All research for this article was conducted in June, 2019.
Let’s imagine for a moment:
You want to go to college in Canada. You’ve studied hard your whole life, put in the time, landed good grades. You’ve looked up colleges and universities, found the right program, and spent hours putting together applications. And now you’ve received your letter of acceptance, promising you admission, a Canadian education, and a clear path to a great career and long-term immigration in Canada. You’re so close. Now all that’s left is to apply for your study permit.
If you’re living in China, India, the Philippines, or Vietnam, you can get your Canadian study permit processed in 20 days, thanks to a new expedited application system for study permits called the Student Direct Stream, or SDS. Additionally, while the SDS started with just those four countries, residents of Pakistan, Morocco, and Senegal are now also eligible for the stream.
A major requirement to apply for your study permit through the Student Direct Stream is submitting a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) showing you have an investment account with a balance of CAD $10,000 or higher.
We know that you have a lot to get ready for your studies in Canada: booking a flight, finding a place to live, trying to sign up for a class schedule that will let you sleep in on Fridays! You may not have time to research all the banks to find out which bank offers the best GIC for you. So, we’ve done all the research for you! We’ve put together a side-by-side comparison of all the top Canadian banks providing GICs to figure out the option that’s the fastest, easiest, and most affordable.
After putting together all of our research, one option stands above the others: the CIBC Student GIC program is the best option on the market. With more than 150 years in the market, an easy online application process, and a free student bank account when you arrive in Canada, CIBC bank is not only the most affordable option — it makes the most sense for other reasons too.. Take a look at our research below to see exactly how we figured this out. And, for a limited time, we’ve actually partnered up with CIBC to offer Moving2Canada users a great deal. Sign up for your CIBC Student GIC and use referral code M2C in your application to receive a bonus of CAD $25* just for choosing CIBC.
The Student Direct Stream: Why do you need a GIC?
Before we launch into our comparison, let’s go over the basics.
The Student Direct Stream was launched in June 2018 to allow residents of four countries to have their Canadian study permit applications processed in approximately 20 calendar days. This is much faster than the processing time for study permit applications submitted through the regular stream.
In order to apply for a study permit through the Student Direct Stream, you have to meet a few eligibility requirements:
- Be a legal resident living in China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan, Morocco, or Senegal;
- Have a letter of acceptance from a Canadian post-secondary designated learning institution;
- Have already paid tuition fees for your first year of study in Canada;
- Have a GIC of $10,000 CAD;
- Have language test results showing English or French proficiency at a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark Level 7;
- Submit your most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcripts;
- Have your medical exam and police certificates (if required); and
- Only if you’ll be studying in Quebec: Have a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ).
In this article, we’re just focusing on the GIC requirement, but be sure to check out our complete guidelines on the Student Direct Stream to learn more about the other requirements.