Lawyers providing immigration assistance

In terms of money

Banking services

To begin with, you need a bank account for your day-to-day transactions, such as depositing your pay, for example. To do so, you may contact the financial institution of your choice. It is recommended that you not close your bank account in your country of origin before opening one in Québec. Banks, credit unions and trust companies offer you a variety of services, including foreign currency exchange, money transfers and safety deposit boxes.

Banking services are very automated and so you will find automated banking machines at many locations to obtain money, pay bills or deposit cheques, using a bank debit card. Most routine transactions may be carried out with this card (at supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, etc.) and the amount will automatically be debited from your account; however, service fees may be added to each transaction.

Credit cards

Financial institutions as well as certain stores offer a wide variety of credit cards, but it is important to be careful in using them, because at the end of the month, if you don't repay the entire amount of the items or services that you have purchased on credit for that month, interest will be added, and the interest rate is very high.

Sales tax

In Québec, you will have to pay sales tax on most goods and services (for example, on clothing, hardware, a plumber's or electrician's services, etc.). There are two taxes: the GST (the Federal government's goods and services tax—5% in 2013) and the QST (the Québec sales tax—9.975% in 2016). These taxes are not usually included in the price, but will be added when you purchase an item or a service.

In Québec, its is Revenu Québec that is responsible for administering the GST and QST. More information on sales tax as well as on the goods and services to which they apply (and don't apply) may be found in the tax section on Revenu Québec's website.

Income tax

The money that each person pays in income tax is used to finance services for all Quebecers, (health, education, social services, etc.). Income tax is directly deducted from workers' salary.

Everyone living in Québec has to file an income tax return to declare their income. All taxpayers must declare the income earned in a year and may claim the tax deductions or tax credits to which they are entitled. Every year, Quebecers must prepare two income tax returns on special forms: one for the provincial government (Revenu Québec) and the other one for the Federal government (Canada Revenue Agency). The tax year is from January 1 to December 31. Income tax returns must be sent to the two governments no later than April 30 of each year.

Salary deductions

Certain amounts of money will be directly deducted from the pay you receive from your employer—income tax (Federal and provincial), your contribution to the Canada Pension Plan or the Québec Pension Plan, your contribution to Employment Insurance, union dues if you are a member of a union, your contribution to a pension or retirement fund and any other deduction agreed upon in writing between you and your employer.

More information on banking services, credit cards, income tax and other practical information relating to money matters may be found in the guide entitled Learning about Québec.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada's website has also devoted a section on how to prepare financially.

© Barreau du Québec 2013-