What are the ways for a non-resident to open a Canadian bank account—preferably without fees—without being physically present in Canada? I know many (but not all) Canadian banks allow non-residents to open and operate accounts, though it seems most that do require you to apply in person, and many also have monthly fees. For example:

  • TD Canada Trust has free chequing accounts which are available for non-residents, but you must open one in person at a branch.
  • If you're an HSBC account holder in another country, they will happily open a Canadian bank account for you, though there's a one-time fee (over £100 in the UK) plus ongoing account fees of $25/month (unless you maintain a very large balance).

Are there any Canadian banks which offer simple, preferably no-cost chequing accounts to non-residents, and which don't require you to apply in person in Canada?

  • I am not sure I see the expat aspect of this question, might be worth asking on money.SE instead.
    – Gala
    Apr 27, 2015 at 9:40
  • 2
    Having to (re)open a bank account in one's home country after having left it is not too uncommon a situation. It's good to be able to send and receive money back home (to and from family members, or to pay bills, etc.) without the hassle and expense of overseas bank transfers.
    – Psychonaut
    Apr 27, 2015 at 10:29

1 Answer 1


RBC allows creating a "Non-Resident account for immigration purposes", as far as I know at no-cost, and they don't require you to apply in person in Canada. However the process is not simple and there are restrictions on what you can do with this account.

1- It is not a chequing account, you cannot request any cheques from it.
2- You can deposit funds, but you can only withdraw the funds once you arrive to Canada and you convert the account into a regular chequing account.

You need to contact them directly from their website and tell them that you want to have this type of account and they will guide you through the process. About 5-6 years ago, the process required you to send copies of 3 identification documents, certified by a Canadian consulate, and also the account opening forms require a "certified signature", meaning that you need to sign the forms in front of a Canadian Consule, and he/she will also sign the forms and put some stamps on it. There are one-time consular fees for these operations.

Note that I am not affiliated to RBC in any way.

  • 1
    I would add that there are limits to the amount depositable ($25000 in RBCs case I believe), and in some cases that the deposit needs to come from an account in your name.
    – weston
    Oct 17, 2016 at 12:31

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