If you are relocating to Canada to work, study, or live, you should open a Canadian bank account to assist you settle there. Non-residents may find it difficult to open bank accounts in Canada, and your success may be contingent on your country of origin. It is critical to inquire about the feasibility of opening a non-resident account with your preferred bank. You can either open a bank account in person or open a bank account online in Canada for non-residents. Online choices, on the other hand, are limited and may not be available to everyone.
A non-resident bank account is one that can be opened in a nation where you do not live.
Online banks and fintechs such as Wise, Revolut, Payoneer, and Zenus are increasingly offering non-resident accounts.
It is also feasible to open a non-resident account in the United States as well as a Swiss bank account for non-residents, depending on your demands.
Check Out: How To Open A Bank Account In Swiss
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Canada?
As a foreigner, you can create an account in Canada as an individual or for commercial purposes. Although opening a bank account in Canada is tough for a non-resident, it is doable if you submit adequate documents and identity. There are several ways to open a bank account in Canada:
- To open a Canadian bank account, you can use a "Correspondent" bank. Banks that are correspondent banks already have links with Canadian banks. This means that if your home bank has a link with Canadian banks, you can seek help from them. It is not assured, however, that you will be permitted to open an account.
- As a non-resident, contact a Canadian bank and inquire about creating an account. This is always the most advantageous option.
- Open a foreign bank account. You open a foreign bank account with a Canadian bank here. You must be a high-net-worth individual who can deposit large sums of money and keep large balances in your account.
- To open an account, go to Canada. In many circumstances, this is the greatest solution, but it is also the most expensive.
- Open a multi-currency account that is wise. This is the simplest way for non-residents to open a bank account in Canada. A specific Canadian bank account number, transit number, and institution number will be assigned to you. It does not, however, provide all of the features of a traditional bank.
Types of Canadian Bank Accounts for Non-Residents
Savings and chequing accounts are the most common types of bank accounts that foreigners can open in Canada. Savings accounts allow you to accumulate funds over time while earning interest. Chequing accounts function similarly to current accounts in that they allow you to accept payments, move funds, and pay bills. You'll need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to open an interest-bearing account, but certain banks may not require it. With your passport and a study or work permit, you can apply for a Social Insurance Number.
Can a Non-Resident Open an Investment Account in Canada?
In Canada, foreigners are permitted to create investment accounts. Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs), Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs), and non-registered accounts are the most frequent. This is only available if you are at least 18 or 19 years old (depending on the province in Canada). A valid Social Security Number is also required (SIN).
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Documents Needed to Open a Canadian Bank Account for Non-Residents
When opening a bank account in Canada, foreigners will be needed to produce specified documentation. The documents (kind and number) you must supply are determined by the financial institution, as each has its own set of requirements. All financial institutions, on the other hand, will require you to present current documents/papers that include your entire name. Ask your preferred financial institution what additional documents you may need to produce before opening an account, and make sure you give original documents when presenting your documents. The majority of banks will require two of the following documents:
- Valid foreign passport
- Driver’s License (Local or International)
- Your permanent residency card or immigration papers (most Canadian banks accept Temporary Residence Permits, work or study permits, or Confirmation of Permanent Residence documents)
- Employee ID card with your picture on it (if you are employed)
- Debit card or bank card with your name and signature on it
- Provincial or territorial health card
- Certificate of Indian status
- Proof of Financials
- Bank Statements
- Identity documents issued by a governmental authority
You can open a Simplii account with no monthly fees and no minimum balance if you are a newbie to Canada or planning to migrate to Canada.
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When you have all of the requisite documents, complete the application process and make an initial deposit into your account as directed by your bank. You will then be given a debit card and your bank account will be ready to use.
What Banks Should I Choose?
Several entities (banks, credit unions, trust firms, and Caisse Populaire) offer banking services in Canada. Before you create an account with a bank or financial organization, you must thoroughly investigate their reliability. The functionalities you desire for your account, fees and charges, interest on your savings, and whether or not your deposit is insured will all influence your decision. The following are some of the most common local banks to visit:
- Bank of Montreal (BOM)
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD Bank)
- National Bank of Canada
- Laurentian Bank
- HSBC Bank Canada
Common Fees to be Aware of when Opening a Bank Account in Canada as a Non-Resident
The fees are one of the most significant factors to consider when selecting a banking institution in Canada. Different institutions may charge different fees, however the following are the most frequent ones to be aware of:
- Monthly charges A monthly fee is charged by most Canadian banks for keeping a bank account with them. Hold a particular amount of money in your bank every month to avoid this cost (not possible in all banks though).
- Fees for international transactions. When you use your debit card outside of the United States, you may be charged fees.
- Fees charged by ATMs. A limited amount of free ATM transactions are available from some institutions. When you go over your limit, you must pay for the additional transactions. Non-network ATM transactions may also incur a surcharge from some banks.
- Fees for debit transactions. Some accounts have monthly debit transaction fees, and if you go over that limit, you'll have to pay for each additional transaction.
- E-transfer costs from Interac. You can use the Interac E-transfer service to send money between banks or financial institutions in Canada. It's a good idea to double-check that your preferred bank has no restrictions or fees for this service.
- Fees for overdrafts. If you use more money than you have in your bank account to make a payment, some banks will cover the difference and charge you an overdraft fee (it may cost you more than you should pay). To avoid this, request that your bank set up direct deposit, which will charge your account automatically. This keeps your account's minimum balance low and avoids overdraft fees.
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