For Express Entry, you first need to know if you have to provide proof of settlement funds. You can do that by visiting our Express Entry guide 

How much money do you need?

The money needed to be eligible mainly depends on the number of members in the family of the principal applicant. The number of members has to cover:
  • the principal applicant,
  • their spouse/partner, and
  • their & their spouses’ dependent children.

If the spouse and/or the dependent children are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, they need to be included in the calculation of the family size.

If your spouse is coming with you, you can count the money that you have together in a joint account. You may be able to count money in an account under the spouse’s name only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

Below is the minimum required funds for 2020. The base currency (taken into account by IRCC) is the Canadian dollar (CAD), and the other currencies are converted from the CAD just so you can have an idea of the required funds in your currency. Please use a more precise exchange rate to be sure of the exact amount needed.

What types of assets can I add?

You can only count funds that are readily available, liquid assets. Owning real estate, for example, cannot be counted as proof of having the required funds.

If you sell any of your assets (car, home, jewelry, etc.), before or after receiving the Invitation To Apply (ITA), you must ensure you have proper documentation proving the sale. You will need to upload the sale document with a Letter of Explanation (LoE) justifying the amount of money that was added in the bank pursuant to the sale.

Do I need a Gift Deed?

The funds cannot be borrowed. If there a big inflow of funds to your account, let’s say exactly the minimum amount required, this will constitute a red-flag for the immigration officer analyzing your case. If this happens, you need to get a notarized gift deed from the person who gave you the money and write a Letter of Explanation (LoE) clarifying the situation.

If you have the money in your account for more than 6 months, there should be no problem as IRCC does not request the average balance for more than the past 6 months.

How to prove settlement funds

The principal applicant will have to provide, as proof, an official letter from their financial institution that:
  • needs to have the printed letterhead of the institution, that includes their phone number, e-mail, and address,
  • includes the principal applicant’s name,
  • lists any contracted debt and its outstanding amount, and
  • includes, for every current account the following information: 
    • Opening date,
    • Account number,
    • Current balance,
    • Average balance in the past 6 months.

You can provide more than one official letter if the required funds are deposited in multiple banks or other financial institutions.

Several large banks have fixed formats for most of their letters and show little flexibility when it comes to accommodating IRCC’s requirement. You obviously do not have the powers to change the format that banks have. It is at the discretion of bank officials to modify their letters, some bank officials oblige and some do not. Here are a few tips that could be of help:
  • Try to have as much information in the letter as possible and explain why you were unable to obtain other information in a Letter of Explanation (LoE).
  • Also explain in your Letter of Explanation, the alternative document that you have provided that contains part of the required information.
  • Try to keep e-mail records of your correspondence, so you can include them in your Letter of Explanation.
  • Try to convince the Bank officials to include a note on the letter stating their inability to comply with IRCC’s requested format.
  • If your letter does not show average monthly balance: Provide your 6 months bank statements, highlight savings and explain your situation through the Letter of Explanation
  • If your letter does not show debts:  explain your situation through the Letter of Explanation, declare all the debt products that you have. Provide your 6 months bank statements, highlight loans, credit card statements, debt repayments.

Do I need to bring all the minimum amount?

You do not need to bring all the money with you when you land. However, you should be prepared with a recent bank statement in case the immigration officer at the port of entry asks you for it.

If you are bringing more than $10,000 with you to Canada, you need to declare, or you will risk a fine. You will not be taxed on it, it is just a measure to check that the money did not come from fraudulent or malicious activities.