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Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Old Aug 22nd 2020, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by unobscure View Post
Yep we had proof of marriage and of her citizenship.
We were then asked for proof that I wasn't a tourist (shouldn't be needed given the exemption) so we provided proof we had sold our home and shipped our furniture to Canada and moved our money. Still refused.

When we spoke to the consulate the next day her exact words were "that's st.... Err you should have been allowed to board".

When we returned to the airport 20 days later I was allowed to board.
Did that mess up cost you and if so can you claim against the airline? Just curious how these things pan out because we very nearly had a missed departure due to an airline misunderstanding a travel document.
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Old Aug 22nd 2020, 6:43 am
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by Revin Kevin View Post
Did that mess up cost you and if so can you claim against the airline? Just curious how these things pan out because we very nearly had a missed departure due to an airline misunderstanding a travel document.
Yes it cost us money (and stress). Don't think we could claim against the arlirline as it was nothing to do with them. It was immigration that made the decision. Can't expect the airline to accept me in the face of a refusal by immigration. They would just end up having to fly me back and (I believe) they would have been fined as well.
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Old Aug 22nd 2020, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by unobscure View Post
Airlines can and do refuse boarding but they are far from the only/final arbiter. If immigration refuse boarding then it doesn't matter what airline you are using. My Canadian wife and I were booked on Air Canada in May and I was refused boarding on the basis that I was "just a tourist" even though we were moving to Canada, had sold our house, shipped our furniture and our money to Canada.
Originally Posted by unobscure View Post
Yep we had proof of marriage and of her citizenship.
We were then asked for proof that I wasn't a tourist (shouldn't be needed given the exemption) so we provided proof we had sold our home and shipped our furniture to Canada and moved our money. Still refused.
When we spoke to the consulate the next day her exact words were "that's st.... Err you should have been allowed to board".
When we returned to the airport 20 days later I was allowed to board.
Originally Posted by unobscure View Post
Yes it cost us money (and stress). Don't think we could claim against the arlirline as it was nothing to do with them. It was immigration that made the decision. Can't expect the airline to accept me in the face of a refusal by immigration. They would just end up having to fly me back and (I believe) they would have been fined as well.
Which Immigration Officer refused you boarding? If it was at the airline counter (check in), then it was the Airline.. not Immigration.

If the airline refused you boarding, despite you showing some 'proof' that you were entitled to enter Canada, it was Air Canada's staff members mistaken interpretation and not understanding.

Unfortunately showing proof that you had 'Sold the house, shipped your stuff over' - would apply to your wife as a Citizen but not necessarily to you.. visitors have been known to sell up in the hope of finding a way to stay. That alone isn't proof of having status to enter Canada as anything other than a visitor...

If you showed that you had applied for Permanent Residency together with your marriage certificate and the sponsors confirmation, (1st stage approval) - and could therefore enter Canada under dual intent and not as a visitor, - thus meeting the requirements - then the airline may well be at fault.

Apart from that - as you had the exemption (being the spouse of a Canadian Citizen) they should have allowed you to board - you may have a case against the airline

Last edited by Siouxie; Aug 22nd 2020 at 4:13 pm.
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Old Aug 22nd 2020, 5:13 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Keep in mind airline agent at check in are not immigration experts, and if outside North America, a good chance they are not airline employees but poorly trained sub contractors.

It has to be an absolute nightmare right now for check in people trying to determine and work through all the rules with little training most likely.

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Old Aug 23rd 2020, 11:40 am
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Apart from that - as you had the exemption (being the spouse of a Canadian Citizen) they should have allowed you to board - you may have a case against the airline
I agree, if they had the required documents to show the immediate family member's status as a citizen, but also proof of the relationship i.e. marriage certificate etc (which it sounds as if they did). They would absolutely have a case if they had those documents, and shouldn't have been refused.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Aug 23rd 2020 at 11:42 am.
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Old Oct 31st 2020, 2:09 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by i_Seeker View Post
Print out your DVLA driver's licence record online and carry it with you (for when you swap it).
Thank you for the detailed post. As I'll be travelling under similar conditions, i found it very handy.
Could you just confirm the DVLA driver record print out is all you need? There is a D888 form, but this looks like request for the same info by post. Online, it also says you can share the record and it's valid for 21 days... I don't see any reason why I can't access this from Canada as all it asks for are your license no/NI no and postcode... Please, let me know if i am missing anything and I must do something before travel. Cheers
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Old Nov 1st 2020, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by eversmannx View Post
Thank you for the detailed post. As I'll be travelling under similar conditions, i found it very handy.
Could you just confirm the DVLA driver record print out is all you need? There is a D888 form, but this looks like request for the same info by post. Online, it also says you can share the record and it's valid for 21 days... I don't see any reason why I can't access this from Canada as all it asks for are your license no/NI no and postcode... Please, let me know if i am missing anything and I must do something before travel. Cheers
We applied to the DVLA for our driver records by post using the form but they took about two months to arrive. They are different (much more comprehensive) than those available on-line but (in BC) I've never needed either!
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Old Nov 1st 2020, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

