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Showing posts with label Funds to Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Funds to Canada. Show all posts

12 February 2016

Why Did I Bring Cash in US Dollar and Not Canadian?

I need to post this subject as it's one of the most important topics for us, new immigrants.

Here's an email sent to me by Ms. S.B.:
"You mentioned in your previous post that you brought cash. Is it in USD or in CAD$? We tried to check with BPI and HSBC but the rate is higher (~php 1 peso)compared to money changer. The only problem with the money changer is that they do not have CAD$ available on hand...

Can you share your experience on this topic? Thanks."
First of all, be careful in exchanging your currency.  If you are not going to a bank, go to a trusted money changer.   Yes, it's true that small-scale money changers have higher exchange rates but the risk is higher.

Anyway, once you find a good money changer, go ahead a compare their rates with the bank.  It's quite difficult though because rates change everyday.  You have to be at two to three banks and money changers in a day. If you have someone that can send you a message regarding the rates, that would be good.

The Exhange Rate?
On 2014, before we packed up for Canada, C$1.00 (Canadian Dollar) has an equivalent of US$0.90 (US Dollar) .  Philippine Peso (PHP) to Canadian Dollar (C$) was also high on that month.

PHP42.00 = C$1.00
PHP45.00 = US$1.00

For a family of 4, I need to have a Proof of Fund that can satisfy the Canadian Officers more than the amount of C$20, 654.  At that time, I need to have the money worth PHP867, 468.   It is also worth US$19,277.06.

I changed my Philippine and Singapore currency to US$22,000++ and brought it to Canada in Cash.

Why I Brought it in Cash Instead of Draft/Cheque?
I brought cash money in US$ and each in US$100.00 denomination. It can fit in a sling bag with a size of 2" thick x 4" width x 5 width.  I like the idea of the sling because it can be strapped like a necklace.

The sling bag was strapped around me for the whole trip.  If you want to get my money, Kill Me First, LOL!  I gave half of it to my wife to lower the risk of loosing everything.  She placed it in her handbag.

It's simple logic, cash is liquid, you can use it anytime.  Compared to cash, bank draft and cheques need more time to liquidate.  Bank drafts are designed for the risk involved during the travel.  Well, you don't count your dollars in public or speak about it during the travel.  If you can minimize the risk, then cash is really the answer.

You need most of the money upon arrival because you need to pay for the house rent, usually has 1 month downpayment and 1 month deposit.  And not only that, there are other expenses like groceries, opening a phone account, housewares, clothings, etc...

The next time you peep in your sling bag, the money will be half thinner.

US and Not Canadian Dollar?
You need a stable currency.  In fact, I'm still holding my settlement funds in US dollar today and use my salary, in Canadian dollars, for my expenses.

For me, US Dollar is so far the most stable currency in the world and is widely accepted.  Most of the airport money changers accepts US Dollar.  If ever we'll be stranded in an airport along our way to Canada, I still can use the currency.

My Decision Was Right!
If I bought Canadian Dollars for my settlement funds that time, it's now worth only PHP702,236 today.  I should have lost PHP165,232 (C$4,859) because of today's exchange rate of PHP34.00 = C$1.00.

Since my money is in US Dollars, I can now buy more Canadian Dollars for my TFSA.

Immigrants who are bound to Canada this year can enjoy the benefit of the low exchange rate.  I suggest that you buy Canadian Dollars instead of the US currency.  Here's why...

For a family of 4, you need a minimum settlement fund of C$22,603 and that is only PHP768,502. Compared to our settlement fund, that was PHP867, 468 (C$20, 654).

Given that the Canadian Dollar will rise soon as the market booms and reaches near the value of US Dollar, you'll be richer.

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08 October 2015

MM2CXPerience: Is it Better to Bring Cash than Demand Draft?

I am happy to inform you that a friend of mine, an MM2C member, had successfully landed in Canada. 

It was April when I shared the good news that he got his PPR in my MM2C News: MM2C Subscriber Got a Very Good News.  He was able to land successfully in Canada and I got lucky to see his photos of Vancouver.

One of his experience that he wants MM2C to know was about the Bank Draft issue.  He brought his settlement funds in a form of a Bank Draft, but got a bad experience about it in TD bank, one of the biggest banks in Canada.

He emailed me what happened and wanted to share it to you as well.
Hi Ben,
I made a demand draft from DBS bank, brought to Canada, and deposited it to TD bank in Vancouver.
Today, after waiting for 30 days, the money came to my account.
However, the amount doesn't tally with the amount on the draft, a $100 difference.
Just now, I went to the bank and asked where the $100 had gone?
Only then they explained and gave me the breakdown as follows:
Foreign  Fee       $45Collection Fee     $30Couriers              $25
$100 for me is quite a lot.
There are other options on how to bring the settlement funds to Canada, which I'd mentioned in my previous post Options on How to Bring Your Settlement to Canada.  However,  in my opinion, Cash is the perfect form of Settlement Fund to bring to Canada for the reason of liquidity and free from bank charges.

What do you think?

I hope you've learned something from this experience to help you settle smoothly in CANADA.

