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I am a US resident and want to take money out of my superannuation municipal plan and have it converted to an RRSP. However, some banks don't allow you to obtain a self directed RRSP if you are not living in Canada. How can I do this?

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I had this problem when I finished my job in Canada in Sept 2013.

You'll likely have to open the account in person in Canada, at least if you don't already have a relationship with a broker there.

DO NOT go to Virtual Brokers. They told me that my US citizenship was no problem, but right before I left Canada to double check. It wasn't until I asked specifically which US states they were licensed in that they realized they were licensed in NO US STATES. They told me that they'd freeze my account when I left.

I then moved my (former) pension to a locked-in RRSP at BMO. As of September 2010 BMO could handle residents of most US states, but it took some tooth pulling to get the list out of them. However, after I flew to the USA, BMO called to demand more ID. My account was frozen until I flew back to Canada in person just to show ID.

Annoyed, I closed the BMO account and moved it to TD Waterhouse. TD waterhouse can handle accounts for residents of all the US states EXCEPT Virginia, Louisiana, and Nebraska. (I only got the complete list of exceptions when I made my first trade, since the guys at the trading desk are much more knowledgeable about such things than the guys in the branch.) TD was extremely friendly about my USA citizenship/residence. (Many Canadian brokers simply won't accept US residents, at least as of the end of 2013.)

Whichever broker you choose, BRING LOTS MORE ID than they require. Insist that they zerox it all. Make sure to include your social security card. You don't want them to demand more ID after you've left the country, like BMO did. They may even make such a move simply to get rid of US customers, because the FATCA is a pain for foreign banks.

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