I'm helping someone with a Canadian visitor visa application. The person in question resides in Russia, unfortunately doesn't have a bank account (and for various reasons doesn't want one), and keeps her savings as cash (mostly in US dollars). I'm trying to figure out a way to prove the existence of this cash to Canadian authorities. The best option I came up with so far is to open a USD bank account in one of the Russian banks, deposit the funds, get a statement, then withdraw the funds and close the account. However, the person in question is elderly and knowing her I'm concerned that she'd be stressed and intimidated by the level of bureaucracy involved, possible hidden account fees, the number of required trips to the bank, etc. So I'm wondering about other options, e.g.:
- Is it possible to buy traveler's cheques in Russia, that would be accepted in Canada? These would be ideal, because they would have her name, and a scan of the cheques would provide evidence of both the availability of funds and some evidence of her intent to use the funds for travel.
- Is there some equivalent of a money order in Russia? I.e. something that she could buy with minimum hassle without opening any accounts (ideally denominated in USD), scan and then cash it right away with minimum hassle.
- Finally, I thought of just submitting a photograph of her holding the USD bills. Is this a horrible idea?