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Preparing for move to the US after K1 approval: Bank stuff

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Hi! To those who are planning for their move or have already crossed the border - What is the most efficient way to transfer money from Canada -> US?

I'm considering taking out a couple grand USD and carrying that with me across the border, opening up a US bank account, and eventually requesting a money transfer from my Canadian bank account to my US bank account. Let me know what you think! Thank you :) 

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I don't have input, just wondering the same thing! 

 


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1 minute ago, SR_CAN said:

Hi! To those who are planning for their move or have already crossed the border - What is the most efficient way to transfer money from Canada -> US?

I'm considering taking out a couple grand USD and carrying that with me across the border, opening up a US bank account, and eventually requesting a money transfer from my Canadian bank account to my US bank account. Let me know what you think! Thank you :) 

Hey! I work at a bank here in Canada - my plan is to open a US bank account with this bank and then I can easily transfer money back and forth. When I am done transferring everything over, I'll close the account and open one with a strictly US Bank. Who do you currently bank with? I know quite a few banks have options for US banking. I work for CIBC - let me know if I can help you any further! :D


  • Consulate - Montreal, Canada
  • Married - 2017-05-27
  • I-130 sent - 2017-10-19
  • I-130 NOA1 - 2017-11-02
  • I-130 approved - 2018-06-06
  • Sent to NVC - 2018-06-19
  • NVC received - 2018-07-24
  • CEAC site back up - 2018-07-31
  • Paid IV fee - 2018-07-31
  • Paid AOS fee - 2018-07-31
  • Submitted DS-260 - 2018-08-03
  • All submitted to NVC - 2018-08-11
  • Case Complete - 2018-08-23 
  • Medical in MTL - 2018-11-20
  • Interview - 2018-11-27

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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Also - just as an aside: to transfer money from Canada to the US you can do it two ways: Visa Money Xfer or through a Wire Payment. Typically to do a Wire, you have to physically be at the branch so I'm not sure if that would be a great way. You could also use PayPal to transfer but that will cost some money.


  • Consulate - Montreal, Canada
  • Married - 2017-05-27
  • I-130 sent - 2017-10-19
  • I-130 NOA1 - 2017-11-02
  • I-130 approved - 2018-06-06
  • Sent to NVC - 2018-06-19
  • NVC received - 2018-07-24
  • CEAC site back up - 2018-07-31
  • Paid IV fee - 2018-07-31
  • Paid AOS fee - 2018-07-31
  • Submitted DS-260 - 2018-08-03
  • All submitted to NVC - 2018-08-11
  • Case Complete - 2018-08-23 
  • Medical in MTL - 2018-11-20
  • Interview - 2018-11-27

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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Just now, arellah said:

Hey! I work at a bank here in Canada - my plan is to open a US bank account with this bank and then I can easily transfer money back and forth. When I am done transferring everything over, I'll close the account and open one with a strictly US Bank. Who do you currently bank with? I know quite a few banks have options for US banking. I work for CIBC - let me know if I can help you any further! :D

Hi! I didn't know CIBC had a US banking option!

I'm with CIBC as well! How should I go about opening up a US account with you guys? Thanks for your help :D

Also, I know that RBC has a US banking option too...is it relatively the same as CIBC's?

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Just now, SR_CAN said:

Hi! I didn't know CIBC had a US banking option!

I'm with CIBC as well! How should I go about opening up a US account with you guys? Thanks for your help :D

Also, I know that RBC has a US banking option too...is it relatively the same as CIBC's?

Oh Awesome! I'm an expert on that one then  :P

 

So this is the link: https://us.cibc.com/en/personal/checking/smart-account.html

 

The wonderful part is you can real time transfer from your Canadian acct to the US one, using your Canadian online banking. You'll get mailed a US debit card once you've applied. So this is a chequing account - the fee is $4.95 per month USD - however if you keep $3000 USD in there, you'll waive those fees. So you could open it now if you had the funds to spare and save yourself some fees. If not, I would recommend opening it closer to when you're ready to go. I'm gonna use this for EI too, if I get approved and unfortunately I still have some Student Loans to pay, so it'll be convenient for paying those back as well once I start earning money in America!

