Why is Canada one of the most sought-after study abroad destinations? Many reasons attract students from all over the world to Canada. Indian students aspire to study in Canada as it offers globally-recognized universities & coursework, an effective education system, immigration friendly policies, a large student community from India and more. If you plan to study in Canada like several other students, here is everything you must know about Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Before diving into GIC, you must know SDS because if you apply for a study permit under SDS, GIC is mandatory for you. So, what is SDS? SDS is a program available to students from various countries, including India, to apply for a study permit. If you have obtained admission to complete your higher education through a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you can apply under this scheme. The SDS program is meant to expedite the study permit process. Now that you know about SDS, let’s understand everything about GIC.

What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate?

GIC is mandatory for students applying under the SDS program. The GIC is an investment that many Canadian banks, including Scotiabank, offer at a fixed rate of return. The Canadian Government needs an assurance that you have enough funds to pay your fees and manage your other living expenses when you stay in Canada. Hence it requires you to have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAD 10,000 or more from any Canadian bank listed on the IRCC SDS website.

How can you open a Guaranteed Investment Certificate account?

You must opt for a Canadian bank listed on the IRCC website. Banks such as Scotiabank and ICICI bank offer a GIC. Also, please bear in mind that the Canadian banks may charge you a service fee to open and maintain the GIC account. So check these details before you open an account.

Steps to open a GIC account:
  1. Visit the website of the respective lender that you have chosen to open your account to create your Guaranteed Investment Certificate account login. Create the account using a secure email ID that will be used for further communication. Fill the online application form and upload all the necessary documents as listed on the respective bank’s website.
  2. You will receive an Investment Account Number and wire transfer details on your email ID that you used while creating the GIC account.
  3. Using these details, you can wire transfer the amount, including the service fee, from your home country to your Guaranteed Investment Certificate account in Canada.
  4. You will receive a confirmation certificate from the bank, which you can use to process your study permit.
  5. Once you arrive in Canada, you will have to complete the documentation and verification process to access the Guaranteed Investment Certificate account. However, some portion of the investment will be converted into a non-redeemable amount that you can withdraw at fixed intervals. For instance, if you have invested CAD 10,000, you can access CAD 2,000, which will be deposited in your personal account. The remaining CAD 8,000 will be non-redeemable for one year. This amount will be released in equal instalments, including the interest accrued, to support your living and other expenses after one year.
Things to remember
  1. The registration, documentation and verification process will slightly vary depending on the bank with GIC facility.
  2. Please visit the bank you have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate account with to complete the verification process to activate your GIC account.
  3. Some important documents you require for verification will include a confirmation letter provided to you after you opened the Guaranteed Investment Certificate account, a valid passport, a letter from your university confirming your admission and study permit.

So, this is what you must know about Guaranteed Investment Certificate if you are planning to study in Canada. If you are wondering how to finance your education while studying abroad, an overseas education loan is the best choice. At Avanse, we offer an educational loan for abroad that covers the holistic cost of education, including tuition fees, accommodation costs, living expenses, airfare, study material cost and other education-related expenses. You can connect with us if you want to know more about an overseas education loan to fund your education independently. All the best!

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