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 a GIC certificate from some of the most prominent leaders are 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 and how is it important?

GIC or the Guaranteed Investment Certificate is an investment scheme that is recommended for international students who wish to study in Canada for study programs that 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 that offer fixed returns to all eligible candidates over a period of time. This is a compulsory requirement that all students need to fulfill if they plan on pursuing a course under the student direct stream. 

There are three major banks that 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 a GIC certificate through each of these lenders.

What is the recommended GIC amount for international students?

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

Students can deposit anywhere between CAD 10,000 to CAD 50,000 in their respective savings accounts at a time. The basic Canada GIC process requires students to deposit a minimum of CAD 10,000 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 utilized 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.

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 that allow students to open a Canada GIC account:

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

The Scotiabank 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 fee charged by the bank is CAD 200. So, you need to deposit a total sum of CAD 10,200 as the GIC amount if you plan to choose Scotiabank’s services to open a GIC account for a Canadian 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 CAD 8,000 of the CAD 10,000 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 universities.
  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 that 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.

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

  1. 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. 
    -A copy of the passport ID page.
    -A copy of the college/university offer letter
  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

  1. SBI Canada does charge additional fees for the Canada GIC account services being rendered by them.
  2. SBI Canada charges CAD 150 if candidates send their GIC amount of CAD 10,000 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 CAD 150.
  3. While depositing their GIC Canada amount, students need to add the applicable processing fees to the minimum amount of CAD 10,000 and only then send this amount through wire transfer to SBI Canada.
  4. 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).
  5. 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 highly essential that they check the portal from time to time for any information related to the same.

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.

ICICI, Canada GIC process

In addition to the Scotiabank and SBI, Canada, the ICICI Bank also offers Canada GIC services. Since Scotiabank and SBI are more known to students, the GIC process of both the banks has been explained in detail. 

ICICI Bank, Canada conducts a typical Canada GIC process, you can visit their official website to know how their Canada GIC process which is more or less similar to the aforementioned explained GIC process.

Banks offering GIC Account Services


SBI, Canada 

ICICI bank, Canada

Mode of Registration




GIC + Processing Fee to be deposited

CAD 10,200 

CAD 10,100 (If depositing through SBI, India) 

CAD 10,150 (If depositing through other Indian Banks)

CAD 10,150 

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

CAD 25 

CAD 10 

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 for 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 to 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. Our team will also help you in GIC creation along with helping you in getting the education loan at the best deal possible.

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.