Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Immigration Corner | What is the maximum amount of money I can take to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | April 24, 2018 | 12:00 AM

I am planning to apply for permanent residence under the express entry programme as a federal skilled worker. I was told that I will need to show that I have about CAD$12,000 in my bank account. I don't quite have that much yet, but I will soon. Is there a way around this? I have a house my mother left me when she died, and I am planning to sell it. However, I don't want to sell it just yet. Can I just provide proof of the house title? I got a valuation for about CAD$80,000. There is no mortgage on it. Will the immigration authorities accept my title as proof of settlement funds? Is there a maximum amount that I am allowed to take with me? Thanks in advance.


Dear Y.C.,

If you are applying to be a permanent resident of Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker or Federal Skilled Trades programme via the express entry system, you will be required to state the amount of money that you have to facilitate your move to Canada in order for your application to be considered. You will not be required to provide the proof before your application is accepted under the express entry system.

Individuals who have a valid job offer or who are currently working in Canada do not need to provide proof of settlement funds. However, the system forces you to state the amount that you have based on the number of persons in your family. If you have a job offer, then you will only need to provide proof and an explanation, when required, if you do not have the required amount at that time.

The required amount is based on the number of persons in your family. The amount is based on 50 per cent of the low-income cut-off totals that are provided by Statistics Canada each year. It is your duty to check each year to ensure that you have the latest figures.


evidence of funds


Once you receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence, you will be required to provide evidence of these funds before you will be granted the right of permanent residence to Canada. You will have approximately 90 days in which to present this proof.

The most common and acceptable proof is an official letter from any bank or financial institution that can attest to the fact that you have savings and investments with them. The letter from the bank will need to be on the official letterhead and include information such as the date when the account was opened, the name on the account, the account number, your contact information, and the average amount in the account over the last six months.

The letter from the bank should also include details about all other existing bank accounts and any outstanding debts, such as credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credits and any other debts known to the bank.

The funds will need to be unencumbered and available for your use only. Therefore, you cannot use a joint account with a friend or family member unless that person is a spouse and will be accompanying you or is currently in Canada.

The key to remember is that you will need to provide proof of liquid assets, cash on hand or assets that can be easily converted into cash. An asset that can readily be converted into cash is similar to cash itself as it is deemed to be an asset that can be sold with little impact on its value within a short period of time. You may provide official proof of cash deposits, fixed deposits, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, banker's drafts, traveller's cheques, money orders, or other source of investments that can be easily liquidated at a short notice.

As indicated, strictly speaking, you cannot use your land title as proof of these funds.

There is no maximum limit on the amount of money to take into Canada. The only requirement is that you declare the full amount at the time of landing in Canada.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practise are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: subjectline: immigration, Call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.8899 Facebook: jamaicanlawyer