How Many Months Of Bank Statement Do I Need To Show For Canada Visa Application
Bank statement, also known as Proof of funds, is an extremely important factor that can influence your PR application under Express Entry. Let’s discuss today what it is all about, what can be shown and what may not be accepted……
Proof of Funds – Settlement Funds
Legal and Technical
Canadian Immigration Law – IRPA under subsection R76(1)(b)(i) states that
- (b) the skilled worker must
- (i) have in the form of transferable and available funds, unencumbered by debts or other obligations, an amount equal to one half of the minimum necessary income applicable in respect of the group of persons consisting of the skilled worker and their family members, or
Pursuant to section R77, the requirement and criteria for settlement funds must be met at the time the application is made as well as when the permanent resident visa is issued.
IRCC states::: (IRCC link – check under proof of funds)
“”For proof, you must get official letters from any banks or financial institutions where you are holding your money.
be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead
- include their contact information (address, telephone number and, email address)
- include your name
- list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans
- include, for each current bank and investment account:
- account numbers
- the date each account was opened
- the current balance of each account
- the average balance for the past six months “””
- The applicants will need to show proof that they have enough money when they apply to immigrate, and again when the application is approved.
Proof of funds/Settlement funds are required only by applicants under FSW/FSTW categories. Applicants being processed under CEC or those who have a valid job offer need not show any proof of funds to process their application for PR.
What we understand
As part of the permanent resident application process, you will need to prove to the Canadian government that you have enough monetary funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members when you arrive in Canada. This is because the government will not provide any financial support for new immigrants and therefore they need to be sure that you arrive with enough money to establish yourself in Canada.
Even if your family is mentioned as non-accompanying, you still have to show funds equal to your family size.
IRCC sets guidelines as to the required funds they consider you need as a minimum in order to establish yourself in Canada. The amount required depends on the size of your family. These amounts can vary from time to time, so you should check these figures at the time of finalizing your application.
At the time of your application, you must show that you have at least the required amount in order for your application to be processed. The funds must be unencumbered and free of liens and must not be borrowed. The money must be readily available in transferable currency for settlement in Canada.
Obviously, you can carry any amount of funds when you arrive in Canada. You only need to declare if you are carrying $10,000 or more as per the prevalent border and customs regulation. You are also required to show #POF at the time of landing if asked for by the border officer. This may be in the form of cash, bankers checks draft, updated bank statement from home country account or combination of these.
You must provide evidence of availability of these funds by means of bank account details which shows the required amount aging (recommended/preferred) over a period of 6months consecutively or progressively. Most PNP requires the fund statements for 3-6 months.
In case if your funds are not aged, then you must be able to show a transaction and evidence of an acceptable source of those funds, keeping in mind that they are not borrowed for this purpose. Your funds must be free of any liens at all times.
As per IRCC, you are also required to show the list of liabilities from the bank and which include loans, credit card debts or similar.
In such cases, any loans against assets do not have any impact on the IRCC requirement of POF. Hence house loan, car loan etc do not have any negative impact.
With regards to consumer loan/debt like personal loan/credit cards – It is ideal (not mandatory) to have the amount of debt covered when providing POF. This means that if such debt is $1000 and your POF requirement is $12300, then the ideal available balance would be $13300 or more. However unless this loan amount is big and covers a large portion of the POF, it “may” be disregarded by IRCC when considering POF. Indeed IRCC does take a holistic approach to previous debts and liabilities and it is best to address this in your LOE explaining how you plan to settle your liabilities without it affecting your #POF
When showing proof of funds in a currency other than CAD$, it is imperative that you maintain funds that cover the foreign exchange fluctuations. You can use Bank of Canada exchange rate trends to see the recent highest point and maintain your funds equal to or more than an amount that won’t be affected by the exchange rate fluctuations. It is important that the amount shown in your account is equal to or more than the applicable amount for your POF on the day CIC will verify your documents. They will use the Bank of Canada exchange rate monitor to convert and check the equivalency of your funds that are held in your local currency.
