Opening a Bank Account in Canada

Opening a Bank Account in Canada is made easy and hassle-free with Enterslice. Enterslice helps you understand the banking framework of Canada and assist in opening a bank account in Canada.

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An Overview of Opening a Bank Account in Canada

Starting your life in a new place in interlinked with your financial journey. It is essential to understand the basics of banking in the new country. Whether you’re moving to a new country as an international student or a permanent resident, it is crucial to understand how to store and have access to your savings. In Canada, the financial ecosystem comprises banks, trusts, credit unions, and other financial and insurance companies. It is one of the most sound and safest economies when it comes to banking. Banking for a non-resident in Canada can sometimes be complex. Therefore, it is essential to understand the process of opening a bank account in Canada.

How Can I Open a Bank Account in Canada?

There are two ways in which one can open a bank account in Canada

In person

Opening a bank account in person is the traditional way of opening a bank account. You must visit the bank, where a customer service representative will help you open an account. It is an easy and quick process. You don’t need a job or deposit money immediately to open a bank account. You must provide your name, date of birth, and address and submit the required ID. After submitting the required Documents, your account will be opened.You will receive a debit card which can be used right away.


If you want to open an account online, first you need to check with the bank if they allow online account opening. The online opening of an account is similar to that in person. You must fill out the application form with the required details and verify your identity with the proper ID. Once the process is complete, the bank will mail your debit card to you.

Necessary papers required to Open a Bank Account in Canada

While opening a bank account in Canada, you need two forms of identification. Commonly accepted types of IDs are

  • Canadian driver’s license
  • Canadian Passport
  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Old age security card
  • Certificate of Indian status
  • Provincial or territorial health card
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization
  • Permanent Resident card or an Immigration, refugee, and Citizen Canada form IMM 1000, IMM 1442, or IMM 5292. Some banks also accept form IMM 5688.
  • A Document card with a photo and picture issued to selected provincial and territorial authorities.

In case you don’t have two forms of ID from the above list, you can use one from the following

  • Employee card with a photo issued by a well-known employer
  • Debit or bank card with your name and signature on it
  • Canadian credit card with your name and signature
  • Client card from the Canadian National Institute for the Blind with your photo and signature
  • Current foreign passport

Types of Bank Accounts in Canada

Chequing Accounts

Chequing Account is used for day-to-day banking needs. It allows you to transact money deposited in your account. With a chequing account, one can pay people and businesses via cheques, make e-transfers, receive direct deposits and withdrawals, make purchases using a debit card, etc. A Chequing account offers little to no interest as it is not intended to hold large amounts of money over long periods. It is generally used to hold money that you can access correctly. The various types of chequing accounts are

  • Joint chequing account
  • Student chequing account
  • S. Dollar chequing account
  • Business chequing account

Savings Accounts

A savings account is where you can keep your money to allow it to grow by accumulating interest. Savings bank has less liquidity than chequing account as they are not designed to perform daily banking transactions. There are no monthly maintenance fees in a savings bank account. They allow a lesser number of monthly transactions. Exceeding the transaction limit might charge you high fees. Various types of savings bank accounts are as follows

  • High-interest savings account
  • Joint savings account
  • Registered savings account
  • Children’s savings account
  • Business savings account

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Banks Account Services offered by Canadian Banks

A chequing account in Canadian Bank comes with the following services

  • Online banking
  • Payments of Bills and other payments
  • Account Transfers
  • Bank Transfers and direct debit
  • Recurring payments
  • Debit Cards
  • ATM withdrawals

A savings account in Canadian Bank comes with the following services

  • A routing number to identify your bank
  • An account number to identify your bank

When can a Canadian Bank refuse to open a bank account?

A bank can refuse to open a bank account in the following cases

  • If it has reasonable grounds to believe that the account will be used for illegal and fraudulent purposes.
  • If you have a history of illegal and fraudulent activity with a financial service provider during the previous seven years
  • If the bank believes you have knowingly made false statements in the information.
  • If it believes you can harass, abuse, or cause physical harm to its customers or employees.
  • If you don’t have an account, it only offers accounts that must be linked to an existing account with another bank.
  • If you disallow it, takethe necessary steps to verify the identification presented by you.
  • If the bank is a federal credit union and you don’t wish to become a member of it even if it requests you to do so.

If a bank refuses to open your bank account, it must notify you in writing and must disclose the following

  • Procedure for dealing with complaints,
  • Name of the external complaints body and how to contact them,

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s mailing address, website and telephone number.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Canada by providing proper identification in Canada.

No, a SIN number is mandatory to open a bank account in Canada. It is essential to link your bank account with SIN to evaluate your assessable income.

Yes, a bank account can be opened online without visiting the bank in person.

Yes, you can say that opening a bank account is free in Canada, as most banks and credit unions do not require any minimum opening deposit. Additionally, it is the right of a person to open a bank account even when he doesn’t have any money

There are several banks in Canada which offer good online banking services. If I were to select one of the best out of them, it would be the EQ Bank.

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