PR CARDS (PRC):
Your PR Card application (IMM 5444E) shall be done at the POE itself. It is part of the PR package [free] and the photos & details will be the same as you supplied for the PPR. Our PR Card/s come back to us via regular post mail, in 3-6 weeks, avg. 4 weeks. It is ‘advisable’ to stay in Canada for at least 45 days, collect our PRC and then return back [if you must].
If you leave the country before it arrives, u’ll have to make arrangements for its collection & forward delivery to you, overseas, thru a friend/relative [Not a Recommended Action], however, done all the time by ppl. But there is a danger of losing it in transit. And if that happens, we’ll have a tedious process to get new ones made.
How To Enter Canada W/Out A PR Card:
As per IATA & CBSA regulations, we cannot enter Canada w/out a PRC. However, if we are entering thru a Border Post by road, it doesn’t matter -our COPR is enough for entry/exit. But, if we are travelling by an airline & boarding/entering thru an a/port we will Not be Permitted. At the embarkation port itself we will be Stopped by the airline staff.
The process in such cases is to apply for a ‘PRTD-A31 (3)’ [Temporary ‘PR Travel Document’] at the local CHC [abroad]. It costs Ca$50. Details of it is provided at the ‘Manual for Permanent Resident Card’ (ENF 27).
Procedure Of PR Card Application:
NOTE: The PRC is probably the ‘most important’ document after we are thru with our PR application process. This is valid for 5 yrs. First time: Free; Renewals cost $50/card.
After ‘landing’ we’ll have to visit the nearest Services Canada Office for the SIN Card. We get the SIN No. immediately as a ‘print-out’ -signed & stamped upon applying, the same day, the same time. That’d suffice for all our further actions in Canada, viz Job Search, Bank a/c, House Hunting etc. The card shall come to us in approx 3 weeks. For its collection -ditto applies as above, for the PR Cards.
NOTE: Remember, we don’t need the SIN Card for anything. Only the SIN No. Which we’ll get the same time as we apply for it. It’d be wise to visit Services Canada Office the very next day upon arrival.
Both PR Card & SIN Cards are Federal documents. Meaning? One card for the entire nation -Canada.
Health is a provincial matter. It is NOT FEDERAL. Thus, if you change provinces, u’ll have to AGAIN get that province’s Health Card. And again the waiting period* shall apply. Off course, a previous province’s health card remains valid for few days/months in another province, but not all benefits could be availed.
*The Waiting Period:
As I know, Alberta [eg. Calgary, Edmonton etc] & Manitoba [eg. Winnipeg] are the Only provinces where there is NO WAITING period for the Health Insurance. Rest in all provinces there is some waiting time to get the Health Benifits. In Ontario [eg. Toronto, Ottawa etc.] it is 3 months.
Eg.: If Calgary Is My Destination Should I Get The H/Card In Toronto?
If Calgary is your Final Destination, but you are ‘initially’ landing in Toronto for a few days stay [Permitted action], I suggest you should first land in Calgary [get the health card] and then visit Toronto. Why? Mainly ‘coz, you can get the Calgary health card immediately, but in Toronto you’ll not. That Calgary health card will be valid in Toronto for a few days. Not the vice-versa. Secondly, if you land first in Toronto, you’ll be staying w/out any health coverage.
Temp. Health Coverage:
It’s wise to obtain a ‘temporary’ health coverage before you fly. Off course not required if you are going to Alberta or Manitoba. That temp. coverage shall come in the way of “Travel Insurance”, which you can obtain from ANY insurance company in your homeland. The costs depands on the length of coverage. Usually we should take it for 3-4 months, as that is the waiting time in all provinces.
NOTE: It’ll be a good idea to obtain the Travel Insurance from home country. For 2 reasons:  You are covered from day-1 even before landing.  In Canada it will be costlier & you’ll be covered only from the day you apply. What if you get to do it later, as you’ll be busy in the initial days? What if something goes wrong in between?