Amount of funds required (always check the link here for updated funds requirement)
Family Members Funds Required
(in Canadian dollars) 2019
For each additional family member $3,414
You may be wondering what type of funds you can use and what type of proof is required. Well, there are several things to consider:
Savings/current/salary A/C: If you have savings which match or exceed the required amount then you can simply supply a copy of your bank statement for the past 6 months showing the funds in your account. You should be able to show the funds in your account for a minimum of 3-4 months and if the funds have recently been transferred you will need to show where they came from.
It must be obvious that you are not just sending a statement just after being paid and that all the funds will disappear from the account the following week. If your money is split between several accounts, you will need to provide details of each up to the amount required.
Shares, Bonds etc: This type of investment is not acceptable for CIC purposes as these are volatile accounts and cannot be accepted at face value. If you want to use this type of funding, you will need to liquidate them in a suitable bank account and send the statements as above.
Possessions: Again this is not acceptable by CIC. you will need to liquidate the assets and deposit the money in a suitable account. This applies to vehicles, antiques, items of value, jewelry, gold bullion etc.
Real Estate: Money in property is probably the most invested globally. Many people plan to sell property owned in their home country before landing in Canada and will use the equity to establish themselves. Therefore Real Estate by itself can not be used as POF but you may liquidate it and show the sale deed as evidence of deposit and offer bank details as mentioned above.
BitCoins/ Cryptocurrency: Due to lack of clear legislation on this mode of funds, they are not accepted as POF. They are also known to be speculative in nature. If you hold these funds, then it is best to encash it to your account and show the transaction receipt. You can further explain it in LOE.
Showing funds held in joint accounts and spouse’s accounts
If an applicant’s spouse is accompanying, the applicant can show the funds held together in a joint account to meet the PoF requirement. However, to be able to show the funds for meeting the PoF requirement, held in an account under the spouse’s name only, the applicant must prove that they have access to the funds. This can be done by the dependent spouse stating in writing that the funds are freely accessible by the primary spouse to be used as they see fit and are free of any obligations.
Similarly, if an applicant has a joint account with their parent, then the parent will have to execute an affidavit affirming that the funds held in the joint account can be used by the applicant for the purpose of meeting the PoF requirements.
Using gift deed to meet PoF requirement
If you are invited to apply, and you cannot meet the PoF requirements, you can consider meeting this by getting the funds in the form of a gift. Gift, as defined under the law is the “voluntary transfer of property (movable or immovable) from one person (the donor or grantor) to another (the donee or grantee) without full valuable consideration (exchange of money or property) or an expectation of return. When executing the gift deed (notarized affidavit), it should meet the formalities of the country in which the gift deed is being executed. The gift deed will also overcome the 6 months average balance requirement as the funds will be with the applicant shown as a gift. This is acceptable as the source of funds not meeting the aging requirement.
Please note that some PNPs like SINP (Saskatchewan) do not accept gift deeds for funds if the funds have not been maintained in the account for at least 03months. They are quite strict about this.
What cannot be used as PoF?
Any asset which cannot be readily liquidated, and the price of which cannot be ascertained immediately, cannot be used to meet the PoF requirements. Therefore, real estate assets, stocks etc. cannot be used.
However, bank deposits, treasury bills, bonds, provident fund (India), Life Insurance Policy (only unconditional surrender value can be used. whole life insurance, term life cannot be used) and similar monetary investments that can be readily liquidated, can be used for PoF, without liquidating them.
So as a rule of thumb any funds that can be liquidated on demand and on face value may be accepted as proof of funds.
If you meet the majority of your POF over the required age and make small deposits nearer to your application to meet the fund requirement, then you may not have to prove the source of such a deposit. The proportion of the deposits should not be more than 10-20% if you do not wish to show their source.
It’s also a good idea to clearly mention the details of your POF if they are not in the required format as per IRCC. Don’t leave it to their automatic understanding.