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BMO Launches Industry Leading Digital Pre-Arrival Account Opening Capability for Newcomers to Canada
  • Industry leading digital banking program allows for instant processing of eligible pre-arrival account applications
  • Expanded NewStart® program now available to residents from 13 countries including China, Colombia, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam and more
  • Before arriving in Canada, eligible newcomers can open a BMO bank account and an International Student GIC

TORONTO, April 6, 2023 /CNW/ - BMO today announced it is enhancing and expanding its online NewStart® Pre-Arrival Account Opening program to help newcomers to Canada make real financial progress and easily transition to their new lives.

BMO's newly enhanced, industry leading pre-arrival account opening capability provides a seamless online experience for new Canadians. Starting today, NewStart® Pre-Arrival Account Opening will now be primarily automated, allowing online applicants in eligible jurisdictions to have their BMO Pre-Arrival bank account applications processed instantly.

In addition to program enhancements, BMO now enables applicants from 13 countries to open a bank account and an International Student GIC if eligible, before they arrive in Canada, making their financial transition easier and quicker. The program is now available to residents of several countries that are a part of the Government of Canada's Student Direct Stream accelerated student visa application process, including: Antigua and Barbuda, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam. 

"With the state-of-the-art enhancements to our BMO NewStart Pre-Arrival Account Opening feature, more newcomers to Canada will now be able to seamlessly set up a BMO account and get a head start on establishing their finances," said Sumit Sarkar, Head, Customer Growth, BMO. "By delivering seamless, online experiences, BMO is supporting new Canadians by providing accessible tools that will set them up for financial success and allow them to focus on making progress towards building their new lives." 

"Recognizing the importance of banking beyond borders, we continually look for ways to meet customers where they are and deliver best-in-class digital experiences," said Gregory Brown, Head, North American Digital Product Management, Sales and Marketing, BMO. "By innovating the digital banking experience from the start, more newcomers will have access to the industry leading tools that will help them easily transition and establish themselves in Canada."

When a pre-arrival bank account has been successfully opened online, customers are permitted one wire transfer from their home country. Once the customer moves to Canada, they can visit a BMO branch to activate their account. 

BMO Helps Newcomers to Canada Make Real Financial Progress

  • BMO's NewStart Program: BMO's NewStart program provides customers with a suite of best-in-class, personalized, no-fee banking products including, chequing and savings accounts, customized mortgage options, credit with no credit history, investments and worldwide money transfers to establish their finances.

  • BMO SmartProgress: To help with their transition, BMO SmartProgress is a free online financial education program that provides newcomers with a customized, on-demand and interactive learning experience. This financial literacy platform is geared to help educate newcomers on the Canadian banking system and assist them in creating good financial habits while starting a new life. It features bite-sized content, including videos and tools, to allow newcomers to better understand complex financial topics, including budgeting and credit management, homeownership and investing in their future.

  • BMO Newcomer Talent Program: In 2022, amidst a series of global crises driving a record number of people to resettle in North America, BMO also introduced its Newcomer Talent Program, a recruitment program for displaced persons, immigrants, and refugees, providing support and creating employment opportunities for newcomers to Canada and the United States. This Program includes personalized recruitment pages that makes it easy for jobseekers to introduce themselves to BMO and explore job opportunities in both Canada and the United States.

  • BMO and In February 2023, the bank announced it entered into a strategic relationship with, a leading source of multi-disciplinary resources in the Canadian immigration industry, to help newcomer customers make a smooth transition into their new lives. BMO and are working together to generate important financial literacy resources and materials to help newcomers as they settle in Canada.

To learn more about how BMO can help customers make financial progress visit

About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.15 trillion as of January 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 12 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and more inclusive society.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

For further information: Media contact: Anke Suwanda, Toronto,, (416) 867-3996