Sorry, it might be a trivial question but have never crossed the border before. And especially I am concerned how the experience is going to be during this covid times. Thanks in advance.

Hi Ria,

I can only speak about Rainbow Bridge, once we reached the booth the officer took our passports and our quarantine address and contact details, the officer also asked us about symptoms and if we were carrying alcohol, guns and cannabis. Once he was satisfied, we were asked to park on a specific numbered spot and turn of the engine and wait in the car. Our passports were with the officer who handed it over to another immigration officer who came outside of the building. All our processing was done with us in the car, including the signing of the COPR. They are checking proof of funds before proceeding so please ensure to get your latest account statements with a CAD conversion handwritten for officer’s reference. Question wise they were very much focussed on our quarantine plans, goods to follow and cash we are carrying. They also asked us the total value of all items in the car (we had no goods to follow and were moving for good with everything we own in our SUV). They also asked us if the car is being imported. Also, they did not allow us to give our friend’s address for PR card delivery, so you will have to call IRCC later and update it (be ready for long wait times ~30 mins on phone after multiple tries).

As far as experience goes, our immigration experience in Canada is much better than the US, even now with COVID. The officers were straight-faced until they verified everything and were friendly once all the processes were complete. Our immigration officer even joked about how we have packed our bags in the car. Honestly, I was surprised, but I was told later by friends that immigration officers in Canada are generally friendlier than the US.

If you’re crossing via Rainbow Bridge, please keep $4 USD with you as cash to pay at the toll before the bridge. More importantly, please remember to fill gas in your car and take your bathroom breaks before crossing over, as per Quarantine Act you should not ideally stop to get gas or restroom break and reach directly to your place of Quarantine and not leave for 14 days. Toronto is 1.5 hours drive from the CBSA inspection point. Ensure all groceries are ordered beforehand either via Instacart or through a friend who can drop it off contactless. If you’re quarantine plan is solid there is really nothing much that will go wrong at the border. Good luck on your journey!


Adding to your response, we would need a proof of address to apply OHIP, which can either be an Ontario Driver’s license, a lease agreement or bank statement. All of which can be ideally done if one is moving permanently. Also for SIN, since Service Canada is yet to open, any application submitted online needs to have a proof of address as well.

Hello @arunb

We are coming to Toronto on June 29 via Air Canada airlines. I plan to quarantine in my Sister’s place. I had some questions:

Can I quarantine with my sister [ there are no adults over 65 or anyone with underlying medical conditions] I plan to live in their basement.

Will my sister’s family also need to quarantine?

Do you have any insight into this situation? Really appreciate your time and feedback.



You can mention to the CBP official that you will be in a separate basement unit with separate entrance and no common areas if that is the case. But, ultimately, it is up to their discretion.

I had a similar arrangement but with airbnb host and the officer was ok with my explanation.

Thank you! @arunb

Thank you so much for the detail information. :blush:

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Regarding PR card and friend’s address: this seems to be something new. Generally I’ve heard land crossing CBSA officers being more strict about soft-landing vs permanent landing, but afaik you can give any residential address to get the PR card. This is probably something they instituted after COVID, not really sure.

Also, check online on CIC website; there might be a way to update PR card address online. However, did they say they have processed your PR card and you only need to update address, or did they say you’ve to pay $50 and apply for PR cards online?

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Their rationale to not accept my address was that if I have COVID and I meet my friend to get the card then I might transmit to him. The officer mentioned me that I can update the address online after I have found a place to stay. Once I settled in my Airbnb I added the pr card applications of me and my wife to my cic profile, so I was sure that they had already applied for the card. Next, I called IRCC and gave them the same address I wanted to give at the border and got it updated. Looks like it will take 95 days as per latest status to get the PR card though the person on the phone told me it’s not accurate and is subject to change as they increase capacity for processing the cards.

Their rationale to not accept my address was that if I have COVID and I meet my friend to get the card then I might transmit to him.

That’s what I figured.

Looks like it will take 95 days as per latest status to get the PR card

Don’t hold your breath. It might take longer than that. Some people I know have been waiting for over 100 days now.

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Agreed. Even my friends who moved after the exemption was put in place are yet to get theirs. There really isn’t a real need for PR card unless there is an urgent travel to India, which might make things complicated when applying PRTD via email during COVID for return.

Hi @shwitzu. I plan to do the same next month. Quarantine at my sisters house . Let me know how your landing goes.

I have a question, Can I travel from Houston to Toronto and than connecting flight from Toronto to Edmonton? If yes do I need to apply for PR card at Toronton airport or Edmonton airport?

Please advise.

I am in the same situation. I checked with CBSA and they said we should be fine provided we should not have over night layover between connecting flights and should not show any symptoms. And PR process happens at your port of entry Toronto.

I read on another post on this forum that the person was able to travel to the final airport, i.e. you don’t need to self-isolate at port of entry.