Set up your account before arriving to Canada

If you live in a country where HSBC is located, you can open a Premier or Advance chequing account by completing an application online or over the phone. You can pre-open1 this account from the comfort of your own home, or visit an HSBC branch in your home country to open an unrestricted account with full banking access.

International Student Program SDS participants are able to open an Unlimited Chequing account with Student discount before arriving in Canada.9

Ready to start?

Why pre-open an account

  • Express entry compatible
    We’re a recognized financial partner with Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. So, you will be able to use a deposit confirmation letter to show proof of funds.
  • Travel safety
    Depending on your family size, your proof of funds requirement may be well over $10,000 CAD. Any cash in hand over $10,000 CAD must be declared to the border officer. Moving money into a chequing account before you arrive means you don’t have to travel with as much cash.
  • Have money when you arrive
    When you pre-open the account, you can deposit up to CAD $30,000 by wire transfer. Make sure you do this at least one week before you arrive though, because wire transfers can take days to process. You can access the funds as soon as you activate your account at an HSBC branch in Canada.
  • One less thing to do
    Setting up your banking is an essential part of getting settled in a new country. When you pre-open your account, you can cross this off your list of “to do” items.

Important things to consider before you begin pre-departure account opening

  1. Submit a pre-departure account opening application by phone or online
    1. You’ll need to apply at least two weeks before you arrive and you must activate your account within 8 months of the account opening date. For more information refer to the terms and conditions.
    2. Provide scanned copies or photos of your supporting documentation.
    3. An international case manager will contact you to review your application if needed.2
  2. Receive notification that the account is opened and make an optional wire transfer.3 
  3. Visit your branch in Canada when you land and activate your account by showing your original ID documents.

Here's how to get started

Apply now

Frequently asked questions

Should I visit a branch now or later?

Use this table to help you decide if pre-opening an account is right for you.
 

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

Can I start using the account right away?
Yes Initial deposit only. Other transactions will be available once you activate your account in person in Canada
Purpose of account
  • Immigrating to Canada 
  • Purchasing or already own property in Canada 
  • Supporting family/children in Canada or attending school 
  • Frequent travel to Canada 
  • Canada citizen or Permanent Resident living outside of Canada
  • Immigrating to Canada (Permanent Resident, Foreign Worker, Study Permit, International Student – Student Direct Stream/Student GIC Program) 
  • Canadian citizen returning to Canada
How do I open account?
Telephone application and in branch identity verification
Telephone application or online application5
What type of accounts can I open?6

Sole or joint chequing

Sole or joint savings

Sole chequing

Other accounts are available once you arrive in Canada

Is there a limit on the amount of my initial deposit?
No limit set by HSBC Bank Canada7
A one-time wire up to $30,000 CAD from a personal bank account with your name, in your country of residence8
When can I fund the account?
Right away
Right away10
When can I use
Global View and Global Transfers?
Right away
After visiting a branch in Canada
When do I get Online banking access?
Right away
After visiting a branch in Canada
When can I pay bills or make purchases?
Right away
After visiting a branch in Canada
When can I apply for a credit card?
Right away (subject to local country regulations)
After visiting a branch in Canada
When do I get debit card?
At the branch in Canada8
At the branch in Canada8
Use this table to help you decide if pre-opening an account is right for you.
  Can I start using the account right away?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Yes

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

Initial deposit only. Other transactions will be available once you activate your account in person in Canada
  Purpose of account

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

  • Immigrating to Canada 
  • Purchasing or already own property in Canada 
  • Supporting family/children in Canada or attending school 
  • Frequent travel to Canada 
  • Canada citizen or Permanent Resident living outside of Canada

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

  • Immigrating to Canada (Permanent Resident, Foreign Worker, Study Permit, International Student – Student Direct Stream/Student GIC Program) 
  • Canadian citizen returning to Canada
  How do I open account?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Telephone application and in branch identity verification

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

Telephone application or online application5
  What type of accounts can I open?6

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Sole or joint chequing

Sole or joint savings

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

Sole chequing

Other accounts are available once you arrive in Canada

  Is there a limit on the amount of my initial deposit?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

No limit set by HSBC Bank Canada7

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

A one-time wire up to $30,000 CAD from a personal bank account with your name, in your country of residence8
  When can I fund the account?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Right away

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

Right away10
  When can I use
Global View and Global Transfers?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Right away

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

After visiting a branch in Canada
  When do I get Online banking access?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Right away

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

After visiting a branch in Canada
  When can I pay bills or make purchases?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Right away

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

After visiting a branch in Canada
  When can I apply for a credit card?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

Right away (subject to local country regulations)

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

After visiting a branch in Canada
  When do I get debit card?

