To immigrate to Canada, you must meet certain requirements for your application process and your finances. Some of the criteria for Canadian immigration are:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Be a citizen of a country other than Canada
- Meet an acceptable level of English or French proficiency (depending on which province you are moving to)
- Meet any applicable requirements under the Visa type you are applying (e.g. Work Permit, Permanent Residence, Visitor Visa, Spousal Visa, etc.)
- Prove that you possess a sufficient amount of money to support yourself and any dependents who come with you.
The last point is one of the most vital aspects of a successful application. Canada is a relatively affordable country to move to compared with other popular places like the USA, the UK, or Australia. The proof of funds needed depends on your family size and the type of immigration program you apply to. The money includes visa processing fees and the minimum funds needed to settle down in Canada. Such an amount will help you sustain yourself in Canada until you get a job.
What do you need to know about Canada Immigration?
Canada is a diverse country with an open and welcoming immigration policy. Anyone can immigrate to Canada as long as they meet the requirements. Canada is a country of immigrants. Since the first settlers arrived on its shores in the early 1600s, people have been immigrating to Canada from all over the world. Today, more than 20% of Canadians are born outside of Canada, and one in five Canadians speak a foreign language at home, that is not English or French.
The Canadian government has always been welcoming to newcomers and continues to do so. Moreover, the fact that the government has set an ambitious target to settle 1.3 million newcomers in the country further bolsters its commitment. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government aims to add 447,000 immigrants in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees everyone the right to life, liberty, and security. This includes newcomers who want to live in Canada permanently or temporarily for any reason. Further includes those landing for employment or because they are refugees seeking protection from persecution abroad.
The following are the most common options for immigrants who want to live in Canada permanently:
1. Economic immigration programs
2. Family reunification programs
3. Refugee protection or humanitarian programs
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How much money should you have to move to Canada?
Canada offers a high standard of living, the world’s best medical facilities, and quality education. The cost of living may vary depending on where you live in Canada and is mostly lower than in the US. When you are considering moving to Canada, here is some guidance on how much money you will need to move to Canada. First, you need to have proof of funds that can support your needs for at least six months. This means you must show that you have enough money in your bank account or investments to cover your living expenses for six months without working or having any other income sources. Now, you might think that the total amount of money in your bank account is enough to cover all your expenses. However, when you are thinking about moving to Canada, you need to be aware of:
- The currency equivalent value of your savings held in your home currency
- The fact that Canada may have a different standard of living, meaning higher cost when compared to your home country
Therefore, any potential immigrant needs to ensure they are financially prepared.
How Much Does it Cost for a Canadian Visa Application?
The cost of a Canadian visa application depends on the type of visa you are applying for. Canadian visas can be broken down into three categories:
- Visitor visas
- Temporary resident visas
- Permanent resident visas
Effective April 30, 2022, there has been a change in fees for different types of Canadian visa applications. For a visitor visa, the fee is $100 CAD per person. The fee is the same when you apply for a super visa. When you apply to extend your stay in Canada, you must pay $100 CAD. If you wish to restore your visitor status, the application fee is $200 CAD.
For different temporary residence visas, the fee is:
- International Experience Canada – $156 CAD
- Study Permit (including extension) – $150 CAD,
- Restoration of Study Permit status $200 CAD, new study permit – $350 CAD
- Work Permit (including extension) – $155 CAD
- Open work permit – $100 CAD
- Restore your worker status – $200 CAD, new work permit – $155 CAD
For different permanent residence visas, the fee is:
- Business Immigration application – $1,625 CAD, additional right of permanent residence fee – $515, totalling – $2,140 CAD
- Caregiver program application – $570 CAD, additional right of permanent residence fee – $515, totalling – $1,085 CAD
- Economic immigration including Express Entry application – $850 CAD, additional right of permanent residence fee – $515, totalling – $1,365 CAD
- Humanitarian and compassionate application – $570 CAD, additional right of permanent residence fee – $515, totalling – $1,085 CAD
Fees are not refunded in case your application is rejected.
Settlement funds needed for successful application
Settlement funds are the money needed for you and your family to settle and survive in Canada for up to 6 months without an income. These fund requirements vary depending on the permanent residence stream you apply to. At a federal level, the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has specified the following minimum fund requirements:
- Single person – $13,310 CAD
- A family of two – $16,570 CAD
- A family of three – $20,371 CAD
- A family of four – $ 24,733 CAD
- A family of five – $ 28,052 CAD
- A family of six – $ 31,638 CAD
- A family of seven – $ 35,224 CAD
- An additional $3,586 CAD is needed per member for any additional family members.
Which stream does not need to prove funds?
The government of Canada has set an exception in the following cases when:
- You apply for the Canadian Experience Class
- You have a Canadian work permit accompanied by a job offer from a Canadian Employer
How can you prepare Proof of Funds for your Canadian visa application?
The immigration process in Canada can be a little bit complicated. For the most part, it all depends on what type of immigration you are applying for. If you are applying for permanent residency, you must prove that you have enough funds to support yourself and your family in Canada. If you are applying for temporary residency, the amount of money required varies depending on the country where your temporary visa is from.
Here is a list of proofs that are and are not accepted by Canadian immigration authorities:
- Funds need to be in liquid form – i.e. either cash in your bank account or financial security that can be readily liquidated or converted into cash.
- If a spouse accompanies you, funds in a joint account are considered a proof
- Funds that you show at the time of application must be available to you on receipt of permanent residence
- Funds in your bank account should NOT be borrowed from someone else
- Equity value in real estate property is NOT accepted