I have been accepted to Canada


How do you know you have been accepted to enter Canada as a Permanent Resident?

Getting an immigrant visa does not make you a permanent resident.

Not just yet.

You local Canadian visa office which requested for your passport’s submission, must have returned your passport with a page stamped to authorize your entry into Canada. Along with this, the visa office must have sent you a paper form called the Certificate of Permanent Residence (COPR). This does not make you a permanent resident yet, but it makes you eligible to enter Canada for permanent residency.

Once you enter a port of entry, either through a Canadian international airport or a land crossing, you must present your stamped passport and the COPR to a Canada Customs and Border Security officer. The actual physical admission to a Canadian point of entry activates your permanent residency status.

STEP 1 Gather entry papers for Canada

Hand carry, do not pack in your luggage. Arrange in a folder, if you can.

  • A Canadian immigrant visa (if applicable) and Confirmation of Permanent Residence for each family member traveling with you
  • A valid passport or other travel document for each family member traveling with you
  • Two (2) copies of a detailed list of all the personal or household items you are bringing with you
  • Two (2) copies of a list of items that are arriving later and their money value
  • For more details on other documents you may need to bring, click here.

STEP 2 Fill-up your Personal Effects Accounting Document

For submission to the border services officer during entry to Canada

  • A list of the goods you are bringing
  • A list of the goods that will follow

STEP 3 Find a place to stay

  • Research neighbourhoods in the Canadian city/town you intend to settle:
    The IWC’s resource on the neighbourhoods in Hamilton; Tourism Hamilton’s page “Where to Stay”.
  • Check independent real estate listings at Kijiji.ca and Craigslist.ca. Never send money to any landlord asking you to deposit to Western Union. Actually, never send money in advance, unless someone you really know and trust has vetted for the landlord. But even then, err on the side of caution.
  • See the Tenants’ Rights Legal Services resources to understand the rules and laws governing renting in Canada. In Hamilton click here.

STEP 4 Bring some Canadian dollars

  • While Mastercard, Visa and Amex are widely accepted in Canada, it might be more convenient if you have some cash with you upon entry.
  • Disclosure of funds
    Understand your responsibilities to disclose funds. If you are carrying more than CDN $10,000, inform the border services officer upon entry to Canada. It is a legal offense if you do not do so, and you may be fined or put in prison.
    These funds could be in the form of cash, securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills), negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bankers’ drafts, cheques, travelers’ cheques or money orders)

STEP 5 Pack weather-appropriate clothes

  • Temperatures in Ontario can be challenging for many, with its very hot summers and very bitter winters.
  • During winter time, normally around January to March, temperatures can go as low as -30c. And with wind chills, it can even be lower. Layering is a particularly important strategy of dressing. To keep warm as you venture outside, wear earmuffs, or hats that cover the ears, gloves, shawls and wraps to cover your neck, or a balaclava to cover your face from the cold. You will also need layers of warm clothing including warm socks, track-soled insulated boots, and a warm jacket.
  • Apartments and offices have good heating and if you feel this is not sufficient, you may want to consider buying portable heating machines.
  • In the summer, +30c and above is not uncommon. Some apartments may have centralized air-conditioning. For others that do not have, you may want to invest in an electric fan. In the summer, visit the free splash pads around the city, made available during the blistering hot days or dip in the pools of the numerous recreation centres around the city.
    See the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority’s video on packing smart here.

STEP 6 Be acquainted with Ontario

  • Check the Orientation to Ontario site.
  • Check out Tourism Hamilton and Travel Ontario.
  • You may also want to check the Hamilton Street Railway schedule. Or check Google Maps on how to go from point to point around Hamilton.

STEP 7 Arrange airport transfer

  • Most likely you are arriving at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. You can get a taxi from the stand in the arrival area, and it may cost you about $100 from Pearson to downtown Hamilton.
  • John Munro Hamilton International Airport serves the city of Hamilton. However, flight choices are not as much as those landing in Pearson.
  • Some arrivals in Hamilton are also accounted for by the Region of Waterloo International Airport in Breslau/Kitchener.

STEP 8 Get in touch with the Immigrants Working Centre

  • With four locations across Hamilton, the Immigrants Working Centre (formerly the Immigrant Women’s Centre) has been in the business of providing settlement and integration support to newcomers in Canada for 25 years and counting.