Car Loans for Non-Residents in Canada

Immigrants account for over 20% of the Canadian population, with just over 8 million foreigners living permanently in Canada.

However, non-residents may have trouble getting car loans. Many lenders consider them high-risk because they can return home before the loan is paid off. As a result, they must meet strict requirements.

This raises the question; how can non-residents in Canada avail of car loans? Find out here. 

Can Non-Residents Avail of Car Loans in Canada?

Yes, some auto loan companies may be willing to work with non-citizens, while others will only provide financing to those who hold specific visas.

Temporary residents with student visas, employer-sponsored visas, or permanent residents are more likely to secure a car loan than foreign workers on a provisional or seasonal work visa.

Specific requirements may vary from lender to lender, but most visas accepted are:

  • Study permit IMM1208 or IMM1442
  • Work permit IMM1102 or IMM1442
  • Permanent Resident Card IMM5688 or IMM5292

Documents for Car Loan Application by Non-Residents in Canada

Non-residents need the following requirements to avail of car loans in Canada:

Proof of Residence

Canadian Government issue citizenship cards to non-residents to confirm their residency status, and this application requires the following documents:

  • A copy of the personal data page of your passport or travel document
  • A permanent residency permit
  • A health insurance card
  • Original driving license
  • A letter from your licensing authority
  • The translations of your documentation if written in a foreign language.
  • An Affidavit from the translator.

Driver’s License

The province where you live issues your driver’s license; the rules are similar, but the specific regulations vary from region to region. 

You apply for a driver’s license by presenting a valid, non-expired passport and your home country’s driving license to verify its authenticity. 

However, if you need driving experience, you must take the vision, knowledge, and road tests at the local government institutions.

Proof of Employment or Income

Your proof of employment consists of your job offer letter. It should indicate the terms of employment and remuneration. If you are a part-time student, you can prove your employment and income by showing documentation from your employers.

Lenders will focus on your proof of income to see whether you earn enough to meet the monthly payments.

Proof of Insurance

You can apply for vehicle registration and car insurance with a Canadian citizenship card, as they are both vital for car financing in Canada.

Car insurance in Canada includes liability coverage which protects you against liabilities in an accident, and direct compensation, which offers protection in case of vehicle damage.

Social Insurance Number (SIN)

As an international student, getting your social security number is compulsory for you to qualify for a car loan in Canada. 

SIN is vital, especially for purchases over $10,000, since officials must file them at the local revenue agency for taxes. 

Once you have your SIN you can get a work permit and apply for an international car loan.

Student Permit

If you’re an international student applying for a car loan, you must submit your student and work permit. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada office will issue these documents to confirm your eligibility to study in the country.

Note that the expiry date of your study permit should be longer than your loan duration of 96 months, on average.

Work Permit

Obtain permission from the school to work on campus, off campus, or as an intern to get your work permit. 

You should have no difficulty getting the documents you need to begin working and earning money if you follow the instructions provided by the Canadian embassy. 

As you gradually make money, you can raise your credit score to qualify for a student auto loan.


Availing of car loans can be difficult for newcomers to Canada as lenders consider giving them high-risks. They need to submit tons of documents to satisfy lenders, but even then, it’s not 100% sure that their loan will be granted. 

If you are applying for a loan as a non-resident and are turned down, you still have other choices, such as auto leasing. Eventually, as you build up a credit history, your chances of getting approved will also increase. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Can a non-resident get a car loan in Canada?

Yes, non-residents can secure a car loan if they meet all the stated requirements and have all the documents mentioned earlier in the article.

Can a foreigner get a car loan without a credit score?

You can apply for a car loan without having a credit score by presenting your letter of employment or requesting a recommendation letter, a record of your good grades, and your course of study, as they will improve your chance of loan approval.

What is the minimum down payment for a non-resident?

If you are a temporary resident, you are eligible for car financing with a 25% downpayment when the loan exceeds $10,000.

Is my visa valid for a car loan in Canada?

Temporary residents with student visas, employer-sponsored visas, or permanent residents are more likely to secure a car loan than foreign workers on a provisional or seasonal work visa.

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