August 24, 2013

Crossing the 49th.

We crossed into Canada.  I had a detailed list of goods, that impressed the boarder staff.  We did not have to unpack anything, that was great!

According to the boarder guard my kids and wife are returning Canadians.  I now have a six month visa, which means I am a visitor and will have to leave in February.  I also, had to get travelers insurance for medical emergency.

My wife applied for her Social Insurance Number (SIN), this is like the USA's Social Security Number (SSN).  Next with the SIN we could get a bank account.  The nice surprise was I was able to be added to the account, even with my status.

We had been in contact with the Secondary school for Connor.  We arranged to meet with his teacher.  The school was very nice and the staffing was amazingly different.  The support for Connor appears to be much more then we could have hoped for.

The drivers license here was, probably, the easiest transition.  The province contracts through The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (aka: ICBC).  It was a simple matter to register as they recognize a US license is recognized as a form of ID and equal to a Canadian insofar as ability to drive.  So she turned in her Oregon for BC.

We set up a five year lease agreement, which counts as residency proof.  Also, we ordered embossed ATM cards as another form of ID.

Next up was the BC cares card for healthcare.  The Canadian system has socialized medicine.  Each province handles their own populace.  Think of this as a state run system.  This got a bit tricky.  You can fill out the paperwork and send it in.  The insurance will not cover you for three months.  Even then you need to have your entire family  under the plan.  So my status as a visitor is problematic.  However, the school required proof we filled out and mailed the form.  So we did...

The school system is oriented towards the needs of the student with an emphasis on state and fed be dammed!  As long as we have everything for immigration and healthcare in process he can be enrolled.

With our lease agreement, Tina's SIN card, license, passport and proof of mailing for BC Cares, Connor is enrolled!

That was quite the hurdle!

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