As more Express Entry invitations are expected to be issued later this summer, applicants and potential applicants need to prepare in order to make their applications more competitive with the Canadian immigration officials issuing them. The proof of funds increase coming in June will impact both the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program, so current applicants under those programs may need to amend their proof of funds in order to have a competitive application. 

Proof of Funds 

On June 9, 2022, the amount of funding required for certain Express Entry candidates is set to change. 

Only select classes of candidates for Express Entry need proof of funds in order to reach the minimum requirements to be issued an invitation. Express Entry candidates applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, or the Federal Skilled Trades Program need proof of funds in order to meet the minimum requirements for acceptance under those programs. Other Express Entry programs, such as the Canadian Experience Class, do not require proof of funds. Further, if the applicant is already authorized to work in Canada and has a valid job offer, they do not need to show proof of funds even if applying under the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

For those who are required to show proof of funds, the amount of funding that is required to be shown is dependent on the size of the family of the Applicant. In order for an applicant to calculate the size of their family, the applicant must include themselves, their spouse or partner, their dependent children (children under 22 years old and not married at the time of application), and their spouse’s dependent children. Even if your spouse or dependent children are permanent residents of Canada or Canadian citizens, or if they are not coming to Canada with you, family information must be included on the application. Everyone must be included as part of the calculation. The amount of money needed is highly variable based on how many family members an applicant has, and represents the minimum needed for an applicant to show to have their application considered.

The Government of Canada provides exact minimums for the proof of funds needed based on how many family members the applicant has. 

Number of Family MembersFunds Required (Canadian Dollars)

Each additional family member after the seventh will raise the minimum funds required by an additional $3,586 on top of the $35,224 required for seven family members. 

Acceptable Proof

In order for an applicant to show Canadian immigration officials that they have proof of settlement funds, the proof provided must conform with Canadian immigration rules. The funds must be readily available to the applicant. For example, an applicant cannot use equity on real property as proof of settlement funds. Upon arrival in Canada, an applicant must prove to an immigration officer that they can legally access the money to use in Canada.

The proof of settlement funds cannot be borrowed from another person. If an applicant is bringing their spouse with them, they can count their money together in a joint account for the purpose of showing proof of settlement funds. 

Proof can be provided in the form of official letters from banks or financial institutions where the Applicant is keeping their money. There is a strict list of requirements of what a letter from a bank or financial institution must include. The letter must be printed on the financial institution’s letterhead, include their contact information (address, telephone number and email address), include the applicant’s name, and list outstanding debts such as credit card debts and loans. Further, the letter must include, for each current bank and investment account, the account numbers, date each account was opened, current balance of each account, and the average balance for the past 6 months.

Express Entry Changes Coming Later This Year

In addition to the proof of settlement funds change, there are likely to be more Express Entry changes coming later this year. Processing of new applications has been slow during the pandemic, but Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada has indicated that they will be processing new Express Entry applications within 6 months later this year. Further, invitations for Express Entry under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class are set to resume in early July.

There may also be some changes coming later this year in how Express Entry candidates are chosen for invitations. Going forward, a policy change could mean that Express Entry candidates are invited based on economic needs identified by the Canadian government, which would benefit some candidates, and harm others. Currently, Express Entry invitations are not allotted based on specific work experience. Certain occupations could be given priority for Express Entry based on Canada’s economic needs, which would put applicants who are part of those occupations at a large advantage in securing an invitation. If Express Entry is changed in this way, the occupations that will be given priority will be posted. Right now, the proposed changes are in a preliminary stage, so if any change to Express Entry happens it is likely to happen in late 2022 at the earliest. 

Making an Express Entry Application? Garson Immigration Law in Toronto Is Here to Help

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We successfully guide clients through the immigration process, with an eye toward the ever-changing regulations in light of COVID-19. We will work to find an effective solution for your individual immigration needs.

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law are experienced in helping clients prepare Express Entry applications. If you have any questions about an immigration application during these uncertain times, do not hesitate to reach out to us online or by calling us at 416-321-2860.

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