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Dear community, I need your advice to answer these two questions:

1. What is the best way to transfer money (5-digit number) to Canada (considering between wire transfer and cash withdrawals via ABMs)? (commission is almost the same for both scenarios)

2. What scenario is viable in the long-term? Wire transfer is technically complicated - bank requires a personal presence in the country of origin, however the person is in Canada, so I extra costs to buy a ticket, to go back etc. ABM scenario, yes it takes time, does the person need to submit docs about the origin of ABM cash to avoid problems with CRA or FINTRAC? Will a good explanation be required or what documents?

What would you suggest? Thank you in advance
 

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Not really enough info to properly answer. Are you a Cdn you lived abroad for a while, an immigrant, foreign student, recipient of an inheritance, what country is this coming from etc etc
The best way would normally be a wire transfer. When rec'd the bank would ask you the source of funds, you would tell them it is savings or sale of house or whatever from Jamaica or wherever. End of story ( just keep something to corroborate it. CRA won't care unless you were a Cdn resident while abroad and this was from income you should have declared. CRA does not monitor your banking activity or incoming wires unless there might be some other evidence of impropriety on your part.

If you decide to do the ATM route by withdrawing from your bank overseas and depositing into your Canadian account, you will be restricted to likely 2,000 a day or whatever restrictions your bank has and/ or the ATM has. Multiple cash deposits of 2,000 or so per day over several weeks will take time and could raise red flags in the banks algorythms that detect unusual activity. You might get a phone call from your bank asking about the deposits. Again you would explain and it would likely go no further.
This method may also average out your foreign exchange rate.

Assuming money is from a legitimate source, I have no idea why people are so concerned about CRA and Fintrac. If you had any idea of the volume of transactions larger than the one in question that go through in a day/ week/ year that never even raise a flicker.

A one time transaction for a small amount ( or small number of transactions over a few weeks) is not going to raise any flags. At most you will get a few questions from your banker to ascertain source of funds which is a legal requirement.

Just keep documentation to support your story. Copy of bank history showing regular savings, letter from lawyer re inheritance or sale of an asset or a birthday card from your grandmother with a copy of the birthday cheque.

Now if you get a birthday cheque every 2 or 3 months deposited to a foreign bank then transfered to Canada, from 6 different grandmothers, then you may get a second look.
 

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When I worked in US I routinely used Jameson currency exchange to convert USD to CAD and send money back to Canada but they have since been bought out. CanadianForex provides the same service. You will get a better exchange rate than any bank will give you and they will do the wiring for you.
 

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Now if you get a birthday cheque every 2 or 3 months deposited to a foreign bank then transfered to Canada, from 6 different grandmothers, then you may get a second look.
:D Probably little more than a look though.

Anyway, on topic, wire transfers have fairly significant (ridiculous IMO) fees. Bank drafts are usually cheaper. It's stupid as it should cost more to handle the paper thing on both ends... but that's how it was last time I checked.
 

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Bank drafts are cheaper, and used to be simple. But receiving banks are holding funds for a month or more before releasing them. Apparently there's been a lot of fraud with bank drafts. Also, OP says he is currently in Canada - wouldn't he have to visit country of origin to get a draft?
 

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Not really enough info to properly answer. Are you a Cdn you lived abroad for a while, an immigrant, foreign student, recipient of an inheritance, what country is this coming from etc etc
Thanks for your reply, it really helps.

Additional details:
The person is an immigrant (a permanent resident of Ontario). Bank drafts are not available in the country of origin (non US). Wire transfers are not available until the person provides details about the new foreign account to the government outside Canada and receives a stamp on docs to provide them to the bank face-to-face, only then a wire transfer will be possible to make, no electronic option to provide these docs. ABM withdrawals look faster and relatively cheap (for 5-digit amounts, there is no external bank commission, only 3 CAD per 1000 for using ABM), however it maybe looks strange or requires further explanation.

On topic, one more question:
I know it's legal to be in possession of a large amount of cash and deposit it piece by piece to Canadian accounts, but every time a person tries to operate with more than 10 000 CAD, banks rises a red flag and must submit a report to FINTRAC, there is no problem to avoid it and deposit less cash with lower frequency. But the question here - if a person deposits 5-digit number after several weeks to the account of a Canadian bank, will these deposits be considered as income later on by CRA and must be declared? or if a bank accepted cash that means they recognized it as savings?
 

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Bank drafts are cheaper, and used to be simple. But receiving banks are holding funds for a month or more before releasing them. Apparently there's been a lot of fraud with bank drafts. Also, OP says he is currently in Canada - wouldn't he have to visit country of origin to get a draft?
Yeah, that's the default answer they give you. But they can do it quicker if you insist, usually around a week. I even had it done in a day not that long ago. As I understand it, there's some manual verification involved so your mileage might vary, even with different branches of the same bank and sometimes even with the same branch. It's worth shopping around. At the other extreme, I've actually had a draft bounce once because the people who processed it didn't know what it was... So you are correct, they are not simple :)

Oh and OP suggested cash so I assumed visiting the country of origin was part of his plans anyway. But it looks like drafts are not an option there. Given that, I might also be wary of carrying large sums of foreign cash around. Also, you're supposed to declare large sums (10k IIRC) at the border. No idea what happens when you do.
 

