What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Canada?

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what is gic canada

One of the most essential prerequisites for studying in Canada is the proof of sufficient funds to cover your entire cost of living. For this, international students need to purchase a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). It is a mandatory requirement for all international students applying under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) category. This article describes what GIC Canada is, the three major banks that offer this particular service, and the registration process on how to get a GIC certificate from some of the major lenders to complete your visa application.

Also Read: Difference Between SDS and Non SDS Visa Application

What is GIC Canada?

Guaranteed Investment Scheme or GIC is a short-term investment scheme provided to international students for a period of 1 year. It is recommended for students who decide to study in Canada under the SDS program. To qualify for a Canadian Student Visa, all international students must deposit their proof of one year’s living expenses into a Canadian bank account. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the Upcoming Intakes in Canada for 2022-2023!

Why is GIC Compulsory for Canada?

GIC is required for the following reasons: 

  • It serves as a symbol of assurance/guarantee to the government of Canada that you have sufficient funds to meet your living expenses for one year in Canada.
  • It ensures the fast processing of the Canadian visa or application for a study permit. Candidates need to submit proof of the bank statements. A GIC of $10,000 CAD (approximately INR 5.95 lacs) acts as evidence of funds from the approved Canadian-based bank. 

Also Read: How to Get Canada Student Permit?

GIC Canada Amount for International Students

Students can deposit anywhere between CAD 10,000 to CAD 50,000 (approximately INR 6 lakhs – 29.79 lakhs) into their individual savings accounts at once. The Canadian GIC basic process requires students to deposit a minimum of CAD 10,000 (INR 5.95 lacs) with one of the Canadian embassy’s registered and recognized lenders. (Note: In 2023, the Canadian government increased the GIC GIC Amount for Canada from CAD 10,000 to CAD 20,635.)The remaining amount is used to open a non-redeemable account from which the international student will be able to receive the nominal amount, plus accrued interest within a set period. 

Non-Redeemable GIC Account

A non-redeemable GIC account refers to an account where international students can invest a certain sum of money for a particular time and benefit from a fixed rate of interest. After the validity period expires, students can take the remaining amount of GIC along with the applicable interest for the same period.

Must Read: Canada Work Permit

Is GIC Refundable?

No. GICs are non-refundable. The funds must be left in the GIC for the specified period before processing the withdrawal.  However, the GIC refund policy in Canada allows the person a refund within 14 days of application. In such circumstances, the bank will deduct CAD$ 15 from the processing fee

Prominent Banks Offering GIC Canada for International Students

Students have to file to open a GIC account at least a month before they apply for the visa. There are three major Canadian-based lenders which allow candidates to open a GIC Canada account. 

  • Scotiabank, Canada
  • SBI, Canada
  • The ICICI Bank, Canada
BanksScotiabank, CanadaSBI, CanadaICICI Bank, Canada
Registration ModeOnlineOnlineOnline
GIC + Processing Fee$10,200 CAD (INR 6.07 lacs)$10,150 CAD (INR 6.04 lacs) $10,100 CAD (SBI India) (INR 6.01 lacs)$10,150 CAD  (INR 6.04 lacs) 
Name of the Confirmation DocumentInvestment Directions  ConfirmationInvestment Declaration AdviceInvestment Balance Confirmation
GIC Amount Transfer ModeWire TransferWire TransferWire Transfer
GIC Refund Processing FeeDisclosed at the time refund$25 CAD (INR 1489)$10 CAD (INR 595)
GIC Redeem PeriodMinimum 12 Months (Can be extended)12th Months12 Months
Monthly Interest on GIC AmountDepends on the chosen program1.15%1.0%(p.a)

Also Read: Jobs with Work Permit in Canada

Registration Process of Scotiabank Canada 

Scotiabank is one of the superior banks in Canada and is considered the best international student choice for a Canadian GIC account. The Scotiabank Student GIC program for international students wishing to study in Canada involves the following process.

  • Register yourself with Scotiabank through an online medium. 
  • Deposit GIC of $10,000 CAD (INR 5.95 lacs) and $200 CAD (INR 12K) as a processing fee if you plan to choose Scotiabank services. 
  • After successful registration, you will receive the login details such as account number and wire transfer details. 
  • Scotiabank will send you a confirmation letter named “Investment Directions Confirmation”.
  • Candidates have to submit the letter to the embassy at the time of visa application.
  • Scotiabank will deposit $8,000 CAD (INR 4.76 lacs) out of $10,000 CAD (INR 5.95 lacs) into a non-redeemable account. International students can further withdraw a fixed amount on a monthly basis to support their daily expenses. 

Here are the documents you are required to submit at the time of the registration process: 

  • Investment directions confirmation letter
  • Valid passport
  • Letter of enrolment from the previous university
  • Study permit and offer letter

Enlisted are the documents of refund of the GIC account from Scotiabank:

  • Scotiabank Investment account number
  • A letter stating the reason for opening a GIC account
  • Original case number
  • Wire return bank details

Also Read: Canada Student Visa IELTS Band Requirements

Registration Process of SBI Bank Canada

The basic process remains the same, however, the Canadian GIC process offered by SBI is relatively a new concept to international students. 

  • Create an SBI GIC account and log in. 
  • To complete the registration process further, candidates need to upload a copy of their passport ID page and a copy of their academic transcripts. 
  • Before scanning and uploading them, sign them and mention the current date. 

Below are the documents required: 

  • Original passport
  • A copy of the Investment Declaration Advice
  • Letter of enrolment 
  • Study permit 

In case of a refund, SBI will refund the entire amount from the SBI GIC account under any of the circumstances mentioned in the paragraph. 

Must Read: Canada Visa Types


What is GIC in Canada?

GIC is a short-term investment scheme provided to international students for a period of 1 year. It is recommended for students who decide to study in Canada under the SDS program.

Why is GIC needed? 

GIC is needed to qualify students for a student visa to study in Canadian universities. It has become a mandatory requirement. 

Is GIC refundable?

All paid fees including the processing fee are non-refundable. 

What happens to GIC if the visa gets refused? 

In such cases, the bank will refund the balance available in your bank account after deducting the application fees. 

Can I withdraw my student GIC?

Yes. It is possible to withdraw the student GIC after arriving in Canada. However, students must provide proof that they have withdrawn enrollment from the Candian institution.

Also Read: UK vs India: Where to Study in 2023?

GIC Canada is a compulsory requirement for international students. It is proof of financial stability that ensures a smooth transition into the country. If you are confused about the application process to Canada for the January 2023 intake then call Leverage Edu.

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