What is GIC or a Guaranteed Investment Certificate?

Canada has always been on the top of the list of the most preferred destination for international students. Thanks to the easy and convenient immigration process to Canada and the friendly attitude of people here who accept and respect all the cultures. Students always feel welcome here and love to make Canada their second home!

Right from the top and prestigious Colleges and Universities to huge career opportunities, Canada is no doubt the first choice of students. 

If you are already studying in Canada, you must know by now what is a GIC account. However, if you are planning to come to Canada for your higher education, then you should be knowing everything about the GIC account. 

What is a GIC account in Canada for International students?

A GIC is an investment account for international students which is offered to them by a Canadian Bank through the Study Direct Stream (SDS) Program.

Under this account, the students must deposit an amount which is usually CAD 10,000 + bank fee (which usually ranges from $150-200). This account is offered by a Canadian Bank.

This money is considered as proof of funds and is given to the international student every month for one whole year of their study and maintenance expenses along with interest.

What is the SDS to Study Direct Stream Program?

Students can apply to the Colleges in Canada through two programs:

  1. Study Direct Stream Program (SDS)
  1. General Application (College Wise)

Study Direct Stream is a program developed by the Government of Canada and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) for students from India, China, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam. Other places where the SDS is also available to legal residents are Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines, Trinidad, and Tobago.

Because of this program, the application procedure and visa processing of students to Canadian universities become much simple and smooth. 

The students applying under SDS (Study Direct Stream) category have more choices and options as far as Colleges and Universities are concerned as compared to the other category which is explained below.

The other way by which the students can apply to study in Canadian Colleges is the General Applications way. Under this method, a student can first select a particular college followed by a particular course and then apply for it.

Students must make separate applications for each college, unlike the SDS. 

What are the eligibility criteria for this program?

To be a part of this program, international students must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – Minimum band score of 6.0 or higher in each language skill: listening, reading, writing, and speaking
  2. Students must be able to prove that the first-year tuition fee is paid
  3. Letter of acceptance from the College (post-secondary DLI)
  4. College Transcripts
  5. Medical Examination
  6. Guaranteed Investment Certificate ($10,000 CAD): MANDATORY
  7. Police Certificate if required*
  8. Students must be living outside Canada at the time of application

If a student is studying in Canada under SDS category, a GIC account is mandatory without which they cannot get a study permit in Canada. 

How To Open a GIC Account?

Opening a GIC Account is a pretty simple process.

  1. Select the bank where you would like to open the GIC or Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) Account. Always choose the banks which have a lot of ATMs in Canada, especially in or around the place of your stay.
  2. Register for your GIC account online as most banks have this feature. Your documents and identity proofs such as Passport Copy and/or Proof of Enrollment (if available) etc. would be required.
  3. Students will be notified about the payment instructions by email and will get their Account Number as well. They must transfer the funds through “Wire Transfer” to the GIC Account.
  4. After this, the students will get Investment Balance Confirmation through email only after the funds are credited to their GIC Account. Then they can apply for a Canadian Study Permit using this document.
  5. Finally, once you land in Canada, visit your bank branch where you opened GIC account. This is important for in-person verification. Once when this step is completed, the GIC account would be activated.

Documents required for opening a GIC Account

  • Passport Copy (first and last page) 
  • Copy of acceptance letter from Canadian University/College

How does a GIC Account work?

At first, the student Wire Transfers CA$10,000 + bank fee to the account.

Please note that the bank fee usually ranges from $150 to $200.

Post arrival in Canada, $2000 will be transferred from the GIC account into the student bank account.

GIC Account now has a total of 8000 CAD. Students receive a monthly sum of approximately $667 added by an interest amount for 12 months. These funds are provided to ensure that the students have sufficient money for their study expenses in Canada.

After 12 months, you would have received your $10,000 back along with the interest.

Various banks in Canada that offer this service

  1. Bank of Montreal 
  2. HSBC Bank of Canada 
  3. Scotiabank 
  4. Royal Bank of Canada 
  5. CIBC

Students must make sure they do their research well before selecting the bank in which they want to open their GIC Accounts. It is always beneficial to choose the one which has a lot of branches and ATMs so that it is convenient to go to the branch for any queries or follow-ups!

All the best!
Source: GIC Account Canada

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