The Government of Canada has introduced a slight increase to its settlement funds requirement and is urging Express Entry candidates to ensure their profiles reflect the change. The increase raises the required minimum settlement funds by just over 1.5 per cent for each family level.
For a single person arriving unaccompanied in Canada, this translates to an increase from $12,474 to $12,669.
All Federal Skilled Worker Class and the Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates must show proof of funds, which are required to ensure the principal applicant and her/his accompanying family members have the means to support themselves financially upon landing in Canada as permanent residents.
Canadian Experience Class candidates who are working in Canada on an eligible work permit are exempt from having to prove they have the minimum settlement funds.
However, Canadian Experience Class candidates invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Class will have to show proof of funds.
The increases for 2019 are as follows:
|Number of family members||2018 amount
(in Canadian dollars)
|Each additional family member||$3,361||$3,414||$53|
Family members include a spouse or partner, dependent children and the dependent children of a spouse or partner. IRCC considers a dependent child to be any family member under the age of 22.
Family members who are not accompanying the principal applicant to Canada must also be included.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) notes that, while small, the changes can affect a candidate’s eligibility if their available settlement funds now fall below the adjusted threshold.
For this reason, Express Entry candidates who are required to show proof of funds should ensure their Express Entry profile is updated to show they possess the adjusted proof of funds they require.
IRCC also encouraged exempt candidates to update their proof of funds, noting that, by doing so, the Express Entry system may find that they are eligible for more than one program.
“You don’t always know ahead of time which program you will be invited under,” IRCC says.
The funds must be readily available when a candidate applies for permanent residence and when a permanent resident visa is issued. The principal applicant will also have to prove to an immigration officer that they have the required amount and access to it upon landing in Canada.
The funds cannot be borrowed and equity on real estate cannot be counted as proof.
If accompanied by a spouse or partner, money held in a joint account can be counted towards the settlement funds requirement. Money held in an account under a spouse’s name can also be counted if the applicant can prove they have access to those funds.
Official letters must be obtained from the banks or financial institutions where the money is kept.