What is Student Direct Stream in Canada?

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Student Direct Stream

A Student Direct Stream is a study permit that was launched in 2018 by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It is specially designed for international students who want to pursue higher studies in Canada. It is better than a normal permit as it provides efficient study permit processing time. 

New IELTS Requirements for Canada SDS

  • IELTS requirements for Canada SDS will change starting on August 10, 2023, according to IRCC.
  • IELTS test takers utilizing the SDS program will now need to achieve an overall 6.0 band in order to be accepted.
  • To emphasize the significance of the test-takers comprehensive abilities, it was decided to remove the individual score of 6.0 bands.
  • The most recent modification to the IELTS criteria is intended to provide international students with better possibilities to complete their studies in Canada.

What is Canada’s Student Direct Stream?

If the qualifying conditions are satisfied, the Student Direct Stream is a quick and effective study permit application procedure that enables foreign students applying to various Designated Learning Institutes (DLI) in Canada to get their study permit in 20 calendar days.

Difference Between Student Direct Stream and Regular Stream

The Student Direct Stream does not take the place of the standard study permit; it is just a speedier method for it. Your application can still be processed even if you didn’t fulfil the SDS requirements. It’s important to note that the SDS does not automatically grant study permission. It’s just a quick, simple process done online.

Student Direct Stream Countries

You must be a citizen of one of the nations listed below in Africa or Asia if you’re submitting an application for a Canadian study permit through the SDS:

  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil

Student Direct Stream Canada Benefits

The SDS is beneficial for international students, IRCC, as well as the DLIs in Canada.

  • It gives international students more confidence that their application for a study visa will be accepted quickly.
  • The SDS is advantageous for IRCC and DLIs in that it gives more assurance that applicants are truly interested in pursuing education in Canada and are not using education as a pretext to enter the country for other reasons.

SDS Visa Requirements

The requirements for a Student Direct Stream permit are very specific. You need to be eligible for all the following requirements to receive a permit:

  1. You must have an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). A DLI is a university/ college approved by the government to take admission from international students. Currently, only some DLI-approved universities are allowed to take international students, that is, only if they have a Covid-19 readiness plan.
  2. English proficiency proof like an IELTS score above 6.
  3. A medical examination and medical insurance.
  4. Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAN$10,000 (INR 727883.00)or more. You can receive this certificate from any IRCC-registered bank. Under this, you cannot access your money until you are in Canada, which is then retrieved in a limited amount monthly or bimonthly.
  5. Proof of payment of first year’s tuition fees
  6. Residency proof of one of the following countries:
    • India
    • China
    • Philippines
    • Vietnam
    • Pakistan
    • Morocco
    • Senegal

Even if you are a citizen of the following countries but don’t live there, you are ineligible for SDS. In case you do not qualify for any of these criteria, you will be rejected for an SDS permit, however, in such a case, your application will be processed under a regular study permit program.

How to Apply for SDS?

To apply for Student Direct Stream in Canada, you have to fill out an online application form on the Canadian Immigration website and submit the following documents: 

  1. Proof of Identity
  2. Application for Study Permit
  3. Family Information Form
  4. Marriage Certificate, if applicable
  5. Application fees and biometric fees
  6. A police certificate, if applicable

There are a few forms that you have to fill out during the online application. Officers may also ask you to submit more documents, depending on their requirements.

Student Direct Stream Processing Time

SDS Processing time depends on the country you live in. Although it usually takes 20 days for the processing, there can be certain reasons behind the delay. To reduce the time of processing, you must:

  1. Meet all the eligibility criteria
  2. Submit your biometrics as soon as possible 

Also Read: Non-SPP Colleges in Canada

After Applying for Student Direct Stream 

Once you have applied for Student Direct Stream and submitted your biometrics, your application will be approved in 20 days. In case of approval, you will receive the following:

  1. A letter of introduction, you need to show this to the officer during your arrival in Canada
  2. A visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA), depending on your profile 
  3. In case you need a visa, you must go to the nearest visa office to receive it on your passport.
  4. If you are eligible for eTA, it will be directly linked to your passport and will be valid for 5 years or till your passport’s expiration date.
  5. When you arrive at the airport, the officer will check your health, and if you meet the requirements, they will print you your study permit.

Who isn’t Eligible for the Student Direct Stream

Even if you are a citizen of one of the nations listed above, you must go through the standard study permit application process if you reside anywhere else. Even if you are a citizen of one of the nations listed above and live in another country, if you do not satisfy the requirements for expedited processing, you may still be qualified to apply for a study permit through the standard procedure.


Does the SDS Replace IRCC’s Regular Study Permit Stream?

The SDS doesn’t replace IRCC’s regular study permit, but in simple terms, it’s just an expedited stream. In case a student applies for the SDS, but doesn’t qualify, their application will be processed under regular processing procedures.

Is anything new planned for the SDS?

The government has planned to expand the SDS over the next five years. This expansion will include a new application service that aims to provide a single and streamlined experience to international students. In short, you’ll be able to apply for a study permit, temporary resident visa, or work permit for a co-op term, together in one place.

Which of the English proficiency tests are accepted under the SDS application?

Under the SDS program, you need to show proof of your IELTS Exam, as other English Language proficiency tests are not accepted under the new SDS category.

We hope you got all the essential information on the Student Direct Stream in Canada! Let us know how helpful this article was in the comments section below. If you plan to study in Canada and need expert guidance then Leverage Edu experts are just a call away!

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