In an effort to ensure a smooth immigration process for candidates applying through Express Entry, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently introduced an update regarding the proof of funds requirement. The announcement, published on IRCC’s official website on May 2nd, highlights that the change took effect from April 25th.
IRCC adjusts the proof of funds amounts on an annual basis, using 50% of the low-income cut-off totals as the benchmark. To maintain eligibility, individuals need to update their settlement fund figures in their Express Entry profiles. These funds serve as evidence that applicants possess sufficient financial resources to settle in Canada. It is mandatory for anyone receiving an invitation to apply (ITA) through an Express Entry draw to provide written proof of these funds.
It’s important to note that applicants under the Canadian Experience Class category are exempted from demonstrating the ability to support themselves and their families financially. Moreover, individuals who hold valid job offers and are authorized to work in Canada are also exempt, irrespective of whether they apply through the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
Who is required to show proof of funds?
This requirement applies to those seeking to meet the minimum criteria of the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.
The specific amount of funds needed varies depending on the size of the candidate’s family, which includes themselves, their spouse or common-law partner, and dependent children from either party. It’s worth mentioning that even if these family members are Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are not relocating to Canada, their financial inclusion is mandatory.
To demonstrate proof of funds, individuals must obtain official letters from their respective banks or financial institutions where they hold accounts. These letters must be printed on the institution’s letterhead and include relevant information such as contact details, outstanding debts, and comprehensive details of all current banking and investment accounts held by the applicant, including account numbers, opening dates, current balances, and average balances over the past six months.
IRCC emphasizes that the funds must be accessible both during the application process and upon receiving the permanent resident visa. Applicants must provide evidence that the funds can be legally accessed upon arrival in Canada. Notably, using real property equity as proof of settlement funds or borrowing money from another person is not acceptable.
Furthermore, applicants must demonstrate their ability to utilize these funds to cover their family’s living expenses, even if the family members are not accompanying them to Canada. If the applicant is immigrating with a spouse or partner, funds held jointly can be counted. In some cases, the spouse’s separate account may also be considered, provided it can be proven that the funds are accessible as needed.
Considering the varying cost of living across Canada, IRCC advises applicants to bring as much money as possible, facilitating their transition and the process of finding a home within the country. It is essential to declare any amount exceeding CDN$10,000 to the border officer upon arrival in Canada.
Failure to do so may result in penalties and confiscation of the undeclared amount, including cash and documents representing payable property or capital, such as stocks, bonds, debentures, and treasury bills. It also covers documents guaranteeing payment, such as banker’s drafts, checks, money orders, and travellers’ cheques.
By ensuring the availability of sufficient funds, this update aims to streamline the immigration journey for Express Entry candidates, enhancing their prospects of a successful transition to Canada.
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