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By: Aline Nguyen, Immigration consultant, member of ICCRC, 
Apex Migration 416-679-8898

Originally, the Canada Express Study (CES) program was an 18-month pilot initiative by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in cooperation with Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). Recently it was made permanent. The program is open only to Vietnamese nationals intending to study in Canada at one of the participating colleges and institutes. Launched on March 1, 2016, the program provides a streamlined study permit application process for students planning to attend a CES member school. CES aims to reduce the stress of students who are preparing to leave home and study in Canada by improving the Study Permit application process. Due to the demand and success of the program, it was made permanent.

Advantages of applying under CES

Following are the major advantages of applying under CES:

  • Streamlined visa process for all CES participating institutions.
  • Reduced financial document requirements.
  • Faster visa processing time.

Participating colleges are members of CICan, a national, voluntary membership organization representing publicly supported colleges, institutes, cégeps and polytechnics in Canada and internationally. At the time of publishing this article, there were 55 participating members.  See the list of participating college partners below.

Scotiabank is the only participating Canadian financial institution that supports the Canada Express Study Program through their Scotiabank Student GIC Program (SSGP). Scotiabank provides eligible students with the opportunity to purchase a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) that satisfies the financial statement requirements of the Canada Express Study program. A GIC is a Canadian investment account that offers a guaranteed interest rate over a fixed period of time. For more information see

Program Requirements

Students applying for a program under CES must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Admission to a full-time program in one of the participating CICan member institutions in Canada.
  • Proof of payment of the tuition fee for one year.
  • An overall IELTS score of 5.0 with no band less than 4.5, taken within the past two years.
  • Purchase of a special Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from Scotiabank of CAD$10,000 to cover living expenses for the first year of stay in Canada.
  • Submission of visa application 60 days prior to the start date.
  • Upfront medical examination at least one week before submission of the application.

Participating Colleges and Institutes

Immigration Canada, Colleges Institute Canada, Government of Canada-Vietnam.