This guide will outline the detailed steps on ‘How to open FHSA account.’ I will describe the steps I took to open an FHSA account by myself, sitting at home, just by using the Internet.

If you are planning to buy your first house in Canada, you should consider opening a First Home Savings Account (FHSA). I say this because an FHSA is a registered savings account that allows your investments to grow tax-free. Furthermore, withdrawals are also tax-free, provided they are used for buying your first house. Read the details here.

Other plans like RRSP will grow your funds tax-free; however, taxes will be incurred when you withdraw funds. Like FHSA, the Home Buyer Plan from RRSP allows you to grow and withdraw your funds tax-free, for the purpose of buying your first house. However, you need to repay the amount withdrawn from HBP within 15 years from the year following the year in which you withdrew the funds.

Considering the average price of houses in Canada (CAD 646,134), one needs to have a corpus of about CAD 60k-CAD 70k to manage all the expenses of buying a house (down payment, commissions, other charges). Considering the FHSA lifetime limit of $40,000, one can withdraw up to CAD 40,000 tax free for the purpose of buying his/her first house.

When you have a spouse, together you two can plan and withdraw tax free CAD 40,000 each (CAD 80,000 in total) for buying your first house.

Let us review the steps of “How to open FHSA by yourself using the internet“.

Eligibility to open FHSA

  1. Your age is 18 years or older and 71 years or younger on December 31 of the year in which you open FHSA. (Please check the minimum age to open an FHSA in your province. In certain provinces and territories, the legal age at which an individual can enter into a contract (which includes opening an FHSA) is 19 years old).
  2. You are a resident of Canada. You have a SIN number.
  3. You are a first time home buyer who has not lived in a qualifying home (owned by you, your spouse or common law partner) as your principal place of residence in this calendar year or in the previous 4 calendar years.

How to open FHSA

The steps you need to take, to open an FHSA account are:

Step 1: Select an FHSA issuer

An FHSA issuer is a bank, credit union, trust or an insurance company that can open your FHSA account.

Ex: RBC, TD Bank, Scotiabank, etc.

Step 2: Contact your FHSA issuer

Once you select your FHSA issuer, contact it to open your FHSA account. Most of them have the option to open an FHSA account online also.

Step 3: Share the required information with your FHSA issuer

Share the required information needed to register to FHSA like

  • your social insurance number (SIN number)
  • your date of birth
  • any supporting documents your issuer may need to certify that you are a qualifying individual

How to open FHSA online in RBC Bank 

You can open an online self-directed FHSA account in the RBC Bank, just by yourself. You do not need to visit the bank. You can do it online by following the below steps.

These are the steps which I took to open my FHSA account online.

Step 1: Go to RBC portal

Go to the RBC portal here.

Click on “Open An Account”.

Step 2: Register or login to your account

Basis whether you are an existing RBC customer or not click on one of the options.

Since I am an existing customer, I simply logged in using my current credentials. If you are not you will have to fill in the registration details to create an account first.

Step 3: Open an RBC Direct Investing Account

Once you log in, you need to open an RBC Direct Investing Account.

Click “Open An Account”.

Step 4: Select FHSA and fill in the information asked

Now select FHSA from the list of accounts given.

Now you will be asked about your SIN number and other information-Personal, Financial (Employment status, salary, net assets, etc.), Regulatory information.

Step 5: Read and accept the agreements to create your FHSA account

Once you have filled in all this information and hit continue, you will be directed to a page where you need to read and sign a number of agreements.

Once you read and accept all the documents, you get the prompt that your application has been successfully submitted.

Next Steps:

The next step is to wait for an email from RBC to the email id you mentioned while filling in the application. The email should be expected in the next 24-48 hours.


In conclusion, this guide has provided a comprehensive overview of the steps involved in opening an FHSA account, recounting my personal experiences and emphasizing the convenience of accessing this financial tool from the comfort of one’s home through online channels.

For individuals contemplating the purchase of their first house in Canada, the recommendation is to seriously consider the benefits of a First Home Savings Account (FHSA). This registered savings account not only facilitates tax-free growth of investments but also enables tax-free withdrawals when utilized for the purchase of a first home, aligning with the objectives of the Home Buyer Plan from RRSP.

It’s worth noting that while individuals can open multiple FHSA accounts, the lifetime limit remains at CAD 40,000. Even if no immediate deposits are planned, the advice is to open an account before December 31, 2023, to capitalize on a carry-forward limit of CAD 8,000 in 2024.

However, it is essential to disclose the FHSA in tax declarations. This strategic approach ensures a financial advantage for those planning to utilize the FHSA for their home purchase, further enhancing its potential benefits.

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