 

Applying is a fairly easy process, you'll need your passport and you need to be able to sign onto your Canadian online banking to apply as well. Hope that makes sense haha.
(Hey, I'm at work right now I feel like I'm actually working instead of playing around on this forum :P )


  • Consulate - Montreal, Canada
  • Married - 2017-05-27
  • I-130 sent - 2017-10-19
  • I-130 NOA1 - 2017-11-02
  • I-130 approved - 2018-06-06
  • Sent to NVC - 2018-06-19
  • NVC received - 2018-07-24
  • CEAC site back up - 2018-07-31
  • Paid IV fee - 2018-07-31
  • Paid AOS fee - 2018-07-31
  • Submitted DS-260 - 2018-08-03
  • All submitted to NVC - 2018-08-11
  • Case Complete - 2018-08-23 
  • Medical in MTL - 2018-11-20
  • Interview - 2018-11-27

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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1 minute ago, arellah said:

Oh Awesome! I'm an expert on that one then  :P

 

So this is the link: https://us.cibc.com/en/personal/checking/smart-account.html

 

The wonderful part is you can real time transfer from your Canadian acct to the US one, using your Canadian online banking. You'll get mailed a US debit card once you've applied. So this is a chequing account - the fee is $4.95 per month USD - however if you keep $3000 USD in there, you'll waive those fees. So you could open it now if you had the funds to spare and save yourself some fees. If not, I would recommend opening it closer to when you're ready to go. I'm gonna use this for EI too, if I get approved and unfortunately I still have some Student Loans to pay, so it'll be convenient for paying those back as well once I start earning money in America!

 

Applying is a fairly easy process, you'll need your passport and you need to be able to sign onto your Canadian online banking to apply as well. Hope that makes sense haha.
(Hey, I'm at work right now I feel like I'm actually working instead of playing around on this forum :P )

OMG amazing! Thank you for the info! :D Will look into this.

I will DM you if I have any other questions!

Bahaha they should compensate you for helping clients via VJ ;) 

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I believe I also saw that TD you can do this also. We have a lot of TD trust banks on the eastern side of the United States (none near me in California) but with direct deposit it looks like we can easily transfer money back and forth between the US TD and the Canadian TD. (good cause we still have student loans etc. in Canada)

 

I think you can open a US TD checking account over the internet or in one of the branches (either in Canada or US).

Edited by Hill.ary

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54 minutes ago, arellah said:

Oh Awesome! I'm an expert on that one then  :P

 

So this is the link: https://us.cibc.com/en/personal/checking/smart-account.html

 

The wonderful part is you can real time transfer from your Canadian acct to the US one, using your Canadian online banking. You'll get mailed a US debit card once you've applied. So this is a chequing account - the fee is $4.95 per month USD - however if you keep $3000 USD in there, you'll waive those fees. So you could open it now if you had the funds to spare and save yourself some fees. If not, I would recommend opening it closer to when you're ready to go. I'm gonna use this for EI too, if I get approved and unfortunately I still have some Student Loans to pay, so it'll be convenient for paying those back as well once I start earning money in America!

 

Applying is a fairly easy process, you'll need your passport and you need to be able to sign onto your Canadian online banking to apply as well. Hope that makes sense haha.
(Hey, I'm at work right now I feel like I'm actually working instead of playing around on this forum :P )

One more question: Do you know what is required in order to open a US bank account at a US financial institution? I read somewhere all we need is our passport with visa inside and alien registration number? Thanks again!

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4 minutes ago, SR_CAN said:

One more question: Do you know what is required in order to open a US bank account at a US financial institution? I read somewhere all we need is our passport with visa inside and alien registration number? Thanks again!

