Monday, June 18, 2007

No One Told Me, eh?

So Sunday night I flew back to Canada for the second week of my four weeks up here working. I went to the same Customs official, who asked me what type of business I was doing, and this week was training week. He asked me for my work permit or bill of sale to allow me to be here.

Deer in the headlights look. I didn't and assumed that work had taken care of everything. Well, Scott, my buddy at Customs (yes, we're on a first-name basis now), informed me that the Canadian visa office (the nice phrase for Immigration) requires a work permit or a Social Insurance Number (SIN, no kidding) to work in Canada.

He told me that I would have to have a form filled out by my customer or I'd need to go to HRSDC to get it sorted out. Because I mentioned training, they want proof that a Canadian job isn't going to someone who isn't a citizen. I can't blame them and they were very nice about it, but after being detained for over an hour and a half, I think they wanted to go home as well.

Because I'm a consultant, they let me go on the provision that I could provide proof that training was part of the original sale. So after I left Customs, I walked over to pick up my rental car, only to find the person working at National had left. My hotel is over 45 minutes away from the airport.

After making some calls, someone finally came to rent me a car (I had to convince him to come down because I was refusing to pay for a 45-minute cab ride). So after an over two and half hour delay, I finally made it to my hotel after midnight.

I sure hope my next two trips here go more smoothly. And I hope Scott remembers me in case I pass through his window again.

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