If you are a student from India, China, Vietnam or the Philippines, and you are planning to pursue your post-secondary studies in any Canadian province other than Quebec, you are eligible to purchase a guaranteed investment certificate (GIC) through SBI Canada (SBIC) Bank to meet the Government of Canada’s student visa financial requirements.
This guide explains the steps involved in applying for a GIC through the SBIC Student GIC Program.
Step 1 – Register for the program
Before you can submit your application for the GIC, you will need to register and set up a profile in the SBIC Student GIC Program Portal.
Click “Register” to access the new user registration screen.
- Fill in your first name and last name. These must be identical to those shown in your passport. If you don't have last name, please enter "No last name" in the respective field.
- Fill in your email address. This email address will be your username in the portal.
- Enter a password. Your password should be at least eight characters in length and contain at least one special character. Make a strong password by using a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special characters.
- Retype your password to confirm it.
- Select your country of residence.
- Click on the “I’m not a robot” button and click on the “Register” button to submit your registration request. You will receive an email notification from the portal administrator firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to verify your portal account.
- Click on the link to complete the registration process. If you do not receive the email link, please check your email account's spam or junk folders in case the message from email@example.com was filtered.
Once you have registered, you can access the online SBIC Student GIC Application Form.
Step 2 – Complete your application form
You must complete the SBIC Student GIC Application Form online. This will also require uploading copies of documents. Incomplete application forms and missing documents will delay the application process.
- Log in to the Student GIC program portal.
- Click on the “My application” tab from the menu.
- Click on “Create/Edit my SBI Canada Bank Student GIC Program Application Form".
- Follow the instructions and provide the required information.
- Print, sign and date the application form.
- Scan the signed application form and save it as a PDF.
- Prepare the following documents in PDF format:
- A copy of your passport identification page(s) (this must include your photograph, signature and address)
- A copy of your admission, acceptance or offer letter from a Canadian post-secondary institution (optional)
You must sign and date each of these documents to confirm their authenticity. Ensure that all the documents are scanned clearly and are legible. Illegible documents will not be accepted.
- Save the scanned PDF of the application form and accompanying documents to the portal as one document.
- Upload the PDF document in the portal.
- Click “submit” to submit your application.
Step 3 – Application review
We will review your application. This process may take up to five business days once we have received your complete application package.
If your application is complete, we will send you a confirmation message through the portal that includes the following information:
- Your SBIC Student GIC Investment Account number.
- Wire transfer details.
Please note that our primary way of communicating with you is through the portal. You should log in to the portal regularly to check for messages.
Step 4 – Transfer funds to Canada
Once you have your GIC investment account number and wire transfer details, you are ready to transfer CAD10,000 (ten thousand Canadian dollars), excluding fees, to purchase your GIC through SBI Canada Bank and meet Immigration Canada’s financial requirements for a student visa. Your bank can help you with the wire transfer. Please note that your bank, including the State Bank of India, may also charge you a fee. You are responsible for paying these fees.
SBI Canada Bank charges an administrative fee of CAD100 if the funds are sent through the State Bank of India and CAD150 if the funds are sent through the other banks.
SBI Canada Bank must receive CAD10,100 or CAD10,150 in full without any deductions, to process your GIC request and collect the required administrative fees.
If SBI Canada Bank receives less than the required amount, the funds will be returned to your bank account at the same bank where the original wire transfer was initiated and your GIC request will not be processed.
If your money is returned, you are responsible for paying any money transfer fees and all of the intermediary bank or correspondent bank charges as a result of the decline.
Please note that funds remitted 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) will not be accepted.
The wire transfer must be from a bank account in your country of residence that is exclusively in your own name or jointly held with your parent(s).
Please note that funds will be accepted only if the name of the sender and the beneficiary (i.e. the recipient) matches. Your bank must ensure that the wire transfer/MT103 should include the remitter/student name, account number and full address at Line 50 and the beneficiary/student name, account number and full address at Line 59. If the applicant/student doesn’t have a specific address in Canada, the student’s full address in the home country shall be provided in Line 59.
In case of any mismatch, the wire transfer will not be accepted. The funds will be returned to your bank account at the same bank where the original wire transfer was initiated and your GIC request will not be processed at your own risk and responsibility. Once you have initiated the wire transfer, please notify the bank through a portal message.
Once you have initiated the wire transfer, please notify the bank through a portal message.
Please note that international wire transfers take about five business days. It is up to you to allow adequate time for the funds to transfer, keeping in mind the time zone difference between your country and Canada and weekends or holidays in both countries.
Step 5 – Investment Confirmation
Approximately two business days after receiving the required funds, SBI Canada Bank will issue an Investment Declaration Advice that can be downloaded from the portal.
The Investment Declaration Advice will include the interest rate on the issue date for a one-year Student Investment Account. Our current Student Investment Account interest rates are shown on our Interest Rates page. All interest rates are subject to change from time to time.
Please print a copy of the Investment Declaration Advice and keep it for your records. You will need to submit a copy of this letter when you are applying for your study permit.
