If you want to do work and travel in Canada and work during your stay, you will need a Canadian bank account. Unfortunately, it is not yet possible to open a bank account in Canada from Germany, so it is best to do this shortly after your arrival.
A bank account is not only important for taking up work, but also facilitates general payment transactions in Canada. For example, you can withdraw money without depending on the exchange rate, or pay in the store with card and pay bills without having to pay high fees.
Which bank to open a bank account with in Canada?
In Canada, it is best to open a bank account with one of the major Canadian banks. The reason for this is that these banks are very widespread and therefore have many ATMs in all parts of the country. If you open an account with a not so widespread bank, it can happen that you don’t find an ATM of your bank in some places and have to pay fees. With the big banks this usually does not happen to you and you can withdraw money everywhere for free.
The 5 largest banks in Canada:
All these banks are relatively widespread and have ATMs in most cities. The smaller regional banks are not recommended for a work and travel stay in Canada.
Open a bank account in Canada – this is how it works!
As already mentioned, it is not possible to open a bank account before arrival. It is best to do this shortly after you arrive in Canada and before you start looking for a job.
To open a bank account in Canada you need to go in person to a branch of your bank of choice and have some documents with you. As a Work and Traveller it is actually only possible to open a Canadian bank account with the following documents:
- German passport
- Social Insurance Number
- International driving license
- Social Insurance Number
As you can see, you definitely need the Social Insurance Number (SIN) and should apply for it beforehand.
Sometimes the banks require a permanent Canadian address, which you probably can’t prove as a Work and Traveller, because you don’t have a permanent residence in Canada. To get around this regulation you can try to use your temporary Canadian address (e.g. from the hostel) and additionally give your German address. If that doesn’t work and the bank insists on a permanent address in Canada, then just try the next bank. As a rule, however, this should not cause any problems as a working holiday maker.
What to open a bank account?
In Canada there are two different types of account. On the one hand, there is the “Saving Account”, which is remunerated with more interest, but is also subject to some conditions. And then there’s the “Chequing Account,” which is a regular checking account and is usually better for backpackers.