Thu | Dec 8, 2022

Immigration Corner | Why does it cost so much to go to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2022 | 12:07 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

Why does it cost so much to go to Canada? I spoke to a consultant and he said I need to have at least CDN$15,000 to pay to go Canada. Honestly, Miss Powell, if I had that amount of money to give the Canadian government, I wouldn’t need to leave Jamaica. I am a professional with a little savings with my mother, and an old house that my grandmother left me, but I can’t give that money away. Why do they charge so much? Is there a programme that doesn’t need so much money?


Dear AF,

If you wish to apply via the Express Entry System under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, or Federal Skilled Trade Worker, you must demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself and your family when applying for permanent residence, with a few exceptions. The required amount is called ‘settlement funds’.

The government of Canada does not take the funds from you. The only fees taken from you after you receive an invitation for permanent residence are the application fees, biometrics fee and Right of Permanent Residence fees. This is currently CDN$1,450 for a single applicant. If you have a spouse and dependent, then additional fees will be required.


You will not need to provide proof of funds if you qualify under the Canadian Experience Class. Also, if you are authorised to work in Canada and you have a valid job offer from a qualified employer, then you do not need to show proof of funds, even if you are applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

The purpose of the settlement fund is to ensure that you have enough money so that you can settle in Canada without requiring government assistance. This estimated amount is calculated annually, and a new list is published every year by the government of Canada.

There are no maximum limits on the amount of money you are permitted to take to Canada as a new immigrant, although you are required to declare any amounts over CDN$10,000.

The amount that you should have when applying is based on the number of persons in your immediate family, as outlined in the table below.

Number of Family Members Minimum Amount (2022, in CDN)

1 13,310

2 16,570

3 20,371

4 24,733

5 28,052

6 31,638

7 35,000

Each additional person Add $3,586


You are expected to show proof of funds that are readily available to you. A letter from a financial institution that shows your savings and investments, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills or other investments. Cash and travellers’ cheques are also acceptable.

The money must be yours. You cannot show a joint account with your parents. If your have a joint account with a spouse, then that is acceptable. You cannot use the equity in your house, nor can you borrow the funds. When you arrive in Canada, you will need funds for rent, transportation, food and other living expenses until you are able to get a job and income to support yourself. You can see why settlement funds are not required if you have the support of a legitimate employer.

I recommend that you contact a Canadian immigration lawyer to find out if you qualify to come to Canada, and the best programme for you based on your education, work experience and other factors.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer and notary public. Submit your questions and comments via Find her on Facebook, or call/WhatsApp 613.695.8777.