Do I or my children need to be Permanent Residents of Canada for me to open an RESP account and contribute?

Allan Madan, CA
 Oct 30, 2013


In order to open an RESP account, the subscriber and the beneficiaries (children) do not need to be Permanent Residents of Canada. However, the beneficiary is required to be a Canadian resident for tax purposes and have a valid SIN. For more information on residency status, please visit CRA page on Residency status

If you (subscriber) are or become a non-resident for Canadian tax purposes, you may be required to pay taxes on income earned in the RESP account and capital gains (as per rules of your resident country). If the beneficiary becomes a non-resident, the account can be maintained, but no contributions can be made and grants will not be provided. If the beneficiary becomes a Canadian resident again, contributions can be made again and grants will be provided.      

Further, the beneficiary does not have to be a Canadian resident to use the RESP money for post-secondary education. As well, the beneficiary can use the RESP money to attend a post-secondary school outside of Canada.


The information provided on this page is intended to provide general information. The information does not take into account your personal situation and is not intended to be used without consultation from accounting and financial professionals. Allan Madan and Madan Chartered Accountant will not be held liable for any problems that arise from the usage of the information provided on this page.

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