How to open a bank account in Canada?

When you land in Canada as a permanent resident, opening a bank account comes among the first few steps which you have to take after landing in Canada. In Canada, you can open your bank account at the bank or the Federally regulated credit union.

You can use your accounts to pay your bills, receive funds through direct deposits. However, if your financial institution is a member of the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation, then your money will be insured by the government in your account up to Max $100,000.

Where can I open a bank account?

  • Bank
  • Credit Union
  • Caisse Populaire
  • Trust Company

You can open an account even if:

  • you don’t have money to put in your bank account.
  • don’t have a job.
  • you have been bankrupt or have a bad credit history.

To open a bank account, you have to:

  • Go in-person to a Bank.
  • Provide valid identification that meets the requirement of a financial institution, where you want to open your bank account.

Identification Documents to open a bank account:

Below are the options you can use to open a bank account in Canada:

Option 1: In this option, you have to provide any two ID’s (Use Original ID’s not Photocopies) from the following:

  • Valid Canadian Driver’s Licence
  • Canadian Passport
  • Birth Certificate issued in Canada
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card issued by the Canadian Government
  • Certificate of your nationality Status
  • Provincial or territorial health insurance card that can be used as a valid ID to open a bank account.
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Card or Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, IMM 5292.

IRCC also issue form IMM 5688 as a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR). Here, you can check with your Bank / or Financial institution if they will accept this form.

As part of the above identifications, you can also use a document or card with your picture and signature on it by one of the following authority:

  • Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
  • Alberta Registries
  • Saskatchewan Government Insurance
  • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
  • Department of Transportation and Infrastructure of the province of Prince Edward Island
  • Service New Brunswick
  • Service NL of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Department of Transportation of Northwest Territories
  • Department of Community Government and Transportation of Nunavut

Option 2: In this option, you have a choice to show your IDs. You may choose any one ID from the above list and one ID from the below list:

  • Employee ID card with your picture on it that has been issued by an employer
  • A debit card or bank card with your name and signature on it
  • Canadian credit card with your name and signature on it
  • Client card from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your picture and signature on it
  • Current foreign passport

Option 3: In this option, you can show one ID proof from option 1 and have someone who can give your guarantee or confirm your identity at the financial institution.

Important: The majority of immigrants at this stage will have a CoPR letter or Permanent Resident card, it is advisable to connect with your bank branch for the same and confirm which identification they can accept to open your bank account.

Also, you don’t need to have a permanent address to open a bank account in Canada. However, if you provide your address then you must have recent electricity, cable, or telephone bill that includes your name and address.

In case you don’t have the required identification, you should contact the Federal, Provincial or Territorial government for information on how to get the identifications and the way to obtain it.

Types of Bank Account

Chequing Account: This account allows you to write cheques and include the use of debit cards. This is an account you need if your employer uses a payroll deposit. The payroll deposit allows your employer to deposit your salary in your chequing account. This account has a lower transaction fee than saving accounts.

Saving Account: This account is helpful if you want to save your money as this account provides a higher interest rate. Saving accounts allow you to do certain types of transactions or a certain number of transactions. Additional transactions apart from your given transactions by the bank may be expensive.

For more information related to your financial need Click here

Note: You have a right to cash a cheque from the Federal government without any charge at any bank as long as the cheque is for $1500 or less.

Banks must provide the following details:

When you open an account at federally regulated financial institutions, they provide you the information about your account.

This information must include:

  • Copy of your account agreement
  • How interest will be calculated
  • Fee and charges related to your account
  • Details about how you will be contacted about new fee or charges

You will have an option to select the mode of communication between writing or email.

Services in your Language

If you require foreign language services for your banking solutions, you can connect with your branch as many banks in Canada have bilingual staff in large urban areas.

However, this service is not guaranteed that the bank will offer but for more information regarding language service, you can connect with your bank branch.

Refuse to open a bank account

You should not have any issues/ or problems opening a bank account. However, it solely depends on the bank or financial institutions to accept or reject your application. Financial institutions are free to refuse your application if:

  • They believe you knowingly made false statements in the information you gave
  • They believe you are planning to use the account for illegal or fraudulent purposes
  • You have a history of illegal or fraudulent activities with financial institutions
  • You don’t allow service providers to verify the identification you gave

If a financial institution refuses to open an account for you, they must:

  • Tell you the reason for the refusal in writing
  • Provide you the contact details for the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.

For more information about the complaint, Click here

Top Banks for Newcomers in Canada

Below is the list of some top banks in Canada. However, this information is just for your help, we do not promote any of these banks. You are free to choose any bank in Canada as per your requirements.

We hope this article will help you to know about the banking system in Canada and takes you a step closer to get your bank account in Canadian bank.

At Blogimmi, we help applicants to travel, study, and settle abroad by connecting them to their preferred destinations. We eliminate the frustration with complex application procedures by streamlining the process with our fully online on-demand consulting.

Our advisors are ready to answer your queries 24/7. If you have any questions, feel free to reach us by email or phone call.

Thank you!

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