Opening a Bank Account in Canada

Find out all you need to know to open a bank account in Canada...

The major banks listed above have branches in the majority of cities and towns throughout Canada; however a person should check how close the chosen bank branch will be from their home or work place. Having chosen a bank, it is possible to open, or at least start the process of opening a bank account online, from anywhere in the world (for example RBC, TD Canada Trust and others offer this service). It is also possible to open a bank account in person at the nearest chosen bank branch.

The five largest Canadian banks are:

In order to open a bank account, at least two pieces of identification are required, for example:

  • Passport
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Temporary or permanent resident permit

Other proof of identification is acceptable, for example a Canadian driver's licence or employer's card, however, check with the individual banks for details. At least one piece of identification must have a photo and a signiture. Documents must be current, original and have the same name listed.

International students on a visa or persons residing in Canada on a work permit may be asked for documents to support this. The bank may also ask for proof of address and signature.

It is possible to open a bank account without current employment and without depositing any money. There is no cost involved when opening a bank account.