I just completed my soft landing at YYZ a few weeks ago after sitting on my CoPR since August. It was nice to have all that time to decide when and how I was going to land. I’m back in the states now looking for jobs in southern Ontario while continuing my employment here. I did my goods to follow at the time of landing, despite doing a soft landing. I wanted to avoid any hassle down the line when I move later this year.
I landed on a Saturday afternoon. On my customs form, I left the “for visitors” and “for residents” sections blank since I didn’t really know which applied. I forgot to check the “I have unaccompanied goods” box since goods to follow count as unaccompanied goods. The CBSA officer asked why I had done that and I apologized for not realizing that’s what it meant. CBSA seems not to care much about goods accompanying. I had a list ready to go but was only asked about goods to follow, for which I had an excel sheet with all the items I was planning on bringing with me, as the email in karthik’s post above describes. I put a total at the end for everything, which you should do. I had my car on my list and had initially included the value of the car in the total, but the officer advised me that for customs purposes, the car value needs to be excluded. I don’t own any expensive jewelry, but I have a lot of electronics, so I made sure they all had serial numbers listed. The officer looked through my list briefly, filled out a BSF186 for me, generated a receipt for $0 taxes paid, and stamped my passport and CoPR when he was done.
It was a weekend, so I wasn’t able to get my SIN at the airport. Fortunately the place I was staying had a Service Canada right in town, so we went on Monday. I went first thing in the morning and the whole thing took me less than ten minutes. Probably helps that it was a fairly rural location and it had just snowed the night before so people were reluctant to go out.
I am waiting until I move for good to open a bank account, exchange my license, etc. My next big project is figuring out how to properly export/import my car and aligning that with the big move.