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14 June 2015

Options on How to Bring Your Settlement Funds to Canada

Bringing the big amount of money with us in Canada was risky.  We are not talking of hundred of dollars here, it's thousands of dollars.

The settlement fund is the fruit of an immigrant's labor and maybe the only asset that had accumulated for many years of employment and/or a small business.

After the Visa, an immigrant was tasked to bring the settlement funds to Canada to be able for her/him to survive for at least 6 months without a job.

How will someone bring the settlement fund?  

It's an email that brought me to make this post, which came from Mr. F.

Here's his concern.
Hi Sir Ben,
It's me again. 
Good news! We have received our visas last week! Praise God!:) 
Now we are preparing for our transition there, and one matter that is not yet clear to me is bringing our settlement funds. 
How did you do it sir? is it through demand draft? traveller's cheque? or cash?  
If it is through demand draft, do you have any idea how long will it take for a Canadian bank to clear/encash it?  
Thank you very much! 
Mr. F. 
To Mr. F., thanks for this inputs cause this is one of the issues that immigrants encounter. It will give you an idea on how to bring the hard-earned settlement funds to Canada.

Options on Bringing the Funds to Canada
There are few options on bringing your settlement funds to Canada.  In this post, I will only give you two that I know. It is in the form of cash or bank draft.

Bank Draft
At first, I planned to bring a bank draft or demand draft.  It is a piece of paper and usually a cheque, depends on the bank.

To get this, you have to inquire at your local bank.  You will then deposit/pay the money, your settlement fund, with the bank and in return they will give you a signed cheque with the value equivalent to that amount.
It is just like buying a piece of paper.
If you have an existing account with that bank, it will be easier for them to do the transfer from your account and write the cheque.

Now, you can bring the bank draft with you on your way to Canada.  It is safe because if you happen to lose it, it can't be withdrawn from your account.

When you arrive in Canada, you have to open a bank account and deposit that cheque.  But, the bank will hold it for 15-30 days.  You can not withdraw any amount until the end of the holding period.

The following are the banks that you can open an account in Canada.  You can click each link to know how long will be the holding period is.

The reason of the holding process is because the bank draft is issued from a foreign bank and the Canadian bank had to verify that it is legitimate, the local bank and the cheque.

So, I recommend that you only get a bank draft or demand draft from a reputable bank in your country.

I had chosen this option.  I exchanged some of my Singapore Dollars to USDollars while I was in Singapore.  It was easier there rather than in Philippines.

When I went back to Philippines, I changed all my Philippine Peso savings to USDollar currency.  Why?  It's because US Dollar is widely used currency in the world economy.  The exchange rate of a US$ does not fluctuate that much compared to a Canadian Dollar.

So, I brought along a small bag full of cash.

For your information: A US$10,000 worth of cash with a US$100 bill denomination is approximately an inch thick.

The cash was placed in a sling bag and I put it around my neck down to my chest. This way, someone needs to kill me first before they can get my hard-earned cash.

As we arrived in Canada, we went to the bank to open an account and deposited the cash in it.   It's fast and easy to withdraw anytime.

It can be taken from you anytime and will be lost forever...

How to bring the fund is up to you.  There may be other options out there, but the important thing is to have a liquid asset with you so you can use it as soon as you need it.

Once you're here, the expenses will increase exponentially for the first few months of your stay.

If you think that this post was helpful, tick the LIKE button below. It will help me know that I'm doing a great job.  Thanks!


  1. Hi Ben, this topic is of perfect timing. I, as the main applicant, am planning to land alone without my family. My family will do their formal landing next year. Do I need to show the whole amount for settlement fund, or can I just show the amount for just myself?
    Also I was thinking of bringing the required minimum amount for 1 person in cash and the rest in CPF balance statement. Will they accept the CPF balance statement as settlement fund? I do understand that they accept Bank Account Balance Statement but not too sure about CPF.
    Appreciate your response on this. =)

    1. Hi Mommy D, When you land in Canada alone, as the principal applicant, you have to prove that you have the settlement fund/POF for the whole family because your family members are just the dependents and they don't need to show the POF.

  2. Hi Ben,

    Based on the article, the bank in canada accept US$?


    1. Hi Tun, yes, you can also open a dollar account here. Like me, I have a USD and CND in TD, so if I need more CND, I just go to the bank and request the teller to transfer an amount in USD to my CND account. I haven't tried it by online banking, but I'm sure it's possible.

  3. Hi, how can I load money for this? I don't know any system about it. I would like to know. Help me please!

  4. Ben, do you have to show proof of funds when you actually land in Canada, despite the fact that you have proven this already within your application.

    1. The officer did not count my POF, I've heard from other immigrants that they were asked to count the money in front of the officer. Well, they do this randomly, better be sure than rejected at the end. It depends on how you deal with the risk.

  5. Hello,

    I would like to ask if it is acceptable to take some cash with me and to show a Bank statement to the officer when landing? I am planning to transfer my money through online banking from my country, is it ok?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Plamen, these are the POF that you can show to the officer.
      -documents that show property or capital payable to you (such as stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills, etc.) or
      -documents that guarantee payment of a set amount of money, which are payable to you (such as bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders).

  6. Hi, the bank that i have in the philippines can only provide demand draft in USD. Is it ok or it should be in CAD? For clarification pls. Your reply is highly appreciated. Thank you.


Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada