The Canada GIC process is a compulsory requirement for all international students who wish to study in Canada under the SDS (Student Direct Stream) programs recommended by the Canadian government. However, a lot of students are still confused about the exact Canada GIC Process. This article throws light on the Canada GIC process of the three most prominent banks which offer this particular service. The entire details of how to get GIC certificate from some of the most prominent lenders is explained in detail here.

Before we take a look at the exact procedure which students need to follow regarding the Canada GIC process, let us understand the concept of a GIC account. 

What is GIC? Is GIC Compulsory for Canada?

GIC or the Guaranteed Investment Certificate is an investment scheme which is recommended for international students who wish to study in Canada for study programs which come under the SDS (Student Direct Stream). All international students are required to deposit their one year’s living expenses into a Canada-based bank in order to qualify for a student visa to study in Canada. 

As the name goes, GIC accounts are basically savings accounts which offer fixed returns to all the eligible candidates over a period of time.

This is a compulsory requirement which all students need to fulfil if they plan on pursuing a course under the student direct stream. There are three major banks which offer these services to international students who have currently been enrolled in Canadian universities/colleges. This article will give you the complete details of how to get GIC certificate through each of these lenders.

What is the Recommended GIC Canada Amount for International Students?

The Canadian embassy has recommended a minimum of $10,000 CAD as the GIC amount for Canada student visa. All candidates need to deposit this GIC amount for Canada student visa.

Students can deposit anywhere between $10,000 CAD to $50,000 CAD  in their respective savings accounts at a time. The basic Canada GIC process requires students to deposit a minimum of $10,000 CAD with any of the lenders registered and recognized by the Canadian embassy.

These lenders deposit some portion of the said GIC Canada amount into a savings account and the remaining amount is utilised to open a non-redeemable account from which students will be able to receive a nominal amount, plus any interest which may have accumulated over the prescribed time frame.

Non-Redeemable GIC Account

A non-redeemable GIC account basically refers to an account in which students get to invest a certain sum for a particular length of time and get to enjoy the benefits of a fixed interest rate for that period of time. Once the term is over, students get to encash the remaining GIC amount along with the applicable interest for the same period.  

What is the Process of Opening a GIC Account?

Candidates need to begin the process of opening a GIC account at least a month before they apply for a Canada student visa. There are three major banks which allow students to open a Canada GIC account:

  1. Scotiabank, Canada
  2. SBI, Canada
  3. The ICICI Bank, Canada

The general procedure followed by all the three banks is more or less, similar. Here is a basic outline of how students can get their proof of GIC amount for Canada student visa:

Registration Process

  1. Register for a GIC account with any of the above banks which are located in Canada. This procedure can be done online.
  2. Upon successful creation of their GIC account login, respective banks send the investment account number and wire transfer details to students via their individual secure email services.
  3. Once they receive their GIC account number and wire transfer details from their respective lenders, candidates may send the Canada GIC amount via wire transfer from their home country to the bank with which they had registered for a GIC account. This process may roughly take about 10 - 12 days.
  4. All the three banks charge a separate service fee for their GIC services. The final amount which is prescribed to candidates is including this fee. Out of the  $10,000 CAD, $2000 CAD is provided to students as the initial set-up fee. The remaining $ 8000 CAD is deposited into the investment account. Students will be able to receive a monthly sum of $667 CAD, plus any applicable interest to support their expenses for the remaining period of their stay in Canada.
  5. Once the payment of the GIC amount has been successfully completed, banks send a letter confirming the receipt of the GIC amount payment via email to the concerned students. Candidates may submit this letter at the time of applying for their Canada student visa. 

Actions to be Taken By Students On Arriving in Canada:

  1. When students arrive in Canada, they will be required to personally visit the respective banks in which they have opened their Canada GIC account, along with certain documents for a final verification procedure and to activate their GIC student account.
  2. Post the verification of relevant documents by the bank authorities, a personal deposit account will be created in the student’s name and the initial set-up fees of $2000 CAD will be deposited into this account. The balance amount of $8,000 CAD will be deposited into a non-redeemable GIC account. Once the students have completely utilised the initial set up cost, they will be able to withdraw their monthly allowance from this non-redeemable GIC account.

Canada GIC Amount Refund Process

It is possible for students to get their GIC account amount refunded from their respective banks in the following circumstances.

  1. Their study permit has been declined.
  2. Application of admission has been declined.
  3. If the student has withdrawn from enrolment into the respective university before/after arrival in Canada.

The Canada GIC refund policy implemented by all the three banks is mostly similar. Candidates need to follow the below steps in order to get their GIC amount reimbursed.