(in BC) I've never needed either!
Thanks. it's reassuring to know both are optional in BC.
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by i_Seeker View Post
Introduction

So we are finally here in sunny Toronto and have finally made it. I hope to give you a brief insight into our journey here from the day of travelling. I hope someone finds this blog useful.



The Covid Restriction

My wife had a Temporary Work Permit approved online before we travelled. Still, due to the current situation, my son and I were not allowed to go with my wife. We worked out that we were allowed, provided that we had travel exemptions. Travel exemptions are only offered to immediate family members, with a good reason for the travel.



The method of obtaining one is by emailing [email protected], attach copies of passports, work permit and reason why your immediate family members need to travel (e.g. relocation as a family for work). You will receive an automated reply with all the details of what additional documents they need you to send. If you are due to fly soon, add 'Urgent' in the subject heading.



They say it takes up to 5 business days, but we waited 8 days and had to contact the Canadian Embassy in London for an extra nudge.



The Journey

We booked a room in the Sofitel (at T5 of Heathrow) the evening before flying as we didn't want a mad rush on the day of travel. We were flying with British Airways, so this arrangement suited us.



Or so we thought.



Our flight was due to depart at 5 pm. So at midday, I went to the terminal to ask whether we could check in with more than the 3 hours before the flight take-off time. BA staff told me that it would not be possible and directed me to come back at 2 pm.



BA Check-in Desk

We arrived at the check-in gate and joined a queue, which laster only 10 minutes. Online check-in is not available, so the terminal appears busy because everyone is forced to check-in at a desk. It is not and when past security, it becomes noticeable with the lack of people and closed shops (such as M&S).



When we got the desk, we were met with a friendly BA staff member who began checking us in. She asked if my son and I had the authority to fly, and appeared confused when I showed her the exemption letters.



She made several phone calls and then disappeared to go and speak to a manager as a call had to be made with Canada to verify our exemptions. She returned and said we had to wait for 'Canada' to call BA back and confirm our existing exemptions. Two hours later, and with an hour to spare, she finally received confirmation that we were allowed to fly.



Not before her manager arrived around the same time she received the good news and said that we were not allowed to fly. The confusion was that he had received a call from a different department than that of the person serving us!



BA agreed to follow the advice which stated that we could fly, luckily for us.



Point to take away: I would fly with Air Canada or West Jet who appear to know what they are doing. We very nearly didn't fly, and we had to run from security to the gate for boarding.



The flight

The flight itself was excellent. There were 35 people on board, and we were sat in Premium economy. We were given what I would describe as the best coronation chicken sandwich I have ever tasted, ever. It was small, but the cabin crew gave us a second one each! All the food given to us was in a box.



The second meal was a chicken lattice slice. It was tasty, but lacking in size. Again, the flight crew were happy to distribute more than one per passenger, and we were offered lots of snacks and drink throughout our flight.



Immigration and Customs

You may be tempted, because of the 14-day quarantine to purchase food for your arrival while you wait for a food shop. If you do, don't buy any meat or cheese products. You have to declare it, and they will take it from you.



I lost 4 sandwiches...



We first came across CBSA agents handing out 14-day quarantine leaflets informing us that it was mandatory.



NOTE: Your quarantine ends on the 15th day after your arrival. Do not calculate it to the hour on the 14th day. This was confirmed by the CBSA.



We then moved on to the self-service declaration area, where we inputted our details and passports and were given a rectangular slip of paper with our pictures o it. DO NOT lose that slip of paper.



