Important Facts That You Should Know About SDS

10 months ago

If you’ve been researching how to study in Canada or trying to find a way to move to the country, then you probably know that studying in Canada is one of the fastest ways to do it. But do you know that you can come and study in Canada in less than a month? Yes, you read it right. To be exact, you can have your student visa processed in 20 calendar days!

If you’ve been researching how to study in Canada or trying to find a way to move to the country, then you probably know that studying in Canada is one of the fastest ways to do it. But do you know that you can come and study in Canada in less than a month? Yes, you read it right. To be exact, you can have your student visa processed in 20 calendar days!

Student Direct Stream (SDS)

To study in Canada as an international student for a program that will last for more than six months, you will be required to secure a study permit. A study permit is a document that allows a foreign national to study in Canada.

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched in 2018 a program called Student Direct Stream (SDS). It aims to expedite the visa processing of applicants who intend to study in Canada.

Are you eligible for Canada’s SDS program?

  • Country of Residence

The SDS is offered to legal residents applying for a student visa from the following countries:

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

Aside from being a legal resident of the countries listed above, there are other eligibility requirements that you need to tick off in order to qualify for SDS. Note that these requirements are mandatory to apply for SDS.

  • Language Requirement

To study in Canada via SDS, applicants need to present either of the two tests taken within the last two years as proof of language proficiency:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – a minimum score of 6.0 in all language skills: Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking
  • Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) – a minimum score equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 or higher in each skill: 310 for writing, 249 for listening, 310 for speaking, and 207 for reading.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Aspiring SDS applicants need to provide proof of GIC amounting to 10,000 CAD or more from the accredited banks of IRCC for SDS or member banks of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation. To know the list of banks, click here.

The bank will provide the following upon successful purchase of GIC:

  • Letter of Attestation
  • GIC Certificate
  • Investment Directions Confirmation or Investment Balance Confirmation
  • The student will not be able to access the fund in GIC until the student arrives in Canada and visits the bank where the GIC is opened. The bank will validate the information, open a bank account under the student’s name, and release the initial funds. The remaining funds will be released in installments in 10 to 12 months.
  • Full payment of first-year tuition

A proof of payment showing full payment of the applicant’s first-year tuition is required for the SDS application. The following can be used as proof:

DLIs are schools approved by the Government of Canada to accommodate international students. Some of these schools are Yorkville University, Thompson Rivers University, Confederation College, North Island College, Fanshawe College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, and many more. To see a list of schools in Canada, click here. To check the DLI list per province, click here.

Receipt from the DLI

  • Receipt from the bank showing the DLI as the recipient of payment
  • Proof of transfer for the tuition amount into the DLI’s repository account
  • Acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI
  • Most recent academic transcript
  • Proof of upfront medical exam conducted by IRCC accredited panel physicians for visa applicants. To know more about upfront medical examination, click here.

How is SDS different from the normal student visa processing?

Processing Time

Ideally, it is secured months ahead before the intended travel to Canada by the student. The regular or non-SDS processing time varies by country. The average processing time of non-SDS applications is about 3-6 months in most cases.

SDS applications only take 20 calendar days from receipt of your application to release your visa. However, since the pandemic is still ongoing, some SDS applications may take longer to be fulfilled than others. 

How much does the SDS application cost?

Like the regular study permit fee, the SDS application fee is 150 CAD. Another fee that an applicant may need to account for is the biometrics fee which is 85 CAD. To know if you are required for biometrics, click here.

How to apply for SDS?

SDS applications need to be made online. SDS does not have a counterpart paper application. Applicants are highly advised to ensure that all digital documents are complete upon submission. To start your application and for the step-by-step procedure, click here.

What happens after being approved for SDS?

Successful applicants via SDS will receive the Letter of Introduction, the Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) which the student will need to present when they arrive in Canada

What if the student does not qualify for SDS?

Applications that do not meet the requirements of SDS will be assessed as regular or non-SDS applications. Being on the regular pool means that the expedited processing will not apply to the application.

Important Reminders to Study in Canada

  • It is essential to understand that securing a study permit, either on SDS or regular method, does not guarantee a student entry to Canada. International students need to ensure that the required travel documents applicable to them are secured before their travel such as TRV or eTA. Instructions will be provided on the steps in securing these documents as part of your study permit application. 
  • It is also important to note the completion of documents and the accuracy of information provided on the application forms. Incomplete requirements or documents may be grounds for refusal. Some officers may require further documents which may cause a delay to your application.

Now that you’re equipped with another way to study in Canada, you’re now one step closer to your goal. Are you still having doubts or questions about the process? Global Study Guide can help you answer these questions and even connect you to your future school from our partner schools! Register a FREE account now and one of our education consultants will be happy to connect with you!


Comments (0)

Typical School
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
San Antonio, Texas, United States
The University of Incarnate Word was founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and was...
San Jose, California, United States
San Jose City College (SJCC) is the oldest Community College in Santa Clara County in California. Since 1921, SJCC has...
Oroville, California, United States
Butte-Glenn Community College is a student-centered educational institution located in Oroville, California that serves quality education to about 17,000 students...
San Pablo, California, United States
Situated in San Pablo, California, just a few miles outside San Francisco - Contra Costa College (CCC) is the only...
Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
Located in the beautiful Fraser Valley just east of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)...
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Laurentian University is a moderate-sized campus located in Sudbury, Ontario, and sits near the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. It is...
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Mount Saint Vincent University, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, was established in 1873 by women with the advancement of women...
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Leading the ranks of post-secondary schools since 1967, Cambrian College has established its reputation in the educational community in Northern...
New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) is the country's leading public safety educator and is well-known globally for its exceptional...