I am totally amazed. Bureaucracy is no longer a bad word for me. I have been in Canada for exactly 24 hours and during this time with minimal pain or wait (a maximum of two people in front of me at one point), I was able to obtain the following:
- A work permit to work in Canada (2 pages application in big letters, offer letter, passport, and $150 CAD were needed). The immigration officer was wondering why I was nervous. No kidding. This is not everyday that you get a visa in less than twenty minutes and of course, I could not remember my exact job title. Shame on me.
- A checking and a saving accounts (2 pieces of identification, and no deposit needed). I left the bank with my new debit card and I need to figure out how Interac is working. Apparently, it is an electronic form of payment equivalent to Paypal, where you can send money by e-mail.
- A Social Insurance Number (Passport and working permit). This one was really impressive. It happened in less than thirty minutes, most of the time spent waiting on a cushy chair listening to my IPod.
- A Library Card (An address and $12 CAD were needed). A library card is essential in this day and age. I won't have a computer until Monday and this allowed me to access a computer for free and up to two hours every day. Once I have a long term address, I will be able to check out up to 99 books at any given time.
All this was accomplished in less than 24 hours and except for the work permit that I obtain at the airport, without using a car. I walked all day. Of course, the GPS unit, I was recently offered, helped a lot. Thanks again guys!
At every step of the way, I was given the choice to receive service in French or English.
I was not able to get my driver license today because I don't have a permanent address and my Texan driver license does not indicate when I got the license for the first time. I am afraid to contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Houston. I don't know if I can do that by phone or if I will need to go there in person. I can drive for three months with my Texas license anyway.
Tomorrow, the Stampede parade will take place downtown and my new office will be closed for the occasion. I briefly visited my colleagues this morning.
I managed to configure my router for the Internet connection in the appartment via my cellular phone and I can read my e-mail messages on my phone. Now that I retrieved my password for this blog, I should also be able to approve comments (the first comment you post needs to be approved) and post new entries.