We then spoke to a CBSA official, who relieved me of my sandwiches and cheese products. The CBSA agent directed us to immigration where we waited while they issued us with work permits.



Open Work Permit

My wife asked a very polite and helpful CBSA agent if I could have an open work permit, despite not being on her online TWP application. After thinking about it, he agreed, and I was given an open work permit.



NOTE: It is down to the discretion of the CBSA agent and management. Usually, to get an open work permit, you either have to be on the TWP application, or apply for a spousal work permit when in Canada. Please see the wiki on this site for detailed information. Mine was the exception to the rule, and I consider myself lucky.



My biometrics and photo were taken, I paid $340 (for the work permit and biometrics), was given the work permit and was sent on my way!


We then went through to a department that deals with people who declare goods to follow. Because were TWP holders, we did not have to go through lists and were allowed to pass through with ease.




Quarantine

We are on day 5 of our quarantine and to be honest, it is a time for preparing things to come, such as (but not limited to):
  1. Finding a place to rent.
  2. Getting our Canadian debit cards, and cheque books (you cant purchase prepaid phone plans with a UK debit or credit card for example!)


My Top Tips
  1. Fly with an airline that won't risk you missing your flight, such as Air Canada or West jet (anecdotal evidence only).
  2. If you can, stay in a hotel the night before. Especially if you are carrying many suitcases.
  3. Hire a big car (class W and above), if you have many suitcases.
  4. Order shopping online to where you are going to stay.
  5. Get a Skype (or similar service) USA number and a subscription to make calls in Canada.
  6. Start speaking to a real estate agent from now. The property list because of COVID has shrunk significantly in the Toronto area, and rental amounts are higher.
  7. Regarding point 6, get your credit score, including any professional references you can get your hands on. Some landlords don't like renting to new immigrants and may take some persuading. Usually, this is not a problem, but with slim pickings in the rental market, it could become one!
  8. Be prepared to pay between 4 and 6 months in advance for rent. It's against the rules, but common for new immigrants.
  9. Get your Canadian debit cards and cheque books as soon as possible.
  10. Print out your DVLA driver's licence record online and carry it with you (for when you swap it).


Questions

If anyone has any questions, post them here, and I will do my best to answer them.



I hope you found this helpful.






can I ask who you called to chase your authorisation to travel? We put ours in 5 days ago and the waiting is killing me 😩 also had you already booked flights?
we haven’t booked yet but prices are so cheap it’s tempting too.
TIA
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

any experience/advice related to travelling with little ones and getting them to wear masks all the time?
I've seen a few horror stories... and can't imagine how i am going to force a 3 year old to wear one through out...part of me wonders if it's a good idea to fly during december... but then again, if not ... when... :-(
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 8:59 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by eversmannx View Post
any experience/advice related to travelling with little ones and getting them to wear masks all the time?
I've seen a few horror stories... and can't imagine how i am going to force a 3 year old to wear one through out...part of me wonders if it's a good idea to fly during december... but then again, if not ... when... :-(
We travelled in the summer with our 3 year old grandaughter. We flew from Manchester to Winnipeg on KLM via Amsterdam and Toronto. The internal flights in Canada were on West Jet. Before we set off we checked and KLM stated that kids under 10 did not have to wear masks. Going out there were no issues but as we were boarding the West Jet flight from Winnipeg to Toronto on the first leg of our return a stewardess said that our grandaughter should be wearing a mask, We said oh OK well try and thought no more of it. Bear in mind that at this point we had been through 5 airports and on 3 previous flight without anyone saying our grandaughter should be wearing a mask. We settled into our seats which were surrounded by empty rows all round, our grandaughter was in a window seat. Suddenly a man appeared who said he was the senior steward, he knelt on the seat in front of our grandaughter and said with no pleasentry and very loudly that she has to put a mask on or we will all be removed from the plane. She was frightened and upset by his towering presece and started crying. I tried reasoning with him but he was having none of it. I really had to hold it in because I knew we'd all be thrown off if I lripped into him. We ended up basically having to hold a face mask over a hysterical 3 year whilst we took off. She calmed down after a while but then a stewardess was walking past and noticed her mask had dropped. A few minutes later the head steward is back shouting that he has informed the captain who has said he will divert the aircraft to the nearest suitable airfield if our 3 year old didn't keep her mask on. Yes you couldn't of made it up! I'm a very calm man and it takes a lot to wind me up but I could very easily of ended up in jail at that point! On a more pleasing note when we boarded our KLM flight to Amsterdam it was like being in a diffent world, the contrast between the sullen and frankly down right nasty West Jet crew compared to the happy smiling guys and girls of the Klm could be greater. The Klm crew really made a real fuss over our little grandaughter every time they passed by
​and had her laughing and giggling all the way and when we told them of our West Jet nightmare they were shocked and found a soft toy and some other treats for her.

