GICs for international students

Open a bank account to begin the process of joining the Student Direct Stream program

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See the eligibility criteria ↓

What are GICs for international students?

The Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) for international students is a risk-free investment that allows you to earn interest on your investment over a set period of time. 

When you open a bank account, apply to buy GICs for international students, and make the necessary wire transfers, you’ll receive a Letter of Attestation – Investment Directions Confirmation that will allow you to participate in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s Student Direct Stream program. 

Please note that your GICs are insured by CDIC deposit insurance.

The benefits of a National Bank of Canada GIC for international students

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Get your GIC with no fixed fees

GICs are investments that don’t require you to pay any fees, and at National Bank of Canada, we won’t charge you when you open your account either. 

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Fast application

Once you have applied for a bank account and completed the wire transfer by following the correct steps, you can obtain your Letter of Attestation – Investment Directions Confirmation in 3 business days. You’ll then be able to proceed with your study permit application through the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Student Direct Stream program.

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Another offer for newcomers

By choosing our GICs for international students, you’ll also get our offer for newcomers and enjoy benefits to reach your goals.1

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A guaranteed refund

We’ll reimburse your investment if your application to the Government of Canada’s Student Direct Stream program is refused, or if there’s a study stoppage in progress (in which case we’ll reimburse the remaining amount).* Certain proxy identification and wire transfer fees will be charged on the returned funds.

Get our offer for newcomers  

Benefit from our offer for newcomers when you choose National Bank of Canada. 

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 A bank account with no fixed monthly fees for up to 3 years

Ensure peace of mind when you open a bank account with no fixed monthly fees for up to 3 years or any purchase requirements.**

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A National Bank Mastercard with no credit history 2-3

No credit history, no problem. You can get your eligible National Bank of Canada Mastercard® credit card.2

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Legal support service for newcomers

Get legal information by speaking directly with  a lawyer by phone on a variety of everyday topics. 3

Free access  for 12 months

Why choose National Bank of Canada? 

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National expertise

National Bank of Canada was named the 2023 “Best Bank for Newcomers” by MoneySense. We pride ourselves on being a solid, accessible and secure bank.

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A team of experts

Our National Bank of Canada advisors use their knowledge and experience to help you understand the Canadian financial system.

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A positive impact

National Bank of Canada is committed to encouraging diversity, including in its workforce, which represents 145 countries and 65 languages. 

How do I send my application completely online?

Applying for a GIC as an international student is simple: 

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Apply online from your home country to open a chequing account for newcomers. 

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Once you’ve received the confirmation that your account has been opened, when you receive your banking details, or within 90 days of opening your account, you’ll need to make a single SWIFT® wire transfer of 20,700 CAD to your new account from your home country. 

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Finalize your account opening at one of our branches when you arrive in Canada. Visit one of our branches to have an advisor confirm your identity. You’ll then have access to 4,680 CAD in your bank account. The rest of the amount will be invested in GICs.

Do you have questions about the process? Find the answers in our FAQ section.***

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Ready to start?

What are the eligibility requirements for the GIC offer?

To be eligible to open a National Bank of Canada GIC as an international student in the department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship’s Student Direct Stream program, you need to meet the following criteria. 

 

  • Be a legal resident of one of theeligible countries 
  • Be at least 18 years old 
  • Be living outside Canada at the time of your application 

Please note that other criteria will also be considered when applying for a study permit. Visit department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship website for more information. 

Want to learn more about GICs for international students?

There are a few things you’ll have to do, both from your home country and after you arrive in Canada. Discover the different steps you’ll have to take.

Depending on your situation, there are multiple solutions to help you get your money back. Learn how.

During a request for a Student Direct Stream program, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada requires a deposit of 20,635 CAD in GICs to properly sustain yourself in Canada during the first year. However, at National Bank of Canada, we ask you to make a wire transfer of 20,700 CAD for the following reasons: 4,680 CAD will remain in your bank account, and the remaining 20 CAD will go towards paying the incoming wire transfer fees.

We also recommend investing 16,000 CAD in 10 GICs of 1,600 CAD each. Each month, over a period of 10 months, one GIC will mature, and the amount of 1,600 CAD plus accumulated interest will be deposited into your bank account.

No, you cannot apply for the Student Direct Stream program if you’re already in Canada. This program is reserved for eligible international students currently living outside of Canada at the time of their study permit application. 

However, we’d be happy to help guide you with your financial needs if you’re already in Canada. Contact us for personalized support.

Yes. The wire transfer can be sent from any account, as long as the bank account details are correct. Learn more on how to make your wire transfer.

Our advice for international students

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Get expert advice and tips that can help you get settled in Canada.

Talk to us about your plans to study in Canada

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Contact us today

Write to us with details of your request, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

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Chat with us

Get information quickly with the help of our Facebook Messenger chat option. 

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Need in-depth advice?

Call us today and get the answers you need. 

Little details that matter

Baseline savings of $334.92 over three years for the account

Save a minimum of $334.92 over three years if you meet the following conditions:

  • Open a bank account online before arriving with our secure form or visit a branch upon arrival.

  • Sign up for our offer for newcomers

Savings of $334.92 based on:

  • First year: no flat monthly fee (savings of $15.95/month for 12 months)

  • Second year: flat monthly fee of $7.98 instead of $15.95 (savings of $7.97/month for 12 months)

  • Third year: flat monthly fee of $11.96 instead of $15.95 (savings of $3.99/month for 12 months)

To be eligible for savings, you must commit to keeping the account and package for a minimum of 36 months. You will receive no further discounts if the products are cancelled. The full flat monthly fee of $15.95 will be applied to your banking package from the fourth year. You’ll be able to browse our packages and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

** Maximum savings of $574.20 over three years for the account

Your savings will be $574.20 over 3 years with your newcomer’s banking package on a fixed monthly fee ($15.95/month x 36 months) if you meet the following conditions.

  1. Visit a branch and open a bank account.
  2. Sign up for our offer for newcomers.
  3. During the first year after signing up for the offer for newcomers to Canada:
    • Apply for and activate an eligible National Bank Mastercard personal credit card2
    • Sign up to receive eStatements
  4. During the second and third years after signing up for the offer for newcomers to Canada: 
    • Set up salary deposits to your National Bank account and have your pay deposited at least once a month; OR
    • Make at least two electronic bill payments from your National Bank account every month.

To be eligible for this, you agree to maintain this account for a minimum of 36 months. You agree that there are no additional savings available from the moment you longer keep these products. You’ll pay the full fixed monthly fee of $15.95/month for your banking package starting in the fourth year after you sign up for the offer for newcomers. You’ll be able to browse our packages and choose the one that best suits your needs. 

Overall savings of up to $671.30 over 3 years 

You could enjoy a maximum overall savings of $671.30 over 3 years without the following fees being charged:  

  • The flat monthly fee for the Newcomers to Canada package for 3 years ($15.95/month for 36 months)  
  • The fee for your first order of cheques ($67.10/order)  
  • Statements sent by mail free of charge for the first year ($30)

Note on savings

To enjoy the full savings, you must keep the products and services and carry out all required transactions for a minimum of 36 months unless otherwise indicated. If you fail to meet the conditions of the offer, your savings will be lower. Your savings will be lower if you do not order cheques and/or choose to not receive paper statements by mail for free the first year.

If during a given month, you keep your bank account and banking package but do not keep all of the other products and services indicated or do not carry out all the required transactions (e.g. only one electronic bill payment per month instead of two), you will be charged National Bank's service fee for that month. The service fee will be $7.98 monthly for the second year and $11.96 for the third. You will still enjoy monthly savings of $7.97 during the second year and $3.99 during the third.

Finally, if you no longer hold a bank account or banking package for newcomers, you will no longer be eligible for savings.

® Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Authorized user: National Bank.

® SWIFT is a registered trademark of Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication SCRL.

  1. Our banking offer is available to newcomers from their home countries up to 90 days before arriving in Canada or at any point during your first 5 years in Canada. See the above terms and conditions of the offer for no fixed monthly fee for 3 years. The offer may be modified, extended or withdrawn, without prior notice, at any time. The offer may not be combined or used with any other National Bank offer, promotion or benefit. Fees may apply for transactions not included in the banking offer for newcomers. For more information on transaction fees, see our Guide to Personal Banking Solutions [PDF].
  2. Financing is subject to credit approval by National Bank. Certain conditions apply. Eligible credit cards: mycredit, MC1, Allure, Syncro, Platinum, ECHO Cashback, World and World Elite.
  3. Telephone assistance service offered by National Bank Assistance Network, valid for 12 months from your account opening date. The content of the packages and terms described are subject to change.