The Student Direct Stream (SDS) has been expanded to include 7 new countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Peru
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) was created to support international students financially and expedite their study permit processing times. IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the eligibility requirements are met. International students choosing to study in Canada must be studying at a post-secondary institution falling under the designated learning institution (DLI) list.  The full list of countries that fall under the SDS are:

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

BONUS! If you are legally residing in one of the 14 countries listed under SDS, you can also apply under the category.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible?

If you are from or are currently residing in one of the 14 countries listed above you have completed the first step of the criteria. Applicants must also include the following:

  1. Proof of English Language Proficiency and it must be valid within 2 years of the date the SDS application was received. An example of an English language test result is International English Language Testing System (IELTS). To meet the requirements to apply through the SDS category, applicants must have at minimum 0 with no less than 6.0 in each module (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
  2. Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a post-secondary DLI
  3. Most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript
  4. Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD or more from any bank insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CIDC) or any bank listed on the IRCC SDS web page.
    1. Once the GIC has been purchased, the bank provides a letter of attestation, the GIC certificate, the Investment Directions Confirmation or the Investment Balance Confirmation of the applicant
    2. The bank holds the payment in an investment account or a student account until the applicant has arrived in Canada
  • The applicant will receive an initial disbursement upon identifying themselves and the remaining funds will be distributed in bimonthly installments over a 10-to-12-month period.
  1. Provide proof of tuition payment for the first academic year of study in the form of:
    1. A receipt from the DLI
    2. An official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees
  • A receipt from a bank showing that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
  1. Proof that the tuition fee has been transferred into a repository account at the DLI to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date
  1. Proof of completion of upfront medical examination from panel physician for applicants
    1. Those who have lived or travelled for 6 months in designated countries or territories during the year coming to Canada
    2. Whose field of study requires upfront medical examination results

Note: In most cases, the applicant is required to submit biometrics as well.

  1. Any additional documents specified by the visa office instructions for the applicant’s region has to be included as well and there is no exception to it

Please note:

  • Immigration officers can request additional documents from applicants at any time.
  • Immigration officers need to be satisfied that the applicant will leave Canada by the end of the period of their stay.
  • If an applicant is applying under the SDS and have family members who are filing for visa, they are eligible for concurrent processing time if they apply at the same time as the primary applicant.
    • Temporary Residence applications of the accompanying family members such as work permit, study permit and temporary resident visa applications must be submitted online as a family grouping.
  • Applications are only eligible for SDS processing if submitted electronically. Paper Applications are processed under the General Stream and will be processed as such.
  • Foreign nationals are also eligible for SDS processing but must meet all the criteria and the requirements under Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Bridging Programs of Study

Applicants who are also taking a prerequisite course or a bridging program before starting their main program are eligible to apply under the SDS if they meet the criteria. This means applicants still need to submit an e-application from overseas. On the applicants’ letter of acceptance (LOA) the prerequisite course or bridging program of study must be clearly identified and the main program of study must lead to a degree, diploma or certificate.

Contact us today to learn more about international education, admission and visa process. 

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