For many newcomers, opening a bank account is one of the first things you do when landing in Canada. Between the Big 5 banks in Canada (RBC, TD, CIBC, BMO, and Scotiabank) and other financial institutions, many banks offer a specialized “newcomer banking package” that is designed for new immigrants. Arrive, powered by RBC Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of RBC, is here to help you learn about the Royal Bank of Canada Newcomer’s product offering.

For starters, when you open an account in Canada, you’ll typically get a chequing account and a credit card at the same time. In our overview titled Feel Safe and Secure Banking in Canada, we explore everything you need to know about setting up your finances, as well as learning about the Canadian banking system. One of the core areas we focus on is the importance of credit cards in Canada; they’re an essential means to building your credit profile and credit score, which helps you when it comes to renting/owning a home, leasing a car, and accessing other financial products in the future. Additionally, credit cards have the added convenience of allowing you to pay for things easily, without having to carry cash. Keep in mind that credit cards can carry very high interest rates, and your balance should be managed and paid down promptly. Once you are approved for a credit card, get started by making payments for small expenses such as phone bills or groceries. This will help you gradually build your credit history.

Ensure you have one of the following pieces of identification to open an account:

  • A driver’s license issued in Canada
  • A Canadian or foreign passport
  • Permanent Resident card
  • Immigration Canada Form IMM 1000 or IMM 1442
Note: Permitted identification documents may vary with province

Most financial institutions also offer other services, such as investments, mortgages, safety deposit boxes and general financial planning. Talk to a financial advisor about your specific goals and needs, or even get started by browsing through some of our past Arrive webinars, on finances covering a wide variety of topics for your financial wellbeing.

Helpful Tips:

  • It’s helpful to make an appointment with a bank branch to have a dedicated advisor ready to address your questions and help you open a bank account. View the RBC Branch Locator  from Canada’s largest bank*, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), to find the closest branch near your community. You will need to know your local address or postal code to book an appointment. You can also visit the newly designed RBC Newcomer Branch at the Brampton Civic Centre, which was set up to help newcomers with all of their banking needs.
  • Select “paper statements” for the first three to four months of your credit card billing, as these statements typically serve as proof of address while applying for health insurance. Note that for delivery of paper statements, you will need to provide your permanent address.
*Based on market capitalization. 

Working with RBC, we can help you get your financial life in Canada started – right now. Learn about your banking options in Canada and be prepared. Click here to be contacted.


This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.