Carrying Money to Canada? Important Rules to Know

Every country has rules for carrying money for the visitors. And the same applies to Canada as well.

And a very obvious and most important question which actually needs professional advice from your bank or banking institution is related to carrying money to Canada. This question particularly affects the banking and financial laws in force in your country of origin.

Are there restrictions on carrying funds from your country of origin?

According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), “Some countries set limits on how much money you can take out of the country. You should check with your bank, lawyer or financial advisor. If you are able to prove that the funds you want to leave the country are subject to restrictions, you can make use of a special provision that will allow you a period of up to three years to purchase household goods in the country from which you are immigrating. These goods may be shipped to Canada free of duty. This provision cancels the usual rule on the ownership, possession and use of your property.”

You should check with a representative of your financial institution before coming to Canada, if you are unsure of local regulations.

Disclosure of Funds

If you enter Canada with more than CAN$10,000 (per family), please inform a Canadian officer upon arrival. You could be fined if you fail to do so. The funds you bring are not taxable upon arrival.

What type of funds you can bring in Canada?

Definitions of the funds you can bring to Canada:

  • Cash
  • Bearer securities (e.g. shares, bills, bonds, treasury bills) or
  • Bearer negotiable instruments (e.g. bank drafts, cheques, travellers cheques, money orders).

Here are some other suggestions on how to bring or transfer funds to Canada:

Determine whether your local bank has a “correspondent” or relationship with a Canadian bank and whether it has an account to make inter-bank transfers. Your bank may have a branch in Canada, which may make it easier to transfer funds once you get there. Ask your bank if it has offices in Canada.

The Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. of India (ICICI) offers a Hello Canada bank account for immigrants from India, Dubai, Bahrain or the United Kingdom. This account allows you to open a Canadian bank account from abroad and transfer funds to Canada before you arrive.

Arrange to transfer your funds to a Canadian bank once you are in Canada. You will likely have to maintain the account in your home country for a short period of time and then transfer it to your new account in Canada.

One option would be to get a bank draft from your own bank. A bank draft is a cheque drawn on your own account in which a cash deposit has been made. Confirm, before you leave, your bank’s requirements for such transactions. You can then bring enough cash or traveller’s cheques to help you get started. Once you arrive, open a Canadian bank account and have the rest of your funds transferred from your home country to your new account. You must inform your own Canadian bank at that time of your plans and ask them what procedures are required to make withdrawals. The funds you contribute may also be in the form of bearer securities such as shares, bills, bonds or treasury bills.

A Canadian bank may have a branch in your country. Try to find one by searching for Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank (TD Bank), Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Nova Scotia or Bank of Montreal. Once your branch is identified, they can help you open a Canadian account and transfer your funds.

You will obviously need to bring the official documentation on your banking situation and your transactions. This documentation will be used as evidence to present to the immigration officer to show that you have enough money in a Canadian bank account or funds that will be transferred into an account. These documents include, but are not limited to, bank statements as close as possible to your arrival in Canada.

It should be noted that this information cannot constitute a recommendation. We request you to please contact your bank or financial institution for additional information and advice.

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