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Foreign currency exchange and rules in Canada

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Looking to get some currency exchange for your next travel?

Exchange of foreign currency is necessary for trade and travel and the same applied to our Canada too. You may be visiting another country and need to convert some Canadian dollars to the local currency.

Travelers coming into Canada can also exchange their currency into Canadian dollars before or after they arrive. Those who are arriving with over $10,000 in Canada, have to declare it at the customers before they enter the country. This amount could either be in the form of check, cash, or other monetary instruments.

There are many ways to exchange your foreign currency with varying fees.

Foreign currency exchange law in Canada

The Canadian foreign exchange laws allow the movement of funds both to and fro from the country. You can freely buy and sell any foreign currency with a few exceptions (discussed later).

Businesses can transact with foreign currencies and make or receive payments using them within the country.

How to exchange foreign currency in Canada?

Whenever you exchange any foreign currency, you are engaging in buying and selling foreign funds at a set price known as the exchange rate. You can check the conversion rates of different currencies against Canadian dollar using the online converter of Bank of Canada.

There are many ways to exchange your foreign currency.

Foreign currency desks

All airports and major hotels have foreign currency desks in Canada. You can exchange your currency in Canadian dollars by visiting them in person.

It is advisable to use them only on emergencies, as they tend to have very high fees.

Banks and financial institutions

Banks have somewhat favorable fees when it comes to exchanging your foreign currency. You can directly send money by funds transfer or bank wire and have it converted to Canadian dollars.

Canadian banks are also suitable platforms to purchase foreign currencies. You can use net banking or phone to place your order and have it delivered to your account.

Foreign funds black market

Though it is illegal, a black market dealing in foreign currency exists in many countries. It operates outside the regulatory framework and vulnerable to scams and frauds.

You can get arrested in the process of exchanging your currency- so it’s better to stay away!

Restricted currencies

Certain currencies are restricted in Canada and much difficult to exchange. Many reasons including economical and political factors along with intervention by the financial institutions can make a currency restricted.

The list of restricted currencies changes from time to time, so you have to keep a tab on the latest updates. Some examples of restricted currencies include the Angolan kwanza, Iranian rial, North Korean won, Nepalese Rupee and so on.

Summarizing the above

Apart from few countries, you can freely buy and sell foreign currency in Canada. The mostly traded foreign currency is the US dollar followed by other ones like UK pound sterling, European euro, Australian dollar, Hong Kong dollar.

It’s advisable to check the rates and fees thoroughly before you proceed to exchange any foreign currency.