Who can open a TFSA?

Any individual who is 18 years of age or older and who has a valid social insurance number (SIN) is eligible to open a TFSA.


Any individual that is a resident of Canada who has a valid SIN and who is 18 years of age or older is eligible to open a TFSA.

Any individual that is a non-resident of Canada who has a valid SIN and who is 18 years of age or older is also eligible to open a TFSA. However, any contributions made while a non-resident will be subject to a 1% tax for each month the contribution stays in the account. For more information, see Non-residents of Canada.

You cannot open a TFSA or contribute to one until you turn 18. However, when you turn 18, you will be able to contribute up to the full TFSA dollar limit for that year.


Julie turns 18 on May 13, 2021. She will not be able to open and contribute to a TFSA until that date. However, from May 13, 2021, she can open a TFSA and contribute up to the full 2021 TFSA dollar limit.


In certain provinces and territories, the legal age at which an individual can enter into a contract (which includes opening a TFSA) is 19. In this case, when the individual turns 19 and is able to enter into a contract in that jurisdiction, the TSFA contribution room for the year an individual turns 18 is carried over to the following year.

Non-residents of Canada?

You could be considered a non-resident for tax purposes if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • you normally, customarily, or routinely live in another country and are not considered a resident of Canada
  • you do not have residential ties in Canada; and either one of the following situations applies:
    • you live outside Canada throughout the tax year
    • you stay in Canada for less than 183 days in the tax year

Even if you no longer live in Canada, you could have residential ties in Canada that are enough for you to be considered a factual or deemed resident of Canada. In these cases, the regular rules for opening a TFSA still apply.

Residential ties include:

  • a home in Canada
  • a spouse or common-law partner or dependants in Canada
  • personal property in Canada, such as a car or furniture
  • social ties in Canada

Other ties that can be relevant include:

  • Canadian driver's licence
  • Canadian bank accounts or credit cards
  • hospitalization and medical insurance coverage from a province or territory of Canada

For more information on residential ties, see Income Tax Folio S5-F1-C1, Determining an Individual’s Residence Status or call the International Enquiries for Individuals and Trusts at one of the following numbers: 

1-800-959-8281 (from anywhere in Canada and the United States)

613-940-8495 (from outside Canada and the United States) 

We accept collect calls by automated response. You may hear a beep and experience a normal connection delay.

If you become a non-resident of Canada, or are considered to be a non-resident for income tax purposes:

  • you will be allowed to keep your TFSA and you will not be taxed in Canada on any earnings in the account or on withdrawals from it
  • no TFSA contribution room will accrue for any year throughout which you are a non-resident of Canada
  • any withdrawals made during the period that you were a non-resident will be added back to your TFSA contribution room in the following year, but will only be available if you re-establish your Canadian residency status for tax purposes

You can contribute to a TFSA up to the date that you become a non-resident of Canada. The annual TFSA dollar limit is not prorated in the year of emigration or immigration.

If you make a contribution, except for a qualifying transfer or an exempt contribution, while you are a non-resident, you will be subject to a 1% tax for each month the contribution stays in the account. You can also be liable for other taxes. For more information, see Tax payable on non-resident contributions.

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