Step 6 – Apply for a study permit
When you apply for a study permit, you will need to show proof that you have a GIC of CAD10,000. The Investment Declaration Advice issued by SBI Canada Bank confirms that you meet this requirement. You will include this document when you apply to the Canadian High Commission for your study permit.
Please refer to the Canadian visa office in your location and the VFS Global website(s) for more information about the process and timelines for issuing study permits.
Step 7 – Confirm your identity in Canada
After you arrive in Canada, you will need to confirm your identity at an SBI Canada Bank branch or Canada Post location to activate your account and access your funds.
Visit an SBIC branch
- Visit your closest SBI Canada Bank branch to open a personal account and activate the GIC by providing the following documents:
- Original passport.
- Original study permit (i.e. IMM 1442) issued by the Canadian High Commission.
- Original letter of enrollment issued OR Student ID card issued by your Canadian educational institution.
- A printout of the Investment Declaration Advice issued by SBIC.
Visit a Canada Post location
If you can’t visit an SBI Canada Bank branch, you can also verify your credentials at a Canada Post location. You must do this within 180 days of arriving in Canada.
To verify your credentials at a Canada Post location, access your Student GIC portal, go to My Application tab and select Activate My Account menu, complete the Activate My Account application. Then create and print/save the Canada Post ID Verification Instruction Document. Finally at the same menu of Student GIC Portal view/print your Student GIC account statement When visiting Canada Post location present the following documents to the staff to verify your identity:
- Original passport.
- DSS number and unique 2D barcode.
- Student GIC statement that shows your Canadian mailing address.
Canada Post will allow 3 attempts to verify the identity. Failing to do so would require you to visit the SBI Canada branch in person.
Step 8 – How your investment will be repaid
Once SBI Canada Bank has confirmed your identity, either within a branch or at a Canada Post location, we will transfer the CAD10,000 originally deposited into the SBIC Student GIC Investment Account into two new accounts that we will open in your name:
- A Super Saver or Chequing account: We will credit CAD2,000 plus any accrued interest to your SBIC Student GIC Investment Account. You can access these funds right away.
- A Non-Redeemable Student GIC account: We will invest the residual amount of CAD8,000 in a non-redeemable/non-renewable GIC account with a one-year term. These funds will be paid to you in equal instalments over a 12-month period and credited to your Super Saver or Chequing account.
For interest rates and the terms and conditions of non-redeemable GIC, Super Saver and Chequing accounts, please see our Interest Rates page.
You are responsible for ensuring that you have adequate resources to meet your living expenses in Canada.
Step 9 – Claiming a refund
Are you eligible for a refund?
There may be circumstances when you no longer require your student GIC investment and you are eligible to request a refund of your CAD10,000 investment. These include:
- The Canadian High Commission declined your application for a study permit. In this case, you must submit proof of the refusal issued by the Canadian visa office in your country along with your refund application.
- The Canadian educational institution you applied to declined your admission. In this case, you must submit proof of the refusal issued by the Canadian educational institution along with your refund application.
- The Canadian educational institution approved your admission, but you have decided not to pursue your studies and have withdrawn before arriving in Canada. In this case, you must submit a copy of your passport page showing the cancelled study permit issued by the Canadian visa office.
- After making your Student GIC investment, you decided not to apply for a Canadian study permit. In this case, SBI Canada Bank will contact the Canadian visa office to confirm that your visa application was not filed. Your refund request will be subject to this confirmation.
- After arriving in Canada, you withdrew your enrolment from the educational institution. In this case, you have to provide SBI Canada Bank with:
- A copy of your passport showing the cancelled study permit issued by the Canadian visa office.
- Proof that you have returned to your country, such as a self-attested copy of the passport page showing the entry date stamped by the immigration authorities at the airport as proof of your return.
How to claim your refund:
Complete and print the refund application form from the portal and sign and upload a scanned copy of the refund application along with any required document(s) mentioned above (as applicable) through the portal.
Your refund application must contain all the required documents/information to be processed. If your refund application is incomplete, we will return it to you with an explanation to help you correct the mistake and provide the missing information or documents. You must revise and re-submit the application after making the necessary correction(s) and attaching all the required documents.
- SBI Canada Bank might contact the Canadian High Commission in your country to confirm your application status (for example, the refusal or the cancellation status of the study permit). The refund process will be strictly subject of receiving this confirmation from the Canadian authorities.
- It may take up to four weeks to process your refund request.
- Once your request has been approved by the Canadian High Commission, SBI Canada Bank will cancel your investment. SBI Canada Bank will redeem the outstanding balance from your SBIC Student GIC Investment Account, along with accumulated interest, and wire the funds to the same bank account and the same bank from which the wire transfer initially originated.
- The original administrative fee of CAD100/CAD150 is not refundable.
- SBI Canada Bank will deduct a money transfer fee of CAD25 from the eligible refund amount.
- Please note that additional fees may be charged by intermediary banks or correspondent banks during the wire transfer of the refund. You are responsible for paying any additional fees as charged by the intermediaries’ correspondents during the refund process.
- SBI Canada Bank will notify you through a portal message confirming the transfer of funds and the closure of the accounts.