Can a Non-Resident Open a Bank Account in Canada?

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Short Answer

Yes, you can open a bank account in Canada even though you are a non-resident, given that you are able to substantiate your identity with reliable documents such as your SIN, passport, driver's license, etc.,

Detailed Answer

Who is a Non-Resident of Canada?

A person is deemed to be a non-resident of Canada if he/she doesn’t live within the territories of Canada throughout a particular tax year or if he/she stays in Canada for less than 183 days in a particular tax year. The tax year in Canada is the same as a calendar year and commences from 1st January and ends on 31st December. Look through this article to discover if a Non-resident can open a bank account in Canada.

Canadian banking system

The Canadian banking and financial markets have a demonstrated history of being successful, safe, and secure. It has a wide range of products and services such as online banking, ATM withdrawals, direct debits, bill payments, and debit cards.

The “Big 5” Banks of Canada are:

Royal Bank of Canada

Toronto – Dominion Bank


Bank of Montreal

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

Can a Non-Resident Open a Bank Account in Canada?

The Canadian law permits every Canadian citizen who lives within or outside Canada, or temporary residents such as international students, tourists, and foreign workers to rightfully open and hold a bank account.

The law doesn’t necessitate you to have a job, minimum balance, or a benchmark credit score to commence a bank account.

Having said that, it is mandatory that you disclose your personal information and validate your name, age, and address through justifiable identification proof. If you are a Canadian citizen and a non-resident in a particular tax year, you need to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN), passport, driver’s license, etc., In case of a student or a foreign worker, you are required to apply for your SIN on arrival at Canada. In addition, to your SIN, you will be required to disclose your study permit, work permit, student ID card, and immigration papers.

Can I open a Canadian bank account when I am outside of Canada?

Yes, you can choose from one of the options listed below:

  • Contact a correspondent bank that has a base in your current country and branches in Canada.
  • You can open an overseas account with a Canadian bank of your choice; however, you are required to maintain an affluent bank balance for this purpose.
  • Contact various Canadian banks to get to know if you can open a bank account when you are outside of Canada. They might have a few exemptions, given that you pass their eligibility test or if you prove that you are in the process of migrating to Canada.
  • Make a short visit to Canada, to visit the bank branch in person and open an account with them.

Canadian Bank accounts for Non-Residents

It can be inferred that the liberal banking policies in Canada such as allowing non-residents to open an account, no minimum balance, etc., has contributed to the humongous growth of its banking sector.

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Categories: Banking
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