How Do You Open a Canadian Bank Account (As an Immigrant)?

At some point in your life, you will need to open a bank account whether you just became of legal age or just got employment, and your employer may demand that you open a bank account to receive your wages. When working in a foreign country, it’s prudent to open an account with a reputable local bank. By doing so, you will have easy access to your money, save on the cost of operating an account, and enjoy a seamless customer service in case of a malfunction.

A bank account helps you manage your finances efficiently. For instance, you can keep track of your expenditure via the account statement. What’s more, you can save your money with banks and earn from it. How? You ask. Your money on a savings account accrues interest at a specific rate every month, which means, after some time, you’ll have more money than you initially deposited.

What Do You Need To Open a Bank Account?

To open a bank account, you need to be of legal age and have a government-issued original identification document. Parents can open bank accounts for minors on their behalf and co-own the account until they are 18 years of age. You may also need money to be able to pay the minimum initial deposit. Just to be safe, have at least $5 with you.

What Type of Account Should You Open?

There are different kinds of accounts out there. Your decision should be based on its purpose. You should ask yourself these questions? “Why am I opening a bank account? How frequently will I be using the account(s)? What kind of transactions will I be conducting?” The answers to these questions will help you open one or two of the following bank accounts; checking, savings, or a combination account.

What You Need To Know Before Choosing a Banking Institution

Once you know what kind of an account or accounts you need, the next step is choosing the right bank. You may want to consider the following before making a final decision.

1. Banking Fees
You should try to understand the bank’s minimum balance, maintenance fees, transfer fees, overdraft charges, ATM withdrawal charges, and credit card annual fees.

2. Interest Rates
Find out how much interest your savings will accrue if you open a savings account.

3. Limitation in Daily/Monthly Transactions
Be sure to confirm the account has no limit to the number of transactions you can make in a day, be it cash deposits or withdrawals.

4. Location of the Bank and ATMs
You should factor in the accessibility of the bank, its branches, as well as the ATMs.

5. Bank Services
Ask around about the bank. You can also check online reviews. Better yet, visit the bank and have firsthand experience of how the bank handles customers. You can use this opportunity to ask about the type of services and their availability.

The Process: How to Open a Bank Account

After identifying which bank will best suit your needs, the only remaining thing is to visit the nearest local branch, and the bank’s customer service reprehensive will help you out. If you have a home and secure internet, you can also visit their website and open an account.

Regardless of which type of account you open, the first step will always to fill out some application forms. After filling all the required details, you will be required to attach copies of your identification documents before submitting them for verification. A customer representative will enter your details in the bank’s computer; take you through other processes such as taking figure prints, passport size pictures, etc. You will then be issued with a card that contains your bank account details.

Summing Up

Opening a bank account is a smooth and seamless process. Opening an account(s) that perfectly fits your needs and with the right bank are the two most important factors you should always consider.