If you know or experience something that is worth sharing, please email it at

#MM2CXperience in Facebook.

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!

25 May 2014

Settlement Funds: Prepare for FSW Canadian Immigration

When you apply for a Federal Skilled Worker program in Canada, you need to show them that you can survive in their country with a 6-month worth of savings.

This is a practical approach by the Government in order for an applicant not to be dependent from them once they arrive in Canada.

Although the government can help you while you're in Canada, they make sure that you don't risk yourself and your family for a bad situation while you're in their country.

Due to this reason, they require an applicant to show a proof of fund or what is also known as the "Settlement Fund'.

Note: You do not need this if you have an arranged employment in Canada.

What is a Settlement Fund?
A settlement fund is your personal assets, this will be in the form of:

  • cash
  • 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).
  • Source:

    How to Compute for the Settlement Funds?
    This is how to compute for the total settlement fund.  You have to subtract all your assets from your liabilities.


    You need to show these values at the form Schedule 3: Economic Classes (IMM 0008 SCHEDULE 3) item #11. 

    It should look like this...

    How Did I Showed My Proof of Fund?
    Since I applied for an FSW on 2007, which was returned by the way, I had already prepared my bank accounts during that time.  My only problem at that time is MONEY, which I needed to accumulate more.

    As soon as I went to work in Singapore, I made sure that I have money to put into my bank account every month. When I applied again for an FSW on 2013, I was sure that I'm ready to show my proof of funds.

    So, my situation was I had 3 diversified bank accounts in the Philippines and a POSB bank account in Singapore.

    I got a house property in the Philippines, which I was paying my mortgage since 2003, I included this as my proof.

    This is the summary of what I've submitted to the Canadian Immigration:

    1. Three bank certificates in the Philippines
    2. One bank certificate from POSB bank in Singapore
    3. Two certificate of Policy from my insurance/investment in Singapore and Philippines
    4. One copy of my mortgage contract from the house developer stating how much is the total cost of the house and the outstanding balance.

    Then I made a summary in a Microsoft Word format, arranged in a tabular form stating my Assets and Liabilities.

    I uploaded a sample format for you to download. The description and the amount written there are all fictitious, it's just an example.

    How to request a copy and download: Email me at and I will add your email to my google drive and send you a link to the file, so you can access the format.

    After you download, you can edit it for your preferences.  This is for your reference only .

    What I Submitted in the Canadian Immigration as a Proof of Fund?
    I listed down all my personal assets and liabilities in a piece of paper.

    Info: In Philippines, the bank requires the requestor to fill up the bank certificate request form and some forms had a section where you need to sign and allow the Canadian Immigration to call the bank for verification purpose.

    I requested certificates on each of the three banks in the Philippines and one at the POSB Singapore.

    For my insurance,  I gathered the policy certificates from my Insurance in Singapore and asked for another letter from the Philippines.

    The house mortgage contract copy was photocopied and certified by an attorney.

    All of these bank certificates are original copies and the bank accounts should not be less than 3 months old.  If the copy is not original, asked a lawyer and have it certified as a true copy with their signature in it.

    I compiled all of those documents, placed the summary page on top of it and inserted it with my whole application package.

    Where to save and invest your Settlement Funds when you arrive in Canada?

    Got questions about FSW application to Canada? Register in MM2C Community to download the Proof of Fund Summary. Click the photo below.

    I hope that this can help you with your application.  If you like this post or appreciate the author, please tick the LIKE button below.

    *If you like this post or appreciate the author, please tick the LIKE button below.
    If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at

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    03 November 2013

    First Step to Do If You Are Eligible for FSW

    After checking that your experience is eligible to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you need to prepare for other eligibility factors.

    These are the factors that will make you eligible to apply for the FSW program.
    1. Basic Eligibility.
    2. Minimum Requirements for Work Experience, Language Skills and Education.
    3. Age
    4. Adaptability in Canada
    5. Proof of Funds
    6. Inadmissibility Factors.

    All of these factors can be assessed by visiting the Selection Factors. A score of 67 points is the passing mark to be eligible to apply for FSW.

    What is the First Step to Do If You're Eligible?
    The proof of fund is the difficult to accumulate especially if you're not earning that much.  The best thing you could do is to gather all your assets information, may it be cash or property and get all the documents that will prove your ownership.

    For the cash, this will be a certificate from the bank showing that you have this amount deposited in their vault, evidence of savings balance, and/or time deposit statements.  The account is recommended to be more than 6-month old.

    Property can be proved by securing the title of ownership with the assessment from the municipality.  This is to show the worth of your property.

    Gather all the documents for your stocks, bonds and other investment portfolio.

    You have to accumulate the Proof of Fund before you have plans to submit your application for the FSW.  The funds should not be borrowed from other sources.

    How Much is the Proof of Funds?
    Proof of Funds depends on the size of the family.  You can check how much is the amount for a certain number of family members in the Canadian Website. 

    Please check the link.

    If you have any other questions, please leave a comment below.

