Greetings from the Great White North!

We made it, we are finally in Canada!!! We landed this past Sunday afternoon, and so far everything has gone without a hitch.

I took some pictures for you guys:

This is a picture of all our our belongings neatly packed after weeks of donating and discarding items. I took the picture early Sunday morning, right before leaving. It all looks petty neat in the picture, but had I taken it a few hours before it would have been a picture of pure chaos. In fact, I did not believe we would have all our stuff packed and be ready to vacate until I saw it for myself 10 minutes before leaving for the airport. If you are getting ready to leave, my suggestion would be to start early, and save yourself some major stress.

Bye bye, USA:

This is the last picture I took in the US.

Arriving in Calgary!

As we were landing, both my husband and I must have looked like the biggest dorks in the world. We both had grins from ear to ear and probably looked like we were high on something. Few people (except maybe for you) could understand how we felt — we were finally arriving to our new home!

Once we arrived we went to get our landing papers stamped by the immigration officer. The whole process took about 10 minutes and we finally got to hear the words we had been daydreaming about for months, “Congratulations! Welcome to Canada!”

The following day we decided to go sight seeing, since Monday was a holiday (family day) and all offices were closed. It was bitterly cold (-20 C), but after a few minutes everything was numb and eventually we couldn’t even feel the cold anymore (kidding, it was -20!). But we were super exited to check out the city, so a little cold wasn’t about to stop us. The weather has since gotten a lot better, and because we arrived on one of the coldest days, -10 Celsius feels pretty sweet today!

Yesterday, we skipped the sight seeing and got down to business. First we went to the “Service Canada” building to request or SIN numbers (Canada’s version of SSN). I was shocked to find that Canadian government buildings do not have metal detectors or guards that check your bag; instead, they just have friendly help desks. Anyhow, 30 minutes after arriving we left with our newly minted SIN numbers. With SIN numbers in hand we headed to the bank to open our first Canadian bank account. We chose RBC based on some recommendations, and we are glad we did. It turns out they have these awesome cross-border accounts that help with moving money between the US and Canada. I won’t get into details since I will be posting on the subject of moving money on a separate post.

After setting up our bank account we moved on to searching for an apartment. We are currently staying at an Airbnb until March 1st, so finding a place is our number one priority right now. Yesterday we found a really nice apartment in a great part of town for $1,195 CAD with all utilities included. We gave a deposit and some references and we are hoping to hear back form them today or tomorrow. We really hope we get it! Wish us luck!

That is all from me today. I will be back with some new posts and hopefully more pictures next week!

Cheers,

-D

18 thoughts on “Greetings from the Great White North!”

  1. Congrats, D! I just started my process, after reading your posts. I did a basic check, and I should have 460 points once I complete the education assessment and the IELTS! If everything goes well, and I’m invited, I really want to drive to Vancouver, but we’ll see.

    Thanks for all that you’re doing, and I hope everything keeps going well for you.

    Cheers!

    1. Hi there, are you still a student? We all start from the bottom, I also feel like it took us a million years to get here. It is along journey, but it is well worth it,

      1. I’m a daca recipient but I’m not studying 32y/o .when I started following you guys back in November I inquired with a Canadian lawyer about initiating process, but shot me down by saying hopefully things work out here in the USA for us with daca. My current work permit expires in nov 2019. I renewed last August but I Feel that I’m vulnerable ever since they rescinded this in September

        1. I see, there are so many in your situation. I sincerely hope common sense and compassion with prevail in the form of a DREAM Act. Take care and best of luck. -D

  2. Quick question regarding the references for apartment : Where did you get the references ? Did you get it from your previous US apartment building where you used to live ? I am wondering if I can get my 6 years of references for them which might help me to get apartment in Canada.

    1. Hi there! Yes, I just gave them my previous landlord’s info in the US, and then they just called them to verify. Also, they asked for my SIN to do a credit check, but US credit does not transfer to Canada. I explained that I had good credit in the US, but that if they did a credit check on my SIN nothing would come back, since it was new. I offered to prepay some months, but they accepted my explanation and I got the apartment without having to prepay. Where are you in your immigration process? Just curious πŸ™‚

          1. Yes , I am excited for myself too ..lol …but at same time scared of unknown on the other side of the border. How did you find the apartment so quickly ? Did you start looking for one after you landed at your AirBnb ? I might be moving to Toronto so not sure how things are over there.

          2. Don’t worry too much! It is basically the same here, just a little colder temperature wise, and a little nicer people wise. We started looking for an apartment the day after we landed, and we put in an application and deposit the day after. Most apartments become available on the first of the month, so plan accordingly. I think the housing/apartment market is much hotter in Toronto than it is in Calgary, so it might take you a little longer. Keep us posted on how it goes!

  3. Hi, first of all I want to say thank you for creating this post.
    I’m 24, I graduated college two years ago but for the past two years I’ve been lost and with no sense of direction. I didn’t qualify for deferred action when it was released so you can imagine how hopeless and scared of an uncertain future my life has been. You guys are renewing my sense of hope for a brighter future. If you don’t mind my asking how old are you guys?

    Also, I have cousins in Canada but I never thought I could move to another country without having to go back to the country I was born.

    1. Hi Diana,

      As someone who went though High School and most of college undocumented I can almost imagine what you must be going though.

      I am 26 years old. If you like, you can email me and I can share more with you. I would love to know more about you. What was your major in college?

      Anyhow, don’t lose hope, the word is a big place!

      Take care,
      -D

  4. So now that you have spend quite some time in Canada , How is it feeling now ? Still loving it ? Sorry just curious to know what people feel after honeymoon phase is over.

    1. Hi! I think this question will have to wait for later, since the “honeymoon phase” shows no signs of being over yet. Canada is just too easy to love πŸ™‚

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