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Express Entry and proof of funds

by Michael Scott

The proof of funds continues to be an important part of Express Entry submissions. You need to be aware of the minimum requirements and also the need to update your settlement fund numbers in your Express Entry profile. For existing profiles, the deadline was July 15, 2021, but Express Entry processing is continuing and also the need to provide proof of adequate income, according to changing requirements set down on charts based on family size. You will need to know which processing streams are exempt and which are not, and how to increase the settlement funds on your profile, as required.

Who needs proof of funds?

You need proof of funds to meet the minimum requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and the Federals Skilled Trades Program (FSTP). You do not need to show that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family if you are applying under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or if you are authorized to work in Canada, or hold a valid job offer, even if you are applying under FSWP or FSTP. It is important, however, to ensure that you keep your settlement funds up to date on your profile. You don’t know when the Express Entry selection is being made and do not want to be passed over.

How much money do you need? The quick answer is there is never too much money, but there are minimum amounts based on family size. To determine your family size, you must include yourself, your spouse/partner, your children, and your spouse/partner’s children. The spouse and children are included in this calculation even if they are permanent residents or citizens of Canada are not accompanying you to Canada.

Number of family members Funds required – CAD
One $13,213
Two $16,449
Three $20,222
Four $24,553
Five $27,847
Six $31,407
Seven $34,967
For each additional family member $3,560

What is acceptable as proof of funds?

The funds must be liquid, or readily accessible. In other words, the money cannot be encumbered, owed to another or equity on property holdings. The applicant must use the funds to pay the family costs of living based on family size, if they are accompanying or not. The family funds can include money the couple have in joint accounts or separate accounts. The funds must be available throughout the process, both at time of submission and time of permanent resident issuance. The acceptable proof includes official letters from banks or financial institutions where the money is kept. The letters should be on letterhead, display contact information, and include the name of the account holder and any outstanding debts, such as credit cards. IRCC wants to see the current balance and a six-month account history or average balance for this period.

When should you update your settlement funds?

IRCC updates the funds every year based upon LICO (Low Income Cut Off) numbers, and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that they match or exceed the stated minimum. If you fail to update your funds, it could affect your eligibility.

Make sure that you bring evidence of your settlement funds with you when you arrive in Canada. One caution is to ensure that you honestly disclose all funds. You must inform immigration authorities if you are bringing in more than $10,000 in equivalent Canadian funds or risk being fined, or have these funds seized. The value of funds is important because Canada wants to ensure that newcomers will not become a financial burden on Canada but have sufficient funds to finance their new lives upon landing in Canada.

Michael Scott is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC, R525678) who has 30 years of experience with Immigration Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program. He currently works as a licensed consultant with Immigration Connexion International Ltd. Contact him at 204-691-1166 or 204-227-0292. E-mail: mscott.ici@gmail.com.

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