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When you move to Canada in a few months, one of your first priorities will be dealing with your finances.You will need to have a Canadian bank account to pay for your everyday needs or conduct your business.

• To begin with, you will need to choose the bank or credit union that is near your home.
• Most banks provide the basic accounts such as chequing and savings.
• To open an account, you will need your landed immigrant papers and any other identification that proves your place of residence.
• It’s important for you to open a chequing account in particular, as most Canadian employers pay by direct deposit right into your account.

• Another step you will need to do is getting a secured credit card, so that you can start building your credit history in Canada.
• You can build this history by showing that you pay off your bills and loans in a timely manner.
• Having a good credit history is essential when you want to get a mortgage to buy a home, or get a loan to start a business.

•If you prefer to open your Canadian bank account before your move, a safe and a cost-effective way to bring your funds and have them readily available for you after you immigrate will be opening your Canadian bank account when you are still in your country origin.
• Most Canadian banks allow future clients to start their bank account application online.
• And even some of these banks are present in some countries where immigrants come from, through direct branches, representative offices or local partners.

• Scotiabank, for example, offers immigrants to Canada a convenient channel to open a bank account, send money and apply for a credit card before leaving their home country. To do that, they just need to visit a Scotiabank branch in India and complete the referral form for a new deposit account.

• Contact the bank you want to open an account with before moving, discuss with them your options and mail them all the required forms to start your pre-arrival banking process.
• Once your account is opened, usually the banks allow you to make one wire transfer prior to your arrival.
• But note that you can’t withdraw any funds from your Canadian account, until you activate your account by visiting the branch in person after you move to Canada.

More videos in this series:

Essential documents to bring to Canada


Choosing the arrival location