How Much Money Do I Need To Move To Canada?
I often get asked “how much money do I need to come to Canada and what is included in
Before I answer the question, let me explain what LICO is – LICO stands for lower income cutoff.
This is the level of income below which the bulk of your money will go towards basic essentials
like shelter, food and clothing.
So the purpose of you having to show settlement funds before you come to Canada, is so that
the Canadian government knows that you have enough money to look after your family for 6 to
12 months and you will not turn to the government for assistance as soon as you get to Canada.
The amount you need to show varies depending on the program you are coming under. In some
cases you will need to show settlement funds for 6 months and in other cases you will need to
show settlement funds for 12 months.
The amount you need changes every year. The amounts you need for 2022 are not yet
announced, but taking into account the current inflation rate of 4.4% if your program requires
you to show 12 months of settlement funds, you will need to show approximately 28,000
Canadian dollars for one person and then an additional 8000 dollars for each additional person
in your family.
If your program requires you to show 6 months of settlement funds, you will need to show
14,000 dollars for the first person and then 4000 dollars for each additional person in your
The other question pertains to what is acceptable to show as proof of settlement funds.
Acceptable funds include
- Bank balances
- Fixed deposits
- Mutual funds
- Listed equity shares
Funds that cannot be shown as proof include property and cryptocurrencies. You also need to
be careful about insurance polices because many policies have redemption values that are
significantly less that stated values so may not be counted at full value.
You also need to ensure that the funds are
- In your name. It should not be joint with your father, brother or any other relative or
- The funds cannot be borrowed. Remember that Canadian immigration has seen every
kind of application and trick, so don’t pretend that the money is a loan being repaid by
your brother or father. Make sure the funds are genuinely available and untouched for
the past 6 months in your account so that the case officer has no reason to believe the
funds are borrowed.
- And also ensure that that the funds are unencumbered. Meaning there is no claim on
these funds and you are in complete control of these funds and you can transfer it
whenever you desire.
Additionally, if you have any debts, for example credit card debt or personal loans, you need to
subtract the debts from your assets and still be able to show that the settlement funds are
Note that, you will have costs related to your application. Make sure that after paying for your
English test, medicals and PR or work permit fees, you still have enough settlement funds kept
aside and untouched.
If you are from the subcontinent, take note that local currencies tend to depreciate against the
dollar so keep a buffer to ensure that after depreciation in your local currency, you still have
enough settlement funds.
Also, let’s talk about the bank letter for settlement funds. You will find there is practically no
bank that will ever give you a letter in the template advised by IRCC – that is stating the
balance, average balance over 6 months, date account was opened and that they will transfer it
wherever you desire. The reality is that each bank has their own format that they will issue to
you. That’s why it becomes important to make sure that your bank statements that accompany
are clear and have not large credits, so that it is very clear that the money in your account is
yours and you haven’t borrowed it.
Remember, that you might have to show your settlement funds at several times during the
process. For example, if you’re coming on a work permit, you will have to show your funds at
the time of application, once again before the work permit is actually issued and again later
during your PR application process. So don’t think this is a one-time requirement that you can
borrow, take a bank balance letter and assume you are compliant.
Finally, I suggest to my clients that you get your settlement funds ready and kept aside in
advance so that when you are applying for your work permit or PR, you don’t face issues on this
critical compliance requirement.
All the best for your application.