How to Open a Bank Account in Canada

Picture of a Moose in Canada

Picture of a Moose in Canada

The largest banks in Canada have different rules for foreign residents when applying for a bank account. You should research each banks’ account criteria for foreign residents prior to applying for an account. The most popular banks in Canada include the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Before opening a Canadian bank account, there are several things that a non-resident of Canada should consider prior to choosing the bank:

  • Being able to transfer money within Canada
  • Online availability
  • Banking and customer service hours
  • The ability to make international transfers

In general, foreign citizens will have a choice of three types of accounts: a checking or “transaction” account, a savings account or a US account, which are for customers that conduct many transactions in US currency or travel to other countries. When opening a new account, you should ask how much CDIC coverage will be on your deposits, account management options, ATM or Canadian ABM availability and if there are any monthly fees.

And, as mentioned earlier, while banks have different requirements for opening accounts, the documentation below will generally be applicable to any bank:

  1. Passport
  2. Social Insurance Numberr
  3. Temporary or Permanent Resident Permit

For whichever reason a Canadian bank account is needed, foreign residents must have available necessary identification requirements, work or school information and the required funding amounts. If you are prepared, there should be no problem opening your account.

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