Ensuring Adequate Proof of Funds for Your Immigration Journey
As skilled immigrants planning to move to Canada under the Express Entry program, it’s crucial that you demonstrate proof of funds to meet minimum requirements. This proof is essential to show that you have sufficient money to settle in Canada. When you receive an invitation to apply, you will be required to provide written proof that you have these funds available.
Who is Required to Provide Proof of Funds
The proof of funds requirement applies to those applying through:
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Federal Skilled Trades Program
If you’re applying under either of these programs, ensure that you have your financial documents ready to meet the proof of funds requirements.
Exceptions to the Proof of Funds Requirement
Certain applicants are exempted from the proof of funds requirement. You are not required to show proof of funds if:
- You’re applying under the Canadian Experience Class
- You’re authorized to work in Canada and have a valid job offer, regardless of whether you apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program
It’s important to keep your funds up to date in your profile regardless of your program, as the system may find you eligible for more than one program.
Determining the Amount of Money Needed
The money needed to support your family is based on the size of your family. To calculate your family size, include the following:
- Your spouse or common-law partner
- Your dependent children
- Your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent children
Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children must be included in the calculation, whether or not they are coming to Canada with you.
Proof of Funds: Acceptable Evidence
Your funds must be readily accessible both at the time of application and upon issuing of a permanent resident visa, should your application be approved. It’s important to note that you can’t use equity on real property or borrowed money as proof of settlement funds. You should be able to use this money for your family’s living expenses.
If your spouse is accompanying you, money in a joint account can be counted. Money in an account solely under your spouse’s name may also be counted, provided you can prove you have access to the funds.
Proof of funds must come in the form of official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you hold accounts. These letters must include:
- The bank or institution’s contact information
- Your name
- Your outstanding debts (like credit card debts and loans)
- Details for each current banking and investment account you have with them, including account numbers, date each account was opened, current account balances, and average balance for the past six months.
According to the official Canadian government website, the minimum amount of money you need to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program depends on the size of your family:
- For 1 family member: CAD $13,757
- For 2 family members: CAD $17,127
- For 3 family members: CAD $21,055
- For 4 family members: CAD $25,564
- For 5 family members: CAD $28,994
- For 6 family members: CAD $32,700
- For 7 family members: CAD $36,407
- For each additional family member beyond 7, add CAD $3,706 per person.
These funds must be readily available to you at the time of your application and when a permanent resident visa is issued (if your application is approved). The funds can be in a joint account if your spouse is coming with you. You may also be able to count money in an account under your spouse’s name only, but you must prove you have access to the money. Equity on real property or borrowed money cannot be used as proof of settlement funds.
Proof of funds is required to meet the minimum requirements of the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program, but it is not required if you’re applying under the Canadian Experience Class or you’re authorized to work in Canada and you have a valid job offer, even if you apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Please remember to update your settlement fund numbers in your Express Entry profile every year to stay eligible. The update is based on 50% of the low income cut-off totals.
When you arrive in Canada, you have to inform the border officer if you’re bringing more than CAD $10,000 into the country. If you don’t, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized
Suggested Funds to Bring to Canada
It’s advisable to research the cost of living in your planned place of settlement in Canada and bring as much money as possible. This will make your transition to living in Canada smoother. Please note that if you bring more than CAN$10,000 into Canada, you must declare it to the border officer. Failure to do so may result in a fine, and your funds could be seized. This amount includes:
- Documents that show property or capital payable to you, such as stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills
- Documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you, such as banker’s drafts, cheques, money orders, travellers’ cheques
Moving to Canada as a skilled immigrant involves thorough preparation, especially when it comes to proving you have the necessary funds to support yourself and your family. By understanding the requirements, preparing your documentation carefully, and bringing the recommended funds, you’ll be well-prepared for your Express Entry immigration journey.