I've since heard more stories of West Jet regarding masks and very young children - my advice would be give West Jet a very wide berth if your traveling with young children. I'll never fly with them again if at all possible.
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by eversmannx View Post
any experience/advice related to travelling with little ones and getting them to wear masks all the time?
I've seen a few horror stories... and can't imagine how i am going to force a 3 year old to wear one through out...part of me wonders if it's a good idea to fly during december... but then again, if not ... when... :-(
It's a requirement for over 2 year olds to wear one, so get them used to wearing them for a week or 2 before you fly, start off by making it a game.
https://www.airtransat.com/en-CA/tra...ng/mask-policy
https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...ncareplus.html
https://blog.westjet.com/westjet-rei...e-mask-policy/
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-heal...arrivecan.html

Last edited by Siouxie; Nov 27th 2020 at 9:21 pm.
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 9:32 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Revin Kevin I am very sorry to hear about your experience... not far off from the west jet story in the news!!

Siouxie We booked Air Canada - i know about the 2 year old rule, and we are already practicing and testing out different material --- but u know how it is, when a 3 year old says no... specially trying to force something on the face. of course you wanna follow the rule in a practical manner, but them sort of treating it like a yes or no... otherwise we stop the flight and ban you is real scary...
our experience with air canada before had been good. so i hope if the little one is throwing a tantrum, the stewards give a helping hand rather than trying to make it worse...
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by eversmannx View Post
Revin Kevin I am very sorry to hear about your experience... not far off from the west jet story in the news!!

Siouxie We booked Air Canada - i know about the 2 year old rule, and we are already practicing and testing out different material --- but u know how it is, when a 3 year old says no... specially trying to force something on the face. of course you wanna follow the rule in a practical manner, but them sort of treating it like a yes or no... otherwise we stop the flight and ban you is real scary...
our experience with air canada before had been good. so i hope if the little one is throwing a tantrum, the stewards give a helping hand rather than trying to make it worse...
Get the 3 year old some 'fun' masks -- (and yourselves, for the flight) - make it into an exciting thing to do - rather than a laborious chore Have you tried different types of mask (rather than just the material)? Balaclava type masks or neck gaitors may be more acceptable to your little one. https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=kids+balaclave+neck+gaitor&ref=nb_sb_nossNeck gaitors with ear loops aren't too bad to wear and you can pretend you are pirates or bandits! (Also easy to slip up / down over nose and mouth.. if necessary.. always have a drink with straw / sweet at hand - they are eating / drinking) - take an overnight flight so they are sleeping for most of the flight - lights low.. tucked into the corner of the window seat nobody will notice with a blanket pulled up and the parent sitting forward slightly or having the child 'snuggled' into their arm
Encourage, rather than make if feel like 'forcing. And yes, you will be removed from the flight if you don't comply. Your alternative is to wait until these measures are no longer required - not likely to be anytime soon, unfortunately

Last edited by Siouxie; Nov 27th 2020 at 9:58 pm.
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Old Nov 27th 2020, 9:52 pm
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Default Re: Our Journey to Toronto (during COVID)

Originally Posted by Siouxie View Post
Get the 3 year old some 'fun' masks -- (and yourselves, for the flight) - make it into an exciting thing to do - rather than a laborious chore Have you tried different types of mask (rather than just the material)?
Balaclava type masks or neck gaitors may be more acceptable to your little one. https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=ballaclava...ref=nb_sb_noss

Encourage, rather than make if feel like 'forcing. And yes, you will be removed from the flight if you don't comply. Your alternative is to wait until these measures are no longer required - not likely to be anytime soon, unfortunately
haha. already waited long enough to get everything processed, and packed up ready to go in a few weeks... if they remove us from the flight, we have no place to go back to :-) yeah, will try all the different options and prepare as much as we can with fun and games.
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