Yep as far as I know, that's all you need! Possibly SSN but I'm not sure on that.. Probably at some point

43 minutes ago, Hill.ary said:

I believe I also saw that TD you can do this also. We have a lot of TD trust banks on the eastern side of the United States (none near me in California) but with direct deposit it looks like we can easily transfer money back and forth between the US TD and the Canadian TD. (good cause we still have student loans etc. in Canada)

 

I think you can open a US TD checking account over the internet or in one of the branches (either in Canada or US).

Yeah I think you're right! You've got lots of choices :)


  • Consulate - Montreal, Canada
  • Married - 2017-05-27
  • I-130 sent - 2017-10-19
  • I-130 NOA1 - 2017-11-02
  • I-130 approved - 2018-06-06
  • Sent to NVC - 2018-06-19
  • NVC received - 2018-07-24
  • CEAC site back up - 2018-07-31
  • Paid IV fee - 2018-07-31
  • Paid AOS fee - 2018-07-31
  • Submitted DS-260 - 2018-08-03
  • All submitted to NVC - 2018-08-11
  • Case Complete - 2018-08-23 
  • Medical in MTL - 2018-11-20
  • Interview - 2018-11-27

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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If you're maintaining ties with Canada and expect to make regular transfers, it's probably a good idea to set up a US Bank account with one of the major Canadian Banks -- RBC, TD, BMO... They usually have a preferred rate to transfer between your Canadian and US accounts. 
However, if you need to make a larger transfer (or several medium transfers over time), the major banks' rates are a rip off. They will have at least a $0.015 margin on the rate -- if the published midpoint range is $0.76 (today's close), they'll give you at best a $0.745 rate (giving you less US$) 


Far better to set up an account with a foreign exchange "house", like OFX (formerly USForex). There are quite a few others. You need to arrange the transfer ahead, but the rates can be ~3/4 of a US cent better than the banks -- that's ~US$60 on a C$10,000 transfer. 
Or, if you have an established relationship with an investment advisor in Canada, ask them if they can give you a very good rate (small bank "spread") for your major transfer. 

For selling Canadian $ to get US$, I do recommend going through a Canadian company. My experience is that the people you'll deal with in local US Banks know absolutely nothing about foreign currencies -- like even less than they know about Canada.

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ETA: You may still need an account with a US bank, for local services, ATM's, etc. US branches of the Canadian banks are few and far between, except in a few locations*. Opening an account requires ID (passport, preferably a US D/L), a US Social Security number (getting one is almost your first task on arrival), and proof of your US address.   
 

* None in SFO as far as I know

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17 hours ago, longboat said:

ETA: You may still need an account with a US bank, for local services, ATM's, etc. US branches of the Canadian banks are few and far between, except in a few locations*. Opening an account requires ID (passport, preferably a US D/L), a US Social Security number (getting one is almost your first task on arrival), and proof of your US address.   
 

* None in SFO as far as I know

Some banks waive a certain amount of ATM withdrawals if you use a non-bank ATM, if anyone is going this route make sure to ask about this!

 

You're right though, it is more of a digital banking system. I think for myself, I'll just have the Canadian US Account open until I've been able to transfer everything down to a US bank!


  • Consulate - Montreal, Canada
  • Married - 2017-05-27
  • I-130 sent - 2017-10-19
  • I-130 NOA1 - 2017-11-02
  • I-130 approved - 2018-06-06
  • Sent to NVC - 2018-06-19
  • NVC received - 2018-07-24
  • CEAC site back up - 2018-07-31
  • Paid IV fee - 2018-07-31
  • Paid AOS fee - 2018-07-31
  • Submitted DS-260 - 2018-08-03
  • All submitted to NVC - 2018-08-11
  • Case Complete - 2018-08-23 
  • Medical in MTL - 2018-11-20
  • Interview - 2018-11-27

 

 

 

 

   
   
   
   
   
   
   

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