Monday, September 6, 2010

Answer to Carlos from Equador

This past week I received many emails to which I've replied personally. A reader from Ecuador, by the name of Carlos (I'm not mentioning his last name for privacy reasons) commented on one of my posts and asked me a few questions. Since I don't have his email id, I'm replying to his questions here since they are relevant to anyone moving to Canada.

"I want to ask you if you remember the time when you landed; what did they ask you for? Was it difficult? How did you feel? Did they ask you for the proof of funds in cash? And also would like to know more about the schools." ~ Carlos

When we landed the first time in September 2006 (if you read my first posts, you'll see that we landed and went back to India after a month and then moved later), at the airport immigration centre they ask you how much money you are bringing in and in what form.

This information is from the website regarding everything to do with bringing in funds at the time of landing.

You can bring money into Canada in different forms. When you arrive in Canada, if you are carrying more than C$10,000, you must tell a Canadian border official when you arrive in Canada.

If you do not tell a border official, you may have to pay a fine and/or face other penalties.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is responsible for border services (port-of-entry services), customs and enforcement of some immigration laws in Canada. You can find detailed information about importing goods and funds on the CBSA website.

You can also speak with your bank or financial institution for information about laws and regulations in Canada and in the country you are leaving.

Bringing Money Into Canada

Declaring Funds

There is no restriction on the amount of money that you can bring into Canada. However, if you bring more than C$10,000 (or the equivalent in another currency) into Canada when you arrive, you need to declare this. If you do not, you may need to pay a fine and/or face other penalties. Find more information about crossing the border with C$10,000 or more on the CBSA website.

To declare your funds of C$10,000 or more, you can fill out this form: Cross-Border Currency or Monetary Instruments Report — Individual (E677).

You are not taxed on the money you bring with you when you land.

How to Bring Money into Canada

You can bring money into Canada in the form of:

  • Cash
  • Securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills)
  • Negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bank drafts, cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders)

Here are some other ideas about how to bring or transfer money into Canada:

  • Find out if your current bank has a "correspondence" or relationship with a Canadian bank and set up an account to transfer your money between banks. Your own bank might even have a branch office in Canada, which can help to transfer or access funds once you are here. Ask your bank if they have offices in Canada. Find information about Canadian banks and foreign banks with offices in Canada.

    Industrial Credit and Investment Corp. of India (ICICI) has a "Hello Canada" account for people moving to Canada from India, Dubai, Bahrain or the United Kingdom. The account allows you to open a Canadian bank account from overseas and transfer funds to Canada before you land.
  • Arrange with your bank to transfer your funds to a Canadian bank once you have arrived here. You might have to maintain your current bank account in your country of origin for a short time and then transfer the funds to your new account in Canada.

    You can get a bank draft from your current bank. A bank draft is a cheque drawn on the bank itself against a cash deposit. Confirm with your local bank what their requirements are for such transactions prior to your departure. You could then bring enough money with you to get started (in the form of cash or travellers' cheques). Once you are here, open a Canadian account and have the rest of your money transferred from your country into your new account. You should tell your current bank about your plans now, and find out what all the necessary procedures are. You can also bring the money in securities in bearer forms (for example: stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills).
  • It is possible that a Canadian bank might have a branch office in your country. Some major Canadian banks are: Royal Bank of Canada, TD Canada Trust (TD Bank), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) or Bank of Montreal. Once located, they might be able to help you set up a Canadian account and transfer your money.

When you arrive in Canada to become a permanent resident, prepare to tell the border services officer about funds that you have to settle in Canada. The border services officer may ask you about your funds, or ask you to show documents that prove you have enough money available to settle in Canada.

You can find detailed information about bringing money and goods into Canada on the CBSA website: Settling in Canada: Information on importing goods for people intending to settle in Canada.

It is important to get professional advice about financial laws and regulations. Please contact your bank or financial institution for detailed information and advice. Or, contact the CBSA for more information about bringing money into Canada.

Exporting Money From the Country You Are Leaving

It is important check if exporting money from the country you are leaving is restricted. You need to find out about the financial and banking laws in the country you are moving from. Please get professional advice from your bank or financial institution.

According to the CBSA, "Some countries limit the amount of money you can take out of the country. You should check with your banker, lawyer, or financial adviser. If you can prove that the money you wish to take out of that country has been restricted, you can claim a special provision that gives you up to three years to purchase household goods in the country from which you emigrated and to ship them to Canada duty and tax free. This provision waives the usual rule on previous ownership, possession, and use of your goods."

If you are not sure about what your local regulations are, you need to speak with a representative of your bank of financial institution before you come to Canada.

Carlos, as long as you have all your papers in order and are able to answer all the immigration officers questions clearly, you will not have a problem with your landing. As for your question on schools, take a look at my posts just before this one.

Hope this answers your questions :)

1 comment:

cbarrera said...

Hi, I'm Carlos Barrera (you can include my last-name).
Thanks for your post. It has given me more light on this matter. And I love your last piece of advice: if the docs are in order, there's nothing to be afraid of.
We have 2 children and we're flying to Toronto next March. We want to settle in Ottawa. I hope I can make it as you did. BTW, My mail is
Thanks for your posts. I'll be checking them every day.
God bless us all.