Credit and Mortgages

Establishing Credit and Banking in Canada

Opening a Bank Account

To open a bank account at a Canadian bank foreign nationals must have at least one piece of Canadian identification. For most international faculty arriving in Canada, this will be your work permit. For further information on pieces of identification you will need please check this list.

Banking on Campus

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) bank has Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) on campus.

Transferring Funds to Canada

Is exporting money from the country you are coming from restricted? Be sure to get professional advice from your bank before you leave.

There are no restrictions on how much money you can bring to Canada, and you will not be taxed on the money. However, if you are carrying more than CDN $10,000 (or its equivalent in a foreign currency, including stocks and bonds, etc.) when you cross the border, you must tell a Canadian border official. If you do not disclose, you may be fined. Download the official form to report funds over CDN $10,000.

If you plan to transfer your money by way of a bank draft, take into consideration that it can take up to 6 weeks to access your money once the bank draft has been deposited at a Canadian bank. Here are some other ways of transferring or bringing money.

Getting a Credit Card or Mortgage

Even if you have had many years of credit history with worldwide credit card companies, you may not automatically be eligible for such a credit card in Canada. In Canada, credit cards are issued by Canadian financial institutions, which often do not recognize credit histories from other countries.

Most banks will not give you a credit card without a Canadian credit history, but there are ways to get credit and build a credit history.

If you are planning to buy a house and need a mortgage, you may find that your lack of Canadian credit history and your work permit status can make it difficult to find a lender. It is helpful to bring a letter of credit from a previous lender.

For further information about arranging a mortgage, please contact Nicole Honderich, Faculty Recruitment and Support Program.