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:...Anyway, on topic, wire transfers have fairly significant (ridiculous IMO) fees. Bank drafts are usually cheaper. It's stupid as it should cost more to handle the paper thing on both ends... but that's how it was last time I checked.
Wire transfers are relatively expensive for small amounts, because of the fixed fee. But OP has a 5-digit balance to transfer. The wire transfer fee should be peanuts in comparison. The complication (in my understanding of his post) is trying to arrange it from here.

(Of course it's possible his country of origin has a different wire transfer fee schedule the the typical CDN banks)
 

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6000 illegal immigrants coming over Quebec boarder alone just this year. How many more we do not know about. Do not think this question should be answered
 

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To respond to a few of OP's questions. There is no concern about incoming financial institution transfers of money being considered income by CRA. Lots of money moves internationally between financial institutions on a regular basis. My take is that a wire transfer would be the best solution for a 5 digit sum. I've used wire transfers to move large amounts of money between countries, Fees in the order of $45 or so (transmitting and receiving ends) is neither here nor there for a one time transfer.

ABM transfers don't seem all that viable even with a high individual transaction limit of $1000 or more. It would end up being more costly than a one time wire transfer.
 

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ABM transfers don't seem all that viable even with a high individual transaction limit of $1000 or more. It would end up being more costly than a one time wire transfer.
Until you add in the cost of a round trip to the country of origin, fees (and possibly bribes) to the officials of the country that has such export controls, etc. It is counter-intuitive, but maybe the ABM transfer is the way to go. Maybe OP can get the ABM transaction limit increased.
 

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When we need money in Mexico, we just deposit a cheque written on our C$ account. We happen to use a bank that provides immediate access to the money but even before that, worst case was 18 days (5 real and 13 bank overhead). The largest cheque was C$25k for the purchase of a car (TD to Intercam).

Brokers like Canaccord do not charge for transfers even though their intermediate banks (BMO to BBVA) will try to.
 

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Thanks for your reply, it really helps.

Additional details:
The person is an immigrant (a permanent resident of Ontario). Bank drafts are not available in the country of origin (non US). Wire transfers are not available until the person provides details about the new foreign account to the government outside Canada and receives a stamp on docs to provide them to the bank face-to-face, only then a wire transfer will be possible to make, no electronic option to provide these docs. ABM withdrawals look faster and relatively cheap (for 5-digit amounts, there is no external bank commission, only 3 CAD per 1000 for using ABM), however it maybe looks strange or requires further explanation.

On topic, one more question:
I know it's legal to be in possession of a large amount of cash and deposit it piece by piece to Canadian accounts, but every time a person tries to operate with more than 10 000 CAD, banks rises a red flag and must submit a report to FINTRAC, there is no problem to avoid it and deposit less cash with lower frequency. But the question here - if a person deposits 5-digit number after several weeks to the account of a Canadian bank, will these deposits be considered as income later on by CRA and must be declared? or if a bank accepted cash that means they recognized it as savings?
Yes banks are required to submit a report for deposits of more than 10,000 in cash as well as report any suspicious transaction.
So what. Again if your transactions are legit and the bank asks questions, just explain what you are doing. This will get noted and you will never hear another word.

No mysterious FINTRAC agent is going to swoop in and seize your assets. You would be amazed the number of cash transactions and suspicious transaction that get reported daily.
Some bank branches get written up on audits if they have not reported enough. The banks auditors assume there must be some given a certain volume of transactions even though they can't find any and the banks algorythms haven't detected any.

Over 99% get no further action. Of the <1% that do, most get a quick look only. A miniscule number are flagged for further followup if the amounts are large, activity continues and if the explanation does not ring true.( and from certain countries). Providing you are not money laudering or moving funds around to finance terrorism, why would you care if a one time flag is raised in some dusty government basement.

You could just go in to the bank and tell the manager you have money to move from another country and you can't afford to go back to wire transfer it. Tell him you will be making cash ATM withdrawals from your account in X country and making a number of cash deposits through his banks ATM until all the money is here. Tell him how much and that the money was your savings, house sale, inheritance or whatever, they can post a note on your file and that should be the end of it unless they don't check for notes and call you to ask about it. Remind them of the note. Simple.

No CRA will not recognize it as income. If you get audited for some other reason it is possible but unlikely they may question it. I.e. were you working for cash or did you sell something for a profit? Again, keep a record of the withdrawals from your foreign bank and your deposits to your Canadian account. End of story.
 
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