Now

Visit HSBC in your home country
(Certified account opening)

At the branch in Canada8

Later

Visit HSBC in Canada
(Pre-departure account opening)

At the branch in Canada8

How will I receive important notices and banking disclosures?

When you use the telephone or online account opening process, you consent to receiving these documents electronically. You can update these preferences at any time by logging on to Online banking.

Why do I need to visit a branch?

If you’re not moving to Canada, you will be required to visit HSBC branch in your local home country. They will complete your ID verification and sighting on our behalf. Canadian “Know Your Customer” regulations require that we view you alongside your ID documents. If you are moving to Canada as a permanent resident, foreign worker, international student or an HSBC International Student Program participant in Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada’s Student Direct Stream (Student GIC) program, then we are able to pre-open your account and postpone the in-person ID verification until after you arrive in Canada.

Are there benefits to visiting a branch in my home country?

Yes. If you’re an HSBC customer in your home country, and you visit the branch for ID verification, your account can be used once it’s opened. You’ll be able to use exclusive features like HSBC credit history transfer as well as Global View and Global Transfers.

Can I pre-open my account if I am applying for a visa through IRCC's Student GIC Program?

Yes. You would need to follow the requirements of HSBC International Student Program.

What happens after the account is opened?

You will receive a secure email within 2 - 3 business days with instructions on how to complete an optional wire. If you choose to wire money to your account, you will be provided with a deposit confirmation letter which can take up to 10 business days. An HSBC International Case Manager will contact you if we require any additional information.

How long does the account activation process take?

Confirming your ID in the branch should be fairly quick. However, we recommend that you allow a full hour for your appointment, so we can help make sure you have all the financial tools you need to settle down in Canada.

What can I use as a secondary form of identification?

There are a few types of ID you can use.

What other financial tools might I get?

We offer a Mastercard that doesn’t require a Canadian credit history, along with other great newcomers offers.

Do you support languages other than English?

The HSBC International Services team in your home country speaks your local language, but the application is in English. If you need language support, please call your local hotline and do a phone application.

1 Pre-open means that a chequing account will be opened but it will be blocked from all transactions except an initial deposit until you visit a branch in Canada with your original identity documents. Accounts must be activated within 8 months of the account opening date. We may close your account and return any money deposited to you, less any fees, if you do not activate the account within 8 months. See the terms and conditions for more information.

2 If the information provided in your application is unclear or we require more information, an HSBC International Case Manager will contact you at the phone number and/or email address provided in your application. We may even require you to visit a local HSBC branch to have your identification verified.

3 The initial deposit must be a wire made from a personal bank account in your home country with your name. Transfers are subject to local country exchange regulation which may include fees or other limitations. Refer to your local financial institution for more information.

4 Individuals who are applying for their Canada visa through Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada’s Student Direct Stream /Student GIC Program are eligible to use pre-departure account opening. You must also follow the requirements of HSBC’s International Student Program.

5 Online application processing is currently only available in select countries.

6 If you have a need for a Canadian chequing account that is not listed here, please contact your local International Services team to see if we can accommodate your account opening.

7 Foreign currency exchange rates and local country limitations apply. Transfers from accounts outside Canada may be subject to transfer fees. Access to internet banking is only available for customers who have visited a branch for identification verification and may be limited by your local country regulations.

8 HSBC Bank Canada does not automatically issue debit cards to be sent internationally since a temporary card can be picked up and used immediately at the branch. Customers may order debit cards by contacting customer support if they require the debit card prior to arriving in Canada. Please note that debit cards have limited usability outside of Canada.

9 Once you meet the program’s GIC requirement, you can upgrade to Advance or Premier.

10 International wire processing still apply (3-5 business days).