On May 2, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated the proof of settlement funds requirement for skilled immigrants applying for permanent residency under the Express Entry system. The revision of the IRCC’s minimum amounts for skilled workers is effective as of April 25, 2023

If you are a skilled immigrant applying for permanent residency in Canada under the Express Entry system, you may be required to update your Express Entry profile based on the IRCC’s recent changes to the proof of funds minimum requirement.  

I. What is a Settlement Fund and Proof of Fund? 

Settlement funds are a crucial part of an immigration application. It refers to the money that a skilled immigrant must have to support themselves and their family members when they move to Canada.  

Proof of funds (or proof of settlement funds) is how applicants demonstrate that they have enough money to settle in Canada. IRCC requires this proof of funds to ensure that skilled immigrants can support themselves without relying on Canadian social assistance.  

II. Who Needs Proof of Funds? 

You must provide proof of funds if you are a skilled worker looking to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the: 

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program  
  • Federal Skilled Trade Program 

However, if you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class, or have a valid job offer and are authorized to work in Canada, then you do not need to show proof of funds.  

III. How Much Money Do You Need? 

The settlement fund minimum that skilled immigrants are required to fulfill depend on the size of the applicant’s family, which includes: 

  1. Yourself 
  1. Your spouse or common-law partner 
  1. Your dependent children and 
  1. Your spouse or common law partner’s dependent children 

Furthermore, you are required to include your spouse or common-law partner in addition to dependent children even if they are Canadian citizens, permanent residents or not coming with you to Canada. 

The updated settlement fund requirements, which are effective as of April 25, 2023, are as follows: 

Number of Family Members Settlement Fund Minimum (CAD Dollars) 
More than 7 people  $3,706.00 for each additional member 

This table shows the minimum settlement funds the IRCC requires based on the number of family members. If you have 1 family member, you need to show proof of at least $13,757.00 in settlement funds. For 2 family members, the minimum amount is $17,127.00. The required amount increases for each additional family member, up to a maximum of 7 individuals. If you have more than 7 family members, you need to add $3,706.00 for each additional member. 

It is important to note that these amounts are minimum requirements. If you have more money, it is recommended that you list the complete amount in your Express Entry profile. 

IV. What is the Process for Updating Settlement Fund Numbers? 

IRCC updates the settlement fund requirements annually, based on 50% of the year’s low-income cut-off totals. To stay eligible, applicants must update their settlement fund numbers in their Express Entry profile. The update must be done no later than April 25, 2023. Updating your profile does not change the date and time that IRCC received it, so you will keep your rank if you are in a tie-breaker situation. 

V. What does the IRCC Accept as Proof of Funds? 

The funds you show must be available to you when you apply and are issued a permanent resident visa. You must prove to IRCC that:  

  1. You can legally access the money when you arrive in Canada. 
  1. Your funds are under your name 
  1. You can use these funds to pay for your family’s cost of living even if they are not coming with you to Canada.  

This means that you cannot, for example: 

  1. Use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds, or  
  1. Borrow this money from another person. 

If your spouse is accompanying you to Canada, you can count money that you have together in a joint account. However, if the account is solely in your spouse’s name, you must prove that you have access to these funds.  

You can provide a proof of funds by getting official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you have an account. These official letters must be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead and include: 

  1. The bank or institution’s contact information  
  1. Address 
  1. Telephone number, and  
  1. Email address 
  1. Your name 
  1. Your outstanding debts, such as credit card debts and loans 
  1. Details of each open banking and investment account you have with the financial institution 
  1. Account number 
  1. Date of each account opening 
  1. Current account balances, and 
  1. Average balance of each account within the past 6 months 

VI. How Much Money Should I Bring to Canada? 

When deciding how much money to bring to Canada, it’s essential to research the cost of living in the city where you plan to settle. Despite this, bringing as much money as you will make it easier for you to move and find a home in Canada.  

When you arrive in Canada, you need to declare if you’re bringing more than CAD$10,000.00 into the country. This includes: 

  • Cash 
  • Documents that show property or capital payable to you (e.g., Stocks, bonds and debentures) 
  • Treasury bills 
  • Documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money payable to you (e.g., Banker’s drafts, cheques, money orders and traveller’s cheques). 

Failure to declare your funds may result in a fine and seizure of your funds. 

VII. Conclusion 

In conclusion, the updates to the proof of funds requirements for Express Entry profiles are aimed at ensuring that applicants have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their families when they arrive in Canada. The updated settlement fund table provides clear guidelines for the minimum amount of funds required based on family size, while the new rules for acceptable proof of funds help to prevent fraud and ensure that the funds are legally accessible to the applicant. 

It is important for applicants to carefully review the updated requirements and provide accurate and complete documentation to avoid any delays or complications in the processing of their application. By following the updated guidelines, applicants can increase their chances of a successful immigration application and a smooth transition to life in Canada. 

VII. Hyperlinks  
IRCC website: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/documents/proof-funds.html 

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