    Other Posts:
    Centralized Intake Office Response
    Years of Experience To Be Eligible for FSW
    How Relatives Can Help Your FSW Application

    23 October 2013

    How Much is the Cost of Moving To Canada

    Before you apply to migrate to Canada, you have to think not once but ten times.  This is not a decision that you can reset at anytime.  This is a decision not only for YOUR lifetime but your wife and children's lifetime.

    Money is the first concern as this is your weapon to survive and be successful in Canada.  This is what I'll be focusing on for this post topic.

    Agent's Processing and Do It Yourself Fees
    From the day that you decide to apply for the Federal Skilled Worker, the money clock starts to tick.  Whether you avail a service from an immigration agent or do it by yourself, money is still in the picture. 

    If you sign up for an immigration agent, like in Singapore, my friend availed their services  and cashed out P60,000 - P98,000 for their processing fee. 

    For me, back on 2003, I signed up for an immigration agent and paid 50% (~P25,000) of the total US$1,000 (~P50,0000) processing fee.  The rest is payable upon the receipt of the Canadian Visa.

    After paying the agent or just a plain Do It Yourself scheme, you need to start gathering all the required documents as listed in the Canadian Website or from the list that is upfront given to you by the agent.

    These documents are not free, so you need to prepare the necessary expenses for it including the transportation and food.  Remember, this will be done by you whether you have an agent or not.

    Check my post here about the estimated expenses.

    Proof of Funds That You Need To Show
    One of the documents that you need to focus are the Bank Certificates and Proof of Assets.  Imagine how dizzy am I collecting four bank certificates because I believe that we should not put all our eggs in one basket.

    On my next post, I will tackle this bank certificate issue and proof of assets because this is the most important and difficult to have.

    Canada is strict regarding the welfare of their immigrants, they don't want them to enter Canada without having enough money to support themselves within the six months of no job.

    To make sure that they have the money, also known as Proof of Funds, Canada requires the applicant to submit their bank certificate and proof of assets with a minimum amount as listed below. 

    The amount needed depends on the size of the family.

     It is not necessary that all the amount are in cash,  it also includes the following:

    • cash
    • 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).

    You don't need to show the Proof of Fund if you have an arranged employment in Canada.

    How Much is the Processing Fee
    You have now the Proof of Funds and is ready to submit the application.  But, the next budget you need to prepare is the Canadian processing fee.

    The processing fee, in Canadian Dollar, depends on the quantity and age of the family member.  The table below shows the amount of the fee for each family member according to their age.


    For me, I'm the principal applicant ($550), my spouse ($550) and my two kids ($150 + $150).  I paid a total of $1,400.00.  It was credited from my credit card as soon as the Canadian Intake Office approves my application for further processing.

    You Need to Pay for the Rights of Residency
    Now, all documents have been sent to the Central Intake Office at the Nova Scotia, then what's the next budget that you need to prepare?

    This is called the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), which is asked by the visa officer as soon as your application is approved.  But the good thing here is that you don't need to pay RPRF for your children. 

    It's only you and your spouse/common-law partner who will pay ($490 + $490), total of $980.

    Medical Check Up for You and Your Family
    This is an estimate for your reference only.  Based on one of the hospital in Manila, the following are the rates.

    age 0-10yrs - P 2,000 ($47)
    age 11-14yrs - P 2,500 ($59)
    age 15 up/ Adults - P 5,000 ($117)

    Ex: For me, Me and my wife is P 10,000 and for my kids (P2,000 x 2), a total of P14,000 ($326).

    Ready to Go To Canada?  How Much is the Plane Ticket?
    Good news to Filipinos, Philippines has a direct flight from Manila to Toronto Canada.  This is good because for other airlines, you need to have a transfer flight either Hongkong, Singapore or Korea.

    The flight ticket that I've checked with the Philippine airlines was on April 2014.  By the way, as a disclaimer, I don't have any Canadian Visa yet.  I just want to research if ever I have it and is good to share it to you as well.

    The estimated price for a one way flight ticket for each person is  $739.  This is direct flight from Manila to Toronto, Canada.  You can also check for rates on other airlines. 

    How Much You Need to Spend for Basic Needs in Canada
    My sister is in Canada now and she said that the cost of living in Canada is not that expensive as compared with Singapore.

    The one bedroom flat will cost around $800 per month, fully furnished.  For the two bedroom flat will cost her $1,100 per month.

    The food is also cheap.  For two persons, it will cost them around $200 per month.  I'm not sure of what type of food they eat but at least we have the estimate.

    Summarized Cost of Moving to Canada
    For a family of 4, Me, my wife and 2 kids... This will be our estimate cost to move to Canada.  I need to prepare more of this starting now. 

    The more money you bring to Canada, the higher chance for you and your family to have a good life and to survive the new environment.

    A Complete Mind Set
    Now we all know the cost of moving to Canada,  its is time to save money starting today.  This is not a decision that you will just take for granted.

    This will change your life, may it be better or worse , you need to stick on to your dream and experience it by yourself.

    Good Luck!

    Please share if you have any other information regarding this post.  Kindly write in the comment section below.
    Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada