How to open a bank account as an international student in Canada

By Jocelin Lima *
Translated by Loretta Murphy

canadian_banksInternational students in Canada have several options for managing their money during their time in the country. Banks offer different types of checking accounts. Each institution chooses its package rules and benefits.

Most major Canadian banks offer student checking accounts with no monthly fees and no minimum deposit requirement. With this type of account, the student is entitled to receive, at the time of opening the account, a debit card and check book. Banks also offer students differentiated advantages, such as obtaining a credit card, savings account, line of credit and even discounts in stores.

It is possible to open an account over the internet or in person at the bank branch. The documents required vary depending on the bank, but in general you need the following: photo ID (such as a passport, school ID card, etc..), no-photo ID (such as a Brazilian credit card), proof of academic enrolment (such as a student visa, a school letter, etc..), a valid address in Canada (may be a home stay, home of relative or friend, etc..).

It is important, however, to inquire at the bank chosen as the requirements may vary according to the student profile and the provincial regulations. Some of the main institutions that offer this type of account are: TD, RBC, CIBC, BMO, BNT and SCT bank.

A common rule in some banks is the requirement for the student to renew the account every 12 months and present the documentation provided by the school. And remember: to complete your journey in Canada, it is important to close the account before leaving the country.

With the money safely put away, now you just have to make the most of student life and enjoy the very best of Canada. Good luck! Bonne chance!

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”auto” height=”” background_color=”#bfd1a5″ border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]* Jocelin Lima graduated in Advertising and Publicity from the Methodist University of São Paulo (Brazil) and is certified by the Canadian Payroll Association. As a financial professional, she works as staff coordinator at the National Bank of Canada in Montreal. Contact: [email protected][/dropshadowbox]