Immigration and Citizenship

Canada Increases Settlement Funds for Express Entry Immigration

Canada Express Entry Proof of Funds

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC formerly CIC) announced changes to the proof of settlement funds required for skilled immigration through the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).

Settlement funds are required in order to demonstrate that immigration candidates have the means to establish themselves and their family in Canada and pay for initial costs, such as accommodation. 

Funds required for a single applicant were increased from $12,474 in 2018, to $12,669 in 2019. 

Settlement funds are required unless the applicant:

  • Is currently authorised for working in Canada and,
  • Has a valid job offer from an employer in Canada.

Applicants should note borrowed money cannot be used to meet the thresholds. They need to use the money cover costs of living for their family. This applies even if the family is not accompanying the applicant to Canada.

IRCC has advised candidates to review the new figures to ensure they continue to meet the financial requirements of the Express Entry class under which they are registered, and to keep their funds updated in their Express Entry profile. 

How Much Settlement Funds Is Required

The amount of money you need to support your family is set by the size of your family. To calculate the size of your family you must include:

  • yourself
  • your spouse or partner
  • your dependent children and
  • your spouse’s dependent children

This includes your spouse or dependent children who are permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

You will need to show proof that you have enough money when you apply to immigrate. This table shows the minimum amount you need. If you have more money, you should list the full amount in your profile or application. IRCC emphasized again that you can not borrow this money from another person. See the Express Entry Proof of Funds.

Number of Family Members2017 Funds Required2018 Funds Required2019 Funds Required
1$12,300$12,474$12,669
2$15,312$15,530$15,772
3$18,825$19,092$19,390
4$22,856$23,181$23,542
5$25,923$26,291$26,701
6$29,236$29,652$30,114
7$32,550$33,013$33,528
Each additional family member$3,314$3,361$3,414

Applicants whose spouses are is coming with them can count money that they have together in a joint account. An applicant may also be able to count money in an account under their spouse only, but you must prove you have access to the money.

If you receive IRCC invitation to apply (ITA) through the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC) and Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC), you must give written proof that you have this money. But you don’t need to show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family to meet the program requirements of the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) (this includes provincial nominees who are part of the CEC stream).

What Does IRCC Accept As Proof?

IRCC requires that the funds must be readily available to you. For example, you can not use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds.

The funds must be available both when you apply and when (if) IRCC issues you a permanent resident visa. You must prove to an immigration officer that you can legally access them to use to settle here when you arrive.

For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you are keeping money.

Letter(s) must:

  • be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
  • include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address)
  • include your name
  • list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
  • include, for each current bank and investment account:
    • account numbers
    • the date each account was opened
    • the current balance of each account
    • the average balance for the past six months

Updates to fund requirements

IRCC updates the proof of funds numbers every year based on 50 per cent of the low income cut-off totals. The changes are small but there is a chance it could affect your eligibility. Be sure to check the new numbers to your own once they’re posted. See the above table for incremental changes from 2017.

How much money you should bring

IRCC advises that applicants should research how much it costs to live in the place where you plan to settle in Canada. It is recommended that you bring as much money as you can to make moving and finding a home in Canada easier.

NOTE that Canadian customs regulations require you to declare if you’re bringing more than CAN$10,000 into Canada. If you don’t tell them, you may be fined, and your funds could be seized. This includes:

  • cash
  • documents that show property or capital payable to you, such as:
    • stocks
    • bonds
    • debentures
    • treasury bills
  • documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money, which are payable to you, such as:
    • banker’s drafts
    • cheques
    • travellers’ cheques
    • money orders).

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