One of the first interactions you have with Canadian authorities as new Canadian immigrant is upon your landing at a Canadian airport (if you are flying into Canada). The paperwork and other formalities for new immigrants are different from others. Many at times, expected immigrants are curious about the landing process. So for the benefit of future immigrants who are planning to land at Vancouver airport, and for the sake of documentation, I am sharing my landing experience at Vancouver airport below.
I, accompanied by my family, landed at Vancouver International Airport on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at around 1 pm. When we reached the passport control area, we notified the helper lady that we are new immigrants. She saw that I was with family, so she bypassed me to the front of the queue for passport control. When I reached the counter I again informed the officer that I was a new immigrant. He checked all our passports and other documents, and sent us to an area for the new immigrants. There a lady checked all our documents again and gave us a number. We were then asked to wait until our number was called. We were hoping that our number would be called soon and we will be on our way, but it took more than an hour. Once the number was called it was fairly quick after that. We got the signed documents back and we were out of the new immigrants area and into the baggage claim.
One smart thing we did before entering the immigration area was that we hired a porter and gave him all our baggage tags. By the time we were done with immigration, the porter was waiting with our luggage. Next stop was customs. We were ready with our “goods accompanied” and “goods to follow” lists. However, the customs officer was only interested in “goods to follow” list. She didn’t bother to look at “goods accompanied” list or pictures of jewellery that we had prepared. She stamped on the list and we were out of the airport. The porter helped us load the luggage on a taxi and we were on our way to our first apartment in Vancouver.
So there. That was my landing experience in Vancouver. Overall it wasn’t bad except for an hour long wait at the immigration. We had traveled for over 25 hours and we were dead tired, so the wait was killing us. But other than that it was a painless process and we didn’t face any issues.