Open a Bank Account Before Arriving in Canada

Open a bank account

You can open a bank account before you arrive in Canada. And a bank account is important because when you land in Canada, immigration officials will require proof of funds. So with a bank account, you can easily prove that you have available funds.

Canadian banks are among the most solid, secure financial institutions in the world. Also, the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) provides insurance to protect eligible deposits made to CDIC-member banks. And knowing that their money is protected is reassuring to many Canadians!


How to Choose a Bank in Canada


It’s necessary to open a bank account in Canada. Most Canadians rely on their bank to:

  • Save money and earn interest.


To select a bank, you can visit the bank’s website to compare services and fees. While many banks have national branches and automatic banking machines (ABM) networks, it’s best to select a bank that has branches in the community where you will live.

Also, when you open a bank account you will receive a statement with your new mailing address. You can use your statement as identification when you apply for:

  • a provincial health card, or

Learn about the Scotiabank StartRight Program for Newcomers*¹, and options to open an international account 

Get Ready To Work In Canada

Open a Bank Account with the Right Features


Banks offer a wide range of accounts to choose from, and that can be overwhelming. But keep in mind that most newcomers will require a chequing account to deposit funds, write cheques, and pay bills. You will also need a debit card to deposit and withdraw funds from an ABM or branch. You may also want a higher-interest savings account and credit card.


Related Post:

How to Build and Grow Your Credit History in Canada


Banks offer banking service packages at low-cost monthly fees. For example, The ® Program for Newcomers*¹ offers a number of low-cost options to meet your banking needs.  To help you make your important banking decisions, Scotiabank can explain your options in the language that you prefer and provide personal support at the bank branch. 


Documents You Need to Open a Bank Account


To open a bank account in Canada, you will require the following documents: 

  • Permanent Resident Card or Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • One piece of government identification such as your passport or driver’s license

If you’re an international student, you will require a letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institution and a study permit. 

If you are a foreign worker, you will require a current valid passport and a valid work permit.

With the Scotiabank StartRight Program for Newcomers*1, you’ll be ready to manage your financial needs and to achieve financial success in Canada.


*¹ – The Scotiabank StartRight Program, created for Canadian Permanent residents from 0-3 years in Canada, International Students, and Foreign Workers.


® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia.