I have 5 more days to go before I start work (I’ll be sharing my experience in another post) and with a lot of things to share, I am using whatever free time I have left to write.
April 17, 2016 is our flight date, we’re flying with Philippine Airlines bound for Toronto with a technical stopover in Vancouver. We stayed in a hotel near the airport for easy and hassle free ride to the airport. But yeah, hassle happens.
Our flight tickets indicate that our departure port is at the Main Terminal and all along we assumed that it is NAIA Terminal 1. After saying our goodbyes to our family, we rode an Uber to the “Main Terminal” 4.5 hours before the flight. Since we have a lot of time, we tried to relax and enjoy our last few hours in Manila.
We are about to enter Terminal 1 when the guard who asked for our tickets told us that we are at the wrong terminal and that we are supposed to be in Terminal 2. After I did some verifications (through the information section and of course the internet), we are indeed leaving through Terminal 2 (PAL’s Main Terminal). With 3 hours to go, we arrived at Terminal 2.
Unfortunately, there were many passengers at that time and we have to queue for 30 minutes just to enter the terminal. Here you’ll see people bribing airport employees just so they can enter the terminal instantly. This is one of the reasons why you’ll want to leave the Philippines.
We are supposed to do a web check-in and since PAL’s online applications are so reliable, we were not able do a web check-in and have to do it the old fashion way. After another 45 minutes, we were able to secure our boarding passes. Note that you need to pay travel taxes for all the people who will be travelling with you. You can look up the rates here. We paid a total of PHP 4250 for two adults and one minor.
After securing our boarding passes, we went to the immigration officer. Here, they will ask for your passports. You have to tell them that you will be migrating. They will then validate your PDOS sticker, your visa, as well as your passport details. It usually takes around 5 minutes if there’s no problem. After an agonising 3.5 hours we arrived at our gate. We boarded at round 3PM and due to some circumstances, we flew at around 430PM (1.5 hours delayed).
The seats that were provided to us were very comfortable with excellent leg room. We were transferred to a better Choice Seat. This is our first long haul flight and it was a good experience (at least the inflight experience with PAL is good). We arrived in Vancouver after 12 hours. Some passengers alighted here while Toronto-bound passengers stayed on the plane. After an hour, the plane continued its flight to Toronto for another 4.5 hours. We arrived at around 9PM Toronto time, 25 minutes earlier than the estimated arrival.
Be sure to fill-out the arrival card (one per family, be sure to declare monetary instruments that are more than CAD 10,000) provided by the flight attendants that will be presented to the Canadian immigration officer. After presenting your passports to the immigration officer, they will ask you to queue to another room where they process new residents. Here, you will present your Certificate of Permanent Residency (COPR), passports and other documents for after around 45 minutes. Then, they will welcome you to Canada and will tell you that your PR Card will be sent to your indicated address in 4-6 weeks. They will also give you an instruction sheet on how to update your address if ever you will be changing your address.
You will now collect your luggages and will proceed to customs. Here you will declare monetary instruments exceeding CAD 10,000 and if the customs officer deemed necessary, a detailed list of all belonging accompanying you and those that are to follow. The officer only asked for the E677 – CROSS-BORDER CURRENCY OR MONETARY INSTRUMENTS REPORT form and after that, we were able to exit the airport. We were welcomed by my cousin and a brother in The Feast.
It has been a week and three days since we’ve arrived and we are still adjusting to the time difference and of course, the cold weather. This post ends this section. I’ll be starting a new section soon where I will share all our experiences here as new permanent residents. Until next post.