Canada is a beautiful place to work, study or live. If you are considering moving to Canada, you may want to open a bank account before arriving there. We will tell you what you can do to open an account, even if you are not yet a resident, but it can be difficult to open a bank account in Canada, and it is not impossible; you can contact a Canadian bank and ask for help it can give you the desired result.
Your success in opening an account may also depend on your country of origin, as opening an account from the United States is likely to be easier due to the relationships between the banks.
How do I get a Canadian bank account as a non-citizen or resident?
Obtaining a Canadian bank account usually requires you to be a Canadian citizen or resident of the country. This means that you need proof of address, identity documents, immigration documents and a reference number issued by the government, but this is not always the case.
Your options to open an account in Canada
Here are the different options you have to start an account with a bank in Canada:
Use a ‘correspondent bank’:
Some banks will already have relationships with Canadian banks, and if this is the case, you may want to contact your bank and ask for their help in opening a Canadian bank account, but it should not be forgotten that not all banks in Canada have this relationships.
Open an international account:
Usually you have to be a very wealthy person and have to deposit a large amount of money and a high balance in the account.
Talk to a Canadian bank about opening an account as a non-resident:
This is one of your best options. It is always a good idea to contact a Canadian bank and ask if you can open an account from outside the country, especially if you plan to move there soon.
Visit Canada to open an account:
You can open a local account in Canada by visiting a bank. You need certain documents, so always call to hear the requirements before undertaking the trip.
Documents required to open a bank account in Canada
- When opening an account in Canada, the required documents may differ, but the rules are quite simple.
- All you need is to bring two documents – the original, not the copies.
- These documents can be as follows:
- The current passport.
- An employee ID card with your photo on it issued by a reputable employer in your area.
- A debit card or bank card with your name and signature on it.
- Canadian credit card with your name and signature on it.
- Customer card from the Canadian National Institute of the Blind with your photo and signature.
- A document issued by a reputable person at the financial institution or in the community confirming your identity.
These requirements may also differ slightly depending on your nationality, status and bank. The official website of the Government of Canada contains a list of all possible scenarios for you.
Keep in mind that in most cases banks are not expected to ask for your Social Security number unless the account you open earns interest for tax purposes.
If you are asked for the number for other reasons, you must sign a consent form before sharing it with the organization.