Banking needs

Open a bank account

To open a bank account in Canada, you’ll need your passportSFU Student ID card, proof of enrollment at SFU and documentation of your address in Canada (such as a phone bill or Residence contract). You may also need to provide your study permit as proof of your status in Canada. You may need to make an appointment before opening an account. The list below includes most financial institutions you will find in the Metro Vancouver Area.

View Banks and Credit Unions

Transfer Funds to Canada

You have several options for transferring money to Canada:

Wire Transfer

Wire transfer money into your Canadian bank account from your home country. Before making the transaction, ask how long the transfer will take, as Canadian banks can place lengthy holds on deposits (sometimes up to 20 business days

Bank Draft

Obtain a bank draft for the amount you wish to transfer and bring it with you to Canada.  When you are ready to deposit the bank draft into your Canadian bank account, ask the bank how long it will take to access the funds, as they may place a hold on the deposit.


If you have an ATM (Automated Teller Machine) card for your bank in your home country, you may be able to withdraw money from your account at ATMs in Canada. Check with your home bank about this option, but keep in mind that you may need to pay service charges and that exchange rates fluctuate.

Regardless of which option you choose, keep copies of all transaction records. Note that if you are bringing $10,000 or more into Canada, you must declare these funds.

Even if you plan on using debit or credit cards while in Canada, it can be handy to have some cash on hand when you first arrive. Currency exchange services are available at the Vancouver International Airport under the "Services" tab.