The Blog of Martineau & Mindicanu

Necessary funds in the immigration process

12882221_sIn order to immigrate to Canada, the government requires candidates to have a certain amount of funds available, depending on the province of destination and the number of family members.

New permanent residents who apply for permanent residence under the Economic class without a permanent, validated job offer in Canada, must have sufficient funds in order to cover their expenses upon their arrival. For example, although as a permanent resident (PR), one is entitled to receive free (government sponsored) medical care, this benefit is granted only after the first 3 months of residence in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. To cover the starting expenses for a place to live, furniture, food, transportation, given that there may be no sources of income during the first weeks, the government wants to make sure that all candidates have sufficient funds to support themselves for the first period.
The minimum funds required vary depending on the number of family members, on the province where they intend to settle in, and on the type of immigration program. The minimum required increases slightly every year.
Minimum funds required for Quebec (2015)
Depending on how your family is composed, the table below shows the minimum required for this year (in Canadian dollars). We always recommend, if possible, to arrive with twice the amount required in order to have a more comfortable start-up.

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Number of accompanying dependent children Principal applicant without spouse Principal applicant with accompanying spouse
Under 18years old 0 $3,016 $4,422
1 $4,052 $4,954
2 $4,574 $5,347
3 $5,096 $5,739
+ $522 per additional child $393 per additional child
18 years or older $1,406 per additional child $1,406 per additional child

NOTE: Quebec does not require you to provide proofs of this amount during the immigration process or upon landing in Canada. Each candidate has to sign a declaration that these funds are available for the integration process.
What is a Contract respecting financial self-sufficiency?
The Self-sufficiency contract is a declaration which requires the candidates’ signature upon submission of their application, and in which they confirm their financial self-sufficiency.
When to prove that the funds are available?
Under the current regulations, the minimum amount is not needed to be proven. The Quebec government only asks that candidates provide the signed contract. Upon arrival, however, the immigration officer reserves the right to enquire about the available funds.
Is it recommended to declare only the minimum required, or can I declare more?
If more than the minimum is available to you, you might wonder what’s more convenient: sticking to the minimum or declaring more. You’re obliged to have the minimum funds, but if you have more than that, we recommend that you indicate the factual amount you expect to arrive with for three reasons:

  1. The purpose of the immigration laws and regulations is to provide truthful information.
  2. The minimum amount is increased every 1st of January. If you only declare the minimum amount but your application is only processed the year after sending your documents, you might be required to sign a new Contract, which can cause some delays.
  3. Under the “adaptability” factor in the Selection grid having more money could play in your favour and help you earn points at the interview if you’re able to skillfully present this information. The immigration officer will consider several factors when awarding (or taking away) points at an interview, for example:
    1. Personal initiative to facilitate one’s integration;
    2. Being aware of the obstacles related to the immigration project and being realistic towards these obstacles.

At the interview, saying something like “I am aware of the difficulties of integrating into a new society and of the living expenses in the province; based on these factors, therefore, I have saved more money that the minimum required in order to have more flexibility in giving myself the opportunity of finding a good job in the province” could be beneficial. Beware: repeating this phrase at the interview out of context might not be good. This is your immigration project and, as such, it’s unique and it must reflect you, your plans, your dreams, and your goals. This phrase is just an example.
Minimum funds required for Federal skilled workers (and most of the provinces) (2015)

Number of
family members
Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars)
1 $14,853
2 $18,260
3 $22,170
4 $25,145
5 $28,359
6 $31,574
7 or more $14,853

NOTE: The amounts shown above do not apply to candidates who already have a validated, permanent offer of employment, who are working in Canada or authorized to do so.
When to prove that the funds are available?
When sending the Permanent residence application. Via Express Entry, the amount is declared upon expressing the interest to immigrate.
What is the minimum amount required for Provincial nominees?
As a general rule, the provinces require the same amounts as the Federal government, especially for the programs that are processed via Express Entry. For the regular provincial programs, provinces would require $10,000 for a single applicant, and $2,000 per additional family members.
NOTE: Upon arrival in Canada, anyone who has more than 10,000 dollars (in cash, cheques, money orders, securities) must declare their funds.

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