Immigration Corner | Will they take my money?
Dear Ms Powell,
I recently got an invitation to apply for permanent residence in Canada. When I applied for express entry, I put in my application that I have CDN$20,000 to bring to Canada. This was based on the fact that I plan to sell my house after I get to Canada and check out the place. Now I have to provide proof of the cash and I don't have that amount of money in my bank account! I don't want to sell my assets yet, as I don't know what the future will bring. What if I go there and decide I don't want to live there? Is there a way around this? What will they do with the funds anyway? Will I need to present the funds when I am entering Canada? Can I borrow the money?
When you submit an application under the express entry system, you are asked specific questions to determine your eligibility to come to Canada as an economic immigrant and to integrate into the Canadian society. Part of the evaluation process is ensuring that you have the funds to ensure that you and your family are able to settle into Canada and not need financial assistance from the government. It is expected that you will be able to contribute to the growth and development of the country.
To evaluate this key factor, you will be asked specific questions that require specific truthful answers. The questions are:
'How much money (in Canadian dollars) will you bring to Canada to support yourself and your family?' Then you are asked, 'How many family members do you have?' (This includes you, a spouse or partner, dependent children, and their dependent children.)
Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada, set the amount you would need to take to Canada based on 50 per cent of the low income cut-off point and also based on the number of individuals in your family. This figure is updated each year. The required funds for 2017 are: if you are a single person and not in a common-law relationship, the minimum you will need to show is CDN$12,300. For a family of two - CDN$15, 312; family of three CDN$18,250; a family of four will need to show a minimum of CDN$22,856.
The answers to these questions are critical, as this will determine whether you should receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence and to receive permanent residence within six months.
Proof of means of self-support is a requirement for anyone who does not already have a legitimate job offer. A legitimate job offer is one in which your potential employer either has a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report or is LMIA exempt.
Do you have a job offer that satisfies that requirement? If you do, you do not need to provide proof that you have the funds and a letter of explanation, accompanied by the letter from your potential employer and the proof of LMIA or proof of exemption, will need to be submitted. You will see a list of documents that are required to upload at the end of the application.
PURPOSE OF THE FUNDS
The Canadian government will not take the funds from you. However, on your first entry into Canada, you will be asked the amount of funds that you have and required to declare any funds over CDN$10,000.
IRCC specifically states that "You cannot borrow this money from another person. You must be able to use this money to pay the costs of living for your family (even if they are not coming with you)."
You will be required to provide a list of all your assets and liabilities. Acceptable proof is a letter from all your bankers confirming your chequing and savings accounts, investment accounts, the account numbers, dates each account was opened and the balance of each account over the past six months. You should also submit a list all outstanding debts, such as credit cards and loans. This letter must be printed on the letterhead of the financial institution, include your name and the contact information of the financial institution, including their address, telephone number and email address.
n Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org - subjectline Immigration. Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer or call 613.695.8777.