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Immigration Corner | How do I prove that I have enough money to migrate?

Published:Tuesday | October 23, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I've been saving for the past three years for my move to Canada. I'm a young pharmacist and I plan to sponsor myself as a Federal Skilled Worker. How much money do I need to have in my bank account? I have a joint account with my mother. Can I use this as proof? How do I prove that I have enough money to migrate to Canada?

- PP

Dear PP,

The government of Canada has various programmes to grant persons permanent residence under the category of economic immigrants. These programmes are classified as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, the Federal Skills Trade Programme, and applications are submitted via the express entry portal.

In order to be eligible under these programmes, qualified individuals are required to show that they have enough funds to facilitate their move and ultimate settlement in Canada. This is called settlement funds. This is required of persons without a job offer and other categories, except under Canadian Experience Class programme.

Individuals or the principal applicant, if married, will need to provide proof that they have enough money based on the number of persons in your immediate family. So you would count yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, all your dependent children under 21 years old, and your spouse's dependent children under 21 years old, whether or not they are accompanying you. If your spouse or dependent children are permanent resident or Canadian citizens, they must be included when you are checking the amount that you are required to show.

The minimum amount of money you need to present evidence of is based on 50 per cent of the annual low income cut off totals which is updated annually and published by both Statistic Canada and Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada. Your application will not be accepted into the pool of applicants if you have less than the minimum required, based on the number of persons in your family.

The 2018 figures in Canadian dollars are as follows: single individuals, approximately $12,500; family of two - $15,600; family of three - $19,100; family of four - $23,200; family of five - $26,300; family of six - $29,700. This is the minimum requirement. If you have more, you should state it and provide proof of the exact amount.


Acceptable proof


You will need to submit proof of liquid funds with your application for permanent residence. You cannot borrow this money from another person or a bank, as this will be counting as a debt rather than liquid funds and will not be of benefit to you. You must be able to use this money to pay the costs of living for your family, even if they will not be coming with you to Canada.

Acceptable proof are cash, letter from your bankers or investment brokers showing that you own stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills or other investments.

You must provide an official letter from your bank/ financial institution. The official letter must be printed on the letterhead of the financial institution, the contact information of the financial institution (address, telephone number and email address, and signed by an authorised banking official.

The letter must provide details of your financial profile, including a list of all your bank (chequing and savings) and investment accounts, the account numbers, dates each account was opened, and the balance of each account over the past six months. It should also include a list all outstanding debts, such as credit cards and loans.

The statement must show that you are the owner of the account and not a sponsor on your behalf. Joint accounts are not acceptable proof unless it is with your spouse or common-law partner who will be accompanying you. You may be able to count money in an account under your spouse's name only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

For more information on how to ensure that your application is successful, contact an immigration lawyer to guide you and your family.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to: Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer, or call (613) 695-8777 or (876) 922-4092.