Settlement Funds Express Entry

Express Entry Settlement FundsTashyeh, a citizen of Anguilla, intends to immigrate to Canada. Luckily, he qualifies under the Express Entry system. However, Tashyeh does not know if and how much settlement funds he needs. In fact, one of his friends just recently informed him settlement funds are essential for Express Entry immigration. Thus, Tashyeh wonders how he can show proof of funds.

Express Entry is currently the most popular system of immigration to Canada. Of course, to qualify for the Express Entry system, you must meet the criteria for one of the following immigration options first:

Which Express Entry options are exempt from settlement funds?

You are exempt from showing proof of settlement funds if you

Of course, the immigration authorities ask about your available funds anyways. Consequently, it is not a bad idea to show them you meet the requirements even if you are exempt. However, this is not mandatory from a legal point of view.

Who must show proof of settlement funds?

You must show proof of settlement funds if you do not have a valid job offer and you are applying under one of the following programs:

What is a settlement fund for Express Entry anyway?

The settlement fund refers to money that is readily available to you with no strings attached. Of course, IRCC uses the term “unencumbered” for such funds. Please consider the following:

  • You may not use your property (land, house, store, warehouse, etc.) as a source of settlement funds.
  • The best source of settlement funds is the balance of a bank account that belongs to you and no one else.
  • If your spouse or common-law partner is accompanying you to Canada, you may consider their bank accounts for the settlement funds. However, you need to show that you have full access to their account.
  • Beware of joint accounts as they may impose restrictions on your access to the funds.
  • I recommend focusing on the money in a respectable bank account only and no other sources.

How to prove the settlement funds?

To prove the existence of the settlement funds, present a reference letter from your bank. Of course, make sure to receive the note on the official bank letterhead with their stamp. Nonetheless, if the letter is not in the English or French languages, you need to translate it into one of these languages officially. Consider the following items:

  • The bank letter must show your full name (i.e. the principal applicant).
  • The letter must show your outstanding debts, such as loans or credit cards.
  • As mentioned earlier, the bank must present the information on their letterhead with their contact information (name, address, phones, website, etc.).
  • Last but not least, they must present the account numbers, the open-date of the accounts, the average balance in the past six months and the current balance.

You may present multiple reference letters. However, keep in mind that transferring money from one account to the other and pretending they are two separate sources of funds is a misrepresentation. Needless to say, misrepresentation could result in the refusal of the application and inadmissibility to Canada.

How much money do I need as Express Entry settlement funds?

The government uses the six-month LICO table for settlement funds. LICO or Low-Income Cut Off represents the Canadian poverty line. Of course, due to inflation, the government updates the table every year. Visit the following article for more information about LICO and the LICO table:

Remember, you need to consider your family size and compare it with the six-month LICO. Also, I highly recommend that you show access to more funds than the bare minimum.

How to calculate the family size for settlement funds Express Entry?

For settlement funds, the family members include all of the following:

  • The principal applicant
  • The spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant
  • Their dependent children

Of course, dependent children refer to your or your spouse’s children who are single and under 22 years old. However, you could consider your older children as family members if they depend on you because of a mental or physical condition. Regardless, your child could be your biological or adopted child.

When you calculate the family size make sure to include everyone, even if they are

When do I need to show settlement funds for Express Entry?

You need to have access to the settlement funds at the time of applying for immigration and when you become an immigrant.  In other words, the border officers may request proof of funds when you arrive in Canada for the first time. Thus, you may bring the money with you while travelling to Canada. However, make sure to declare the cash to border officers, if you are bringing more than $10,000.

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

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Al Parsai

This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.