Immigrating To Canada Can Be Expensive & Newcomers Should Know About These Costs

Including costs to apply and proof of funds to support your application!

People raising the Canadian flag. Right: Someone holding the Canadian flag.
Editorial Assistant

People raising the Canadian flag. Right: Someone holding the Canadian flag.

From free access to Canadian parks to no-cost services that help with employment, new Canadian citizens are entitled to various complimentary facilities.

But before crossing that threshold, new immigrants have to fork out some cash when filling out Canadian citizenship and even permanent resident (PR) applications.

The process to become a citizen currently takes many months, and you must have permanent resident status in Canada before you are eligible to apply for citizenship.

So, as you plan your new life in Canada, here are some costs associated with immigration to keep in mind.

How much does it cost to get permanent residency in Canada?

An Immigration Canada Application for Permanent Residency.

An Immigration Canada Application for Permanent Residency.

Manjurul Haque | Dreamstime

Whether you decide to apply for temporary or permanent residency (PR), there are associated fees for the application process.

Prospective permanent residents could pay as little as $570 if they apply as a Protected Person, or they could spend, at most, $2,140 for their application if they're self-employed or have applied for a start-up visa.

Included in the costs listed on the Government of Canada website is the $515 Right of Permanent Residence fee that is to be paid once your PR application has been approved.

Applicants will also need to pay $85 to provide biometrics — fingerprints and a current photo — associated with their permanent residence or work permit. International students (excluding those from the United States) will also have to submit biometrics to obtain a study permit.

Does Express Entry give you PR in Canada?

"Completing an Express Entry profile is the first step to immigrate to Canada permanently as a skilled worker," reads the Canadian government website. However, completing the Express Entry profile does not guarantee an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

To apply through the Express Entry route, you must be eligible for at least one of following the programs:

1) Federal Skilled Worker: a skilled worker with foreign work experience who wants to immigrate to Canada permanently.

2) Federal Skilled Trades Program: foreign workers who want to become permanent residents based on being qualified in a skilled trade.

3) Canadian Experience Class: immigration program for skilled workers who have Canadian work experience and want to become permanent residents.

To apply via this route, you'll have to create a profile through the Express Entry stream on the IRCC website, which doesn't cost anything. However, you might have to pay anywhere between $400 and $700 to get your English language test results and academic credential evaluations in order to set up the profile successfully.

Candidates are selected for permanent residence based on their score and rank in the Express Entry pool. However, for the Skilled Worker and Skilled Trades program, you will need to show the Canadian government you have enough money to settle in Canada through "proof of funds."

What is acceptable proof of funds in Canada?

A bank statement.

A bank statement.

Bundit Singhakul | Dreamstime

You'll need some cash in the bank if you apply to immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, a pathway for "skilled immigrants" who have work experience outside of Canada. This includes the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program.

Make sure to have at least $13,757 in your pocket as proof of funds if you're applying solo, but the number goes up proportionately depending on how many family members you include in the application. This immigration policy ensures that newcomers have enough money to settle comfortably in Canada.

The proof of funds must be available to you when you apply, as well as when your permanent residency is granted. You must obtain letters from your bank or financial institution with an overview of your accounts and balances, as well as any outstanding debts. The proof of funds must be issued on the financial institution's official letterhead.

You do not need to provide proof of funds if you are currently allowed to work in Canada and/or you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

Details about proof of funds requirements can be found on the federal government website.

How long do you have to be a permanent resident before applying for citizenship?

To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, new immigrants must be permanent residents of Canada, having spent at least 1,095 days in the country in the five years prior to applying to become a Canadian citizen.

You must be able to demonstrate adequate knowledge of English or French as well as an understanding of Canada along with the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship if you are between 18 and 54 when you apply.

Finally, you cannot have any unfulfilled conditions relating to your permanent resident status, you cannot be under a removal order, and you must not be prohibited on criminal or security grounds.

Note that you may be required to file income taxes in the three years preceding your citizenship application, depending on your personal situation. The Canadian government has a webpage outlining the benefits, credits and taxes for newcomers on its website.

Do newcomers pay tax in Canada? 

Newcomers in Canada may be permanent residents, refugees or protected persons, or temporary residents — whether you're a student, foreign worker or temporary resident permit holder. According to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), you are considered a newcomer for the first year you are in Canada.

While you become a resident of Canada for income tax purposes when you have enough "residential ties" in Canada, this status is separate from your immigration / permanent residence status. Residential ties include owning a home in Canada and having a spouse, common-law partner or dependents in Canada, as outlined by the federal government.

You do not need to file a tax return to receive credits and benefits within the first year of your arrival to Canada, though you will need to file a tax return to remain eligible for the same credits after that year-long period, regardless of earned income.

How much does it cost to apply for citizenship in Canada?

Those who have permanent resident status in Canada aren't Canadian citizens just yet. They'll have to apply to be one, and the costs differ between adults and minors.

For those aged 18 years and older, the fee to apply is $630, and for people who are younger, it'll cost $100. As part of the application process, you'll need to prepare for a test, an interview, and then the citizenship ceremony.

The government website currently lists application processing times at 18 months, which includes the test, interview and ceremony components.

What is the average cost of housing in Canada? 

Obviously, housing costs are a big financial factor to consider when immigrating to a new country.

According to, depending on which city you decide to settle in, the average Canadian home price in 2022 ranges from less than $250,000 in Atlantic Canada to almost $1 million on the West Coast.

But if buying is not on the horizon for you, released a report finding the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Canada is $1,860 per month, a number that only continues to rise.

Depending on where you're planning to settle in the country, be sure to research the cost of living in your location and plan accordingly ahead of your arrival.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on September 22, 2022.

Sophie Chong
Editorial Assistant
Sophie Chong was an editorial assistant for Narcity Media and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
Kathleen Gannon
Copy Editor
Kathleen Gannon was a Copy Editor for Narcity Media Group and is based in Montreal.