How Much Money Do You Need to Move to Canada?

Moving to Canada is an exciting prospect for many people around the world. With its beautiful landscapes, welcoming society, and abundant opportunities, it’s no wonder that Canada continues to be a top destination for immigrants.

However, before you can begin your new life in Canada, there are some important financial considerations to make. Immigrating to a new country requires significant funds and proper financial planning.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the costs associated with moving to Canada so you can determine how much money you need to make your Canadian dreams a reality.

Overview of Immigration Costs

The total cost to immigrate to Canada can range widely depending on your situation. However, we can break it down into three major categories:

  • Application fees: Costs associated with submitting your permanent residence application, including processing charges, biometrics, and Right of Permanent Residence Fee.

  • Pre-landing costs: Expenses you’ll incur before arriving in Canada, such as medical examinations, police certificates, travel costs and shipping your belongings.

  • Post-landing costs: Costs after you arrive in Canada, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, utilities, and other living expenses.

To immigrate to Canada, individuals will need approximately $15,500 CAD, couples $21,000 CAD, and families $25,000-$30,000 CAD. Below we’ll look at each of these cost categories in more detail.

Application Fees

The government application fees make up a significant portion of the cost to immigrate to Canada.

If you are immigrating through Express Entry, the main application fees are:

  • Processing fee: $850 CAD for the primary applicant, $550 CAD for each additional family member
  • Right of Permanent Residence fee (RPRF): $515 CAD per person
  • Biometrics: $85 CAD per person

There may also be additional fees if you apply through a Provincial Nominee Program, usually between $200-$500 per application.

In total, the application fees for Express Entry usually amount to:

  • Individual: $1,450 CAD
  • Couple: $3,015 CAD
  • Family of 4: $4,280 CAD

As of May 4, 2023, the amount of settlement funds you need to show for Express Entry are:

  • 1 person: $13,757 CAD
  • 2 people: $17,127 CAD
  • 3 people: $21,055 CAD
  • 4 people: $25,564 CAD
  • 5 people: $28,994 CAD
  • 6 people: $32,700 CAD
  • 7 people: $36,407 CAD
  • For each additional family member: $3,706 CAD

You must have these funds available both when you apply and when you receive your permanent resident visa if approved. The funds cannot be borrowed.

Pre-Landing Costs

Before arriving in Canada, you’ll need to cover some additional costs as part of your application process. These expenses can include:

  • Medical examination: $100-$200 CAD per person, depending on country.

  • Police certificates: $50-$100 CAD per certificate. You need certificates from every country you’ve lived in for 6+ months in the last 10 years.

  • Language testing: About $300 CAD per test. To prove your language ability you may need to take an IELTS, CELPIP, TEF or TCF test.

  • Education credential assessment: Around $200 CAD to have your foreign education and credentials evaluated.

  • Travel costs: Flight tickets for you and your family to Canada. Cost depends on departure location.

  • Shipping: $2,000-$5,000+ to ship your household items to Canada. Varies based on shipment size and origin.

  • Miscellaneous: Other costs like passport photos, certified translations, photocopies and document notarization can add a few hundred dollars more.

For individuals, you can expect to spend around $1,000-$1,500 on pre-landing costs. For families, this amount may be $2,000-$3,000 or more.

Post-Landing Costs

Once you arrive in Canada as a new permanent resident, you’ll need enough money set aside to cover your living costs while you settle in and find employment. Major expenses will include:

  • Housing: Rent, utilities, furnishings, and household items. Housing is typically new immigrants’ biggest expense. Expect to spend at least $1,000/month for a single person or $1,500+/month for a family.

  • Transportation: Public transit passes, taxis, buying a used car, gas, insurance, maintenance. Budget $150-$300/month per person.

  • Food: Groceries, dining out. At least $300/month per person.

  • Communication: Phone plan, internet package. Around $100/month per phone/connection.

  • Clothing: Seasonal clothes, outerwear, footwear. Minimum $100/month per person.

  • Personal care: Healthcare, pharmacy, toiletries. $50-$100/month per person.

  • Entertainment: Activities, memberships, travel. $100-$200/month per person.

  • Miscellaneous: Household items, furniture, unplanned expenses. $100-$200/month per person.

  • Family expenses: Daycare, children’s activities, school costs. Up to $800-$1,500/month per child.

As a guideline, you should have at least $12,000-15,000 CAD saved per person in post-landing funds, or $20,000-$25,000+ CAD for a family. The more you can bring, the easier it will be to establish yourself.

It’s recommended to have enough savings to support yourself for 12-24 months until you find employment. You may also move costs over from pre-landing funds that you didn’t end up spending.

Tips for Newcomers to Canada

Moving to a new country is always a challenging transition. Here are some tips to help your finances go further as a new immigrant to Canada:

  • Look for a furnished rental to avoid having to buy furniture and household items right away. Or rent individual pieces from companies like CORT Furniture Rental.

  • Consider remote work for employers in your home country to generate income while looking for a local job.

  • Use public transit whenever possible to save money on transportation costs.

  • Buy used items like cars, bikes, snow gear and baby items from places like Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace or yard sales.

  • Learn to cook and meal prep instead of eating out. Groceries are much cheaper.

  • Join local newcomer groups like community centres or places of worship to make connections and find deals.

  • Open a Canadian bank account and get a credit card to start building your Canadian credit score.

  • Apply for government benefits like the Canada Child Benefit, GST credit and provincial health care.

  • Get free English classes through organizations like LINC or community centres.

  • Check if your home country has tax treaties with Canada which allow you to access retirement funds.

  • Talk to a settlement advisor who can guide you on programs and resources for newcomers in your area.

With proper financial planning, hard work, and perseverance, you can make your Canadian dreams come true. Determine how much money makes sense for your situation, make savings goals, and take advantage of resources available to newcomers. Your new life in Canada awaits!

Move to Canada! How much money do you need? Prepare financially


How much money do you need to immigrate to Canada?

Number of family members
Funds required (in Canadian dollars)

How much does it cost for a US citizen to move to Canada?

How Much Money do You Need to Immigrate to Canada? The cost of immigrating to Canada is generally about $2,300 CAD for a single applicant, or about $4,500 CAD for a couple.

How much bank balance is required for Canada visa?

The financial requirements navigation for a Canada student visa can be a complex process. As you plan your educational journey to Canada, a crucial question arises: “How much bank balance is required for Canada visa?” The minimum bank balance required is $10,000 CAD for the visa itself.

What is the net worth requirement to move to Canada?

Entrepreneur Immigration- Base Category: Minimum investment of $200,000 in the business. Create at least one new full-time job for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Minimum net worth of $600,000. Canadian Language Benchmark Level 4 proficiency in English or French.

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