  1. Students will be required to provide relevant documents supporting their reason for applying for the refund.
  2. The list of documents to be provided by candidates differs from lender to lender.
  3. Once all the documents have been verified successfully, banks will initiate the refund process. As soon as the refund process has been completed successfully, the respective banks send a confirmation email regarding the same.
  4. The entire Canada GIC refund process may take up to 4 weeks. 
  5. Banks may levy extra charges for the same. Hence, students need to cater to the same while applying for their refund.

As mentioned in the previous paragraphs, the basic process for opening a GIC account remains the same for all the three banks. So what sets them apart? Let’s take a look at the Canada GIC account process of different banks with respect to the document requirements, refund policies and processing fees.

Canada GIC Process: The Scotiabank Student GIC Program

Scotiabank is one of the premium banks in Canada and it happens to be one of the top choices of Indian students for a Canada GIC account. The Scotiabank student GIC program for international students who wish to study in India involves the following process.

Registration Process

  1. The Canada GIC account registration process of Scotiabank is conducted online. The registration fees charged by the bank is $200 CAD. So, you need to deposit a total sum of $10,200 CAD as the GIC amount if you plan to choose Scotiabank’s services to open a GIC account for a Canada student visa.
  2. Once the registration is done successfully and your GIC account login has been created, Scotiabank sends the Scotiabank Investment account number and wire transfer details to students.
  3. An ‘Investment Directions Confirmation’ is the confirmation letter provided by Scotiabank to international students once their GIC account has been created.
  4. This letter can be submitted at the embassy by students at the time of their visa process.
  5. Scotiabank deposits $8,000 CAD of the $10,000 CAD into a non-redeemable GIC account. A non-redeemable GIC account basically can be treated as a savings account in which you are required to deposit a certain principal amount for a stipulated time period.
  6. Out of the total GIC amount deposited to this account, students get to withdraw fixed amounts every month to support their daily living expenses. Once the promised duration is over, the entire GIC amount can be encashed by students entirely if they choose to discontinue their stay in Canada.

Actions to be taken by students to activate their Scotiabank GIC accounts upon arriving in Canada

On arriving in Canada, students are required to submit the following documents at their nearest Scotiabank branch in order to activate their Canada GIC account.

  1. The investment directions confirmation letter
  2. A valid foreign passport.
  3. The letter of enrolment from the students’ respective university.
  4. The study permit and welcome letter.

The Scotiabank GIC Refund Policy

The Scotiabank GIC refund policy is pretty straightforward. In order to get a full refund of your GIC account opened with Scotiabank, the following details and documents are to be submitted online.

  1. Scotiabank Investment account number.
  2. Wire return bank account details
  3. The original case number and a letter stating the reason for applying for a refund, if applicable.

Once all of the above details have been verified, Scotiabank will initiate the refund process. Once this is done, Scotiabank sends a confirmation email which will include the ICN ( Internal Control Number). The entire process may take up to 4 weeks time. Extra charges are applicable for the refund process as per the Scotiabank GIC refund policy.

Read More About Canada Education Loan: GIC & loan Process in detail

SBI Canada GIC Process

The Canada GIC process offered by SBI Canada is a relatively new concept to Indian students who wish to study in Canada. The basic process remains the same. However, certain features of the GIC process which are specific to SBI Canada will be explained here.

Registering for the SBI Canada GIC Process

  • Students can create their respective SBI GIC account login online by registering on SBI Canada’s website. The scanned copies of the following documents have to be uploaded on the website in order to complete the registration process.
  1. A copy of the passport ID page.
  2. A copy of the college/university offer letter

Before scanning each of the documents mentioned in the list above, make sure that you sign them with the correct date. The documents should be clear and legible or else, the upload will not be successful.

  • The investment account created by SBI for the purpose of depositing the Canada GIC amount is called a super saver/chequing account. Post this step, the remaining steps are similar to that of the Scotiabank registration process.

Application Review Process

  • This step is an extra addition to the SBI Canada GIC process. Once students submit their duly filled application form along with the scanned copies of the relevant documents on their portal, SBI Canada will take another 5 days to review a candidate’s application.
  • Once the application has been reviewed and confirmed, candidates will receive a letter of confirmation or the Investment Declaration Advice from SBI Canada, along with their Canada GIC account details and wire transfer details. Post this, the Canada GIC amount can be deposited into their super saver account by students.
  • The Investment Declaration Advice can be submitted by candidates at the time of applying for a Canada study permit/ student visa.

