The minimum amount for the Proof of Funds for Express Entry applicants has finally been published and, as expected, has increased for 2021. The increase raises the required minimum settlement funds by just over 1% for each family level.
For a single person arriving unaccompanied in Canada, this translates to an increase from $12,960 to $13,213.
All Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Class and the Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Class candidates must show proof of funds, which are required to ensure the principal applicant and her/his accompanying family members have the means to support themselves financially upon landing in Canada as permanent residents.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) candidates who are working in Canada on an eligible work permit are exempt from having to prove they have the minimum settlement funds. However, Canadian Experience Class candidates invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence through the Federal Skilled Worker Class will have to show proof of funds.
To stay eligible in the Express Entry pool, you may need to update your settlement fund numbers in your Express Entry profile. The update must be done no later than July 15, 2021. Updating your profile doesn’t change the date and time that the IRCC received it, so you’ll keep your rank if you’re in a tie-breaker situation.
The increases for 2021 are as follows:
|Number of family members||2020 amount
|Each additional family member||$3,492||$3,560||$68|
Considering the increase, and the fluctuations in the exchange rates of your home country’s currency and the Canadian dollar, it’s best to make sure that you have a buffer amount when calculating your Proof of Funds.
This should be a minimum of CAD$ 500 above your required PoF amount. For example, as a single applicant, it is safer to show your PoF as CAD$ 13,750 and above, as this will ensure you still meet the required amount should your home country’s currency rate drop. There have been cases of candidates who have had their PR applications rejected over a difference of as little as CAD$ 200 for their PoF, due to exchange rates.
What are Acceptable Proof of Funds?
The funds must be readily available when a candidate applies for permanent residence and when a permanent resident visa is issued. The principal applicant will also have to prove to an immigration officer that they have the required amount and access to it upon landing in Canada.
The funds cannot be borrowed and equity on real estate cannot be counted as proof.
If accompanied by a spouse or partner, money held in a joint account can be counted towards the settlement funds requirement. Money held in an account under a spouse’s name can also be counted if the applicant can prove they have access to those funds.
Official letters must be obtained from the banks or financial institutions where the money is kept. Remember, you are required to show 6 months’ bank statements as part of your PoF, and if you start planning from the very beginning, this is achievable.
The best way to ensure you have the required funds in your account, be it for your PR application or for when you land in Canada, is to ensure you put away a specific amount every month to a savings account, and try not to use that bank account for anything else. You can even create an Excel sheet for yourself to keep track of the amount of money you need to save each month, and the amount you have actually saved.