Canadian currency, including a five dollar note, a ten dollar note, and a twenty dollar note

Applicants for immigration to Canada through certain federal skilled immigration categories under the Express Entry selection system will have to demonstrate slightly more settlement funds when making an application. The new requirement came into effect on January 12, 2016.

Though the increase is small — just under two percent, around the rate of inflation in Canada — there is a possibility that it could affect some candidates’ eligibility. Consequently, all candidates are encouraged to double-check the new figures.

Candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply under the Canadian Experience Class are not required to show settlement funds. In addition, candidates authorized to work in Canada and who have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada are not subject to the settlement funds requirement.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) stated that certain candidates who completed an Express Entry profile before January 27, 2015, and who are subject to the settlement funds requirement, may have received correspondence that their profile has been reassessed under the new requirement. Individuals who have received an Invitation To Apply and submitted an e-application to the government of Canada are not subject to the new requirement; if these applicants were required to demonstrate settlement funds, they will still be assessed under the requirement in place at the time they submitted the application.

Settlement funds are required so that new immigrants to Canada and their families, if applicable, have the means to establish themselves in their new surroundings and pay for initial costs, such as accommodation. This money cannot be borrowed from another person.

These funds could 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).

Settlement funds requirement, as of January 12, 2016

The required settlement funds must be equal to or greater than the sums listed below for each family size. All sums are in Canadian dollars.

Number of family membersFunds required
1 $12,164
2 $15,143
3 $18,617
4 $22,603
5 $25,636
6 $28,913
7 or more $32,191

Requirements for settlement funds are updated annually.