Setting up an Expat international bank account in Canada
Canada is considered one of the premier expat destinations. Its the second largest country in the world and is famous for hockey, maple syrup and a resilient economy.
So, everything is set for your move to Canada. In a couple of weeks you will be on a flight to take up residence there. One last thing you need to get organized and that is your bank account.
The Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar. (CAD)
Notes: 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100
Coins: 1, 5,10, 25 cents and 1 and 2 dollars. (One dollar and two dollar coins have replaced notes in 1989 and 1996 respectively.)
Banks in Canada
There are a number of banks offering services to expats including local banks like Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada and TD Canada Trust and international banks like BNP Paribas, HSBC and Lloyds.
What youll need
To open an account, you must present two pieces of identification from those listed below, with at least one piece from Section A. Alternatively, you may present only one piece of identification from Part A, if your identity is confirmed by a client in good standing with the bank or by an individual of good standing in the community where the bank is located.
1. A drivers' licence issued in Canada, as permitted to be used for identification purposes under provincial law
2. A Canadian passport
3. A Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certification of Naturalization, in the form of a paper document or card but not a commemorative issue
4. A Permanent Resident card or Citizenship and Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442
5. A birth certificate issued in Canada
6. A Social Insurance Number card issued by the Government of Canada
7. An Old Age Security card issued by the Government of Canada
8. A Certificate of Indian Status issued by the Government of Canada
9. A provincial health insurance card, as permitted to be used for identification purposes under provincial law
10. A document or card, bearing the individual's photograph and signature, issued by any of the following authorities or their successors:
- Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
- Alberta Registries
- Saskatchewan Government Insurance
- Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
- Department of Transportation and Public Works of the Province of Prince Edward Island
- Service New Brunswick
- Department of Government Services and Lands of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador
- Department of Transportation of the Northwest Territories
- Department of Community Government and Transportation of the Territory of Nunavut
1. An employee identity card, issued by an employer that is well known in the community, bearing the individual's photograph
2. A bank or automated banking machine or client card,issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association in the name of, or bearing the name of, the individual and bearing the individual's signature
3. A credit card, issued by a member of the Canadian Payments Association in the name of, or bearing the name of, the individual and bearing the individua's signature
4. A Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) client card bearing the individual's photograph and signature
5. A foreign passport
Good to Know
Canada is both a cash and credit country.
All major credit and debit cards are accepted.
Please be aware that if you use your debit card in other bank's ATM, fees of 1-3 dollars per transaction will apply.
Remember it is always wise to conduct your own research before opening an expat account in any country. Shop around carefully until you find a bank that will best suit your needs. We also advise you to talk to other expats living in that country so you can get a much better idea of how the banking system works. Enjoy your stay in Canada.