Transferring The Canada GIC Amount to SBI Canada

  • SBI Canada does charge additional fees for the Canada GIC account services being rendered by them.
  • SBI Canada charges $150 CAD if candidates send their GIC amount of $10,000 CAD through any lender other than the State Bank of India. For students who send the GIC amount through any of the Indian branches of the SBI, the processing fees are $100 CAD.
  • While depositing their GIC Canada amount, students need to add the applicable processing fees to the minimum amount of $10,000 CAD and only then send this amount through wire transfer to SBI Canada.
  • SBI Canada will not accept wire transfer of the GIC Canada amount through service providers such as money exchange houses, money transfer services, money services businesses or any third-party services (such as parents, relatives or friends).
  • All candidates need to note that important information regarding their Canada GIC process with SBI Canada will be available only on the online portal. Hence, it is extremely essential that they check the portal from time to time for any information related to the same.

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Actions to be taken by the candidates on arriving in Canada

All candidates who have opened their GIC accounts with SBI Canada are required to visit the SBI Canada branch nearest to their location and submit the following documents in order to activate their accounts.

  1. Original passport.
  2. Original study permit (i.e. IMM 1442) issued by the Canadian High Commission.
  3. Original letter of enrollment issued OR Student ID card issued by your Canadian educational institution.
  4. A printout of the Investment Declaration Advice issued by SBIC.

If students are not able to find the nearest SBI Canada branch, they can also visit any of the Canada post locations near them. You can find the details of the same on the official SBI Canada website.

SBI GIC Canada Amount Refund Policy

SBI Canada will refund a candidate’s entire GIC amount in any of the circumstances mentioned in the paragraph which states the numerous circumstances under which students may apply for a refund in the Canada GIC process. The SBI Canada GIC process for refund will take close to 6 to 8 weeks to be completed.

In addition to the Canada GIC process of the Scotiabank and SBI, Canada, the ICICI Bank also offers Canada GIC services. Since the Canada GIC process of Scotiabank and that of SBI, Canada is more known to students, the Canada GIC process of both the banks has been explained in detail. Do visit their official website to know how ICICI Bank, Canada conducts a typical Canada GIC process.

Banks Offering GIC Account Services




SBI, Canada


ICICI Bank, Canada


Mode of Registration





GIC + Processing Fee to be deposited


$10,200 CAD

$10,100 (If depositing through SBI, India)$10,150 CAD (If depositing through other Indian Banks)

$10,150 CAD

Name of The Confirmation Document


Investment Directions Confirmation

Investment Declaration Advice

Investment Balance Confirmation

Mode of Transfer of GIC Amount


Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer

Wire Transfer

GIC Lock-in period


Minimum 12 months. Can be extended

12 months

12 months

GIC Refund processing fee (non-refundable)


Disclosed at the time of refund

$25 CAD

$10 CAD

Interest benefits on top of monthly GIC amount


Depends on the chosen program


1.0% p.a

Types of Funding Accepted By the Embassy to Study in Canada

There are three different ways of funding your higher education in Canada. The first involves winning fully or partially funded scholarships to study in Canada in reputed institutions. The second method is self-funding. Very few students who wish to study in Canada can afford to self-fund their entire expenses in Canada. Although a lot of public universities offer courses at zero tuition fees, the living expenses can be quite high for candidates who wish to study in Canada. Hence, a majority of these students opt for the third source which is borrowing an abroad education loan. 

Now, one of the major problems of borrowing a Canada education loan from any of the prominent government banks is that many students are not able to secure a pre-visa disbursement so that they can transfer the Canada GIC account amount in time. This is where the assistance of the WeMakeScholars team comes in handy. The financial team of WeMakeScholars is well-versed with the financial requirements that are to be fulfilled by students who wish to study in Canada with the help of a Canada education loan.

Also, the core team of WeMakeScholars has been responsible for a lot of significant policy changes adopted by most prominent government banks. One such change is getting these banks to approve pre-visa disbursements as and when the students require it. So, when students apply for an education loan to study in Canada through WeMakeScholars, they seldom face any difficulty in getting the same. If you are looking to fund your higher studies in Canada with the help of an education loan, do get in touch with our team today and get to experience an easy education loan process with the lender recommended to you by our team of experts.

Note: WeMakeScholars is an organization funded and supported by the Government of India that focuses on International Education finance. We are associated with 10+ public/Pvt banks/ NBFCs in India and help you get the best abroad education loan matching your profile. As this initiative is under the Digital India campaign, it is free of cost. The organization has vast experience dealing with students going to various abroad education destinations like the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy, China, France among others