Opening a bank account in Canada

ELI Canada

Setting up and managing an account in a banking organization is one of the most frequent procedures in the field of banking and finance in Canada. The service of setting up an account is now available not only for citizens but also for foreigners or non-residents. Both businesses and natural persons – non-residents can enjoy using services in a plethora of Canadian banks. This guide contains core details you need to keep in mind prior to opening a bank account in Canada. 

Things to take into consideration before going to banks

Before you will set up an account, you may want to figure out the below-listed aspects:

  • the purpose of using the account, such as for saving or carrying out transactions;
  • charges or fees;
  • interests you’ll get on your holding;
  • if deposits are under the protection of insurances.

You have to ensure you are aware of and accept all the terms of the bank, along with fees. 

Possible types

An essential step you need to do prior to going to banks is to define the purpose of using the services of a certain bank. It is for taking and executing transactions or for holding your funds? In Canadian banking, there are two major accοunt types outlined below.

Checking accοunts: classes

  • Standard: This is the most frequently used type that makes it possible for clients to manage your funds daily: purchasing with your card, transferring funds, and paying bills via the Internet.
  • Interest-earning: Such type will bring a certain amount of interests on your balance.
  • Student/teen: For this type, the fee is generally waived or minimized.

Savings accounts: classes

  • High interest-earning accοunts;
  • Accοunts for dealing with foreign currency.

Banking for foreign clients

It is easy to take advantage of offerings of Canadian banks even if:

  • you’re a non-citizen of Canada;
  • you’re a nonresident.

To set up an account as a nonresident, an applicant will need to submit the necessary papers which are pretty basic:

  1. ID document (passport);
  2. A second type of ID (for example, driver’s license or credit card);
  3. Evidence of the immigrant status.
  4. SIN.

What to bring to a bank to open an account

Prior to establishing relationships between the bank and the client, the later must confirm his or her identity through the provision of valid documentation.

It must be mentioned that it is mandatory to provide an original ID, not copies.

Generally, the list of papers that must be provided to the bank includes: 

  • ID document (passport);
  • recent notices of tax assessments; 
  • proof of address or last utility bills; 
  • previous bank statements if needed.

Switching banks

You may make a decision to switch your balance from one organization to another if it delivers solutions that better fit your needs. It means, you open new accοunts and close your old ones. Almost all institutions have established mechanisms to help you manage the process. It may encompass arrangements for your previous bank to switch all your pre-authorized debits to your new bank. It is crucial to check your statements from both institutions until you are aware that the new accοunt is working properly.

Which Canadian bank is the best?

There are 5 major banks in Canada, all of which have different packages for new clients. This list includes:

  • the Royal Bank of Canada, 
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank, 
  • Scotiabank, 
  • Bank of Montreal and 
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

Before you decide on a preferred organization, consider which branches are the most suitable to your home and place of work, what their business hours are, and who provides the best credit cards in Canada for your individual needs.

Also, when choosing which is the most suitable bank in Canada for you, be sure to learn about how your bank deals with fees, checks, ATM charges, debit cards, Interac e-transfer, and other aspects essential for you.

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