What is Student Direct Stream?

Canada’s Student Direct Stream or SDS is a program launched in June 2018 by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to expedite study permit application and support the growing numbers of international student from the top producing partnered African and Asian countries.

In as fast as 20 calendar days, legal residents from qualifying countries who want to pursue post secondary education in Canada and has met all the eligibility requirements can get their student permit approved.

Eligibility Requirements for Student Direct Stream are as follows: 

  • be a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries:
    • China
    • India
    • Morocco
    • Pakistan
    • the Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Vietnam
  • have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
  • live outside of Canada when you apply
  • have proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study
  • have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • have a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
    • This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec
  • get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one)
  • get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one)
  • have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
  • have a language test result that shows:
    • a score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or
    • a Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)

The Student Direct Stream is definitely a game changer for international students coming from these countries –  this program signifies Canada’s great recognition of what international students contribute to its holistic good. Through easier and faster application process, Canada aims to attract more international students and potentially settle here and secure a mutual promising future.

Frequently Asked Questions

I am not a resident of the listed countries, can I still apply for a study permit in Canada? 

Absolutely YES! you will have to go through the regular study permit application. The Student Direct Stream does not replace the regular study permit application, it is just a special program dedicated to expedite study permit application process of the partnered countries that are mentioned above. 

I am a legal citizen in one of the following countries included on SDS, but I am currently residing in another country, will I still be eligible to apply through SDS? 

NO, you must be residing in one of this country HOWEVER you can still apply for a study permit through regular study permit application stream.

I am an elementary / high school student can I apply through SDS? 

NO, SDS is only for students who are pursuing post-secondary education. Elementary or High school students can apply through the regular study permit application.  

Is the approval of my study permit guaranteed through Student Direct Stream?

No, the Student Direct Stream helps you get a study permit faster but does not guarantee a study permit unless you meet all eligibility requirements. 

What is a GIC?

Guaranteed Investment Certificate GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time.

You must have a confirmation that you have bought a GIC of CAN10,000 by providing any of the following: 

  • a letter of attestation
  • a GIC certificate
  • an Investment Directions Confirmation or
  • an Investment Balance Confirmation

Financial institutions that offer GICs:

You can get a GIC from a financial institution listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website. Make sure the financial institution you choose offers a GIC and meets the criteria for the Student Direct Stream.

  • Bank of Beijing
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Desjardins
  • Habib Canadian Bank
  • HSBC Bank of Canada
  • ICICI Bank
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
  • RBC Royal Bank
  • SBI Canada Bank
  • Scotiabank
  • Simplii Financial

Can I bring my spouse or partner and child in Canada if I choose to apply through SDS?

YES, you may be able to bring your spouse or common law partners and child to Canada through student direct stream. You must complete and submit their application at the same time with yours. 

Where do I submit my application? 

SDS applications are done online only. There’s no paper application for the Student Direct Stream.

Sources: Student Direct Stream

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