Are you a student who has dreams of studying abroad? Is Canada your dream destination for education? This content is the perfect guide to faster securing a study permit in Canada via the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Since its launch in 2018, SDS has been a significant channel for international students to further their careers in Canada. Of course, it is only for higher education. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Canada Student Direct Stream?

This section focuses on the several benefits of SDS that applicants can enjoy. The most significant benefit for many is that you need a shorter processing time to get the study permit. Averagely, the processing period for SDS is about 20 calendar days. It is only longer for certain applications.

You can increase your processing time by:

a. Fulfilling all eligibility requirements
b. Providing your biometrics as soon as you can

Who can apply via the Student Direct Stream Application?

Several students across the world can apply for the SDS. Most international applicants are from the Philippines, Antigua and Barbuda, China, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Morocco, Senegal, Pakistan, Saint Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam. There are different student communities of these countries in various Canadian universities.

Since one’s country is no barrier, what other factors make one eligible for an SDS application?

  1. Have your acceptance letter from any learning institution (post-secondary)
  2. Proof of payment for tuition (during the first year of study)
  3. Proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 10,000. This evidence should come from an authorized financial organization. They must meet the following requirement to qualify for SDS;
    a. Be able to provide a letter of attestation, Investment Balance Confirmation, Investment Directions Confirmation, or GIC certificate. All are proofs that the student bought a GIC.
    b. The GIC must be in a student or investment account. One must only access this account once one arrives in Canada.
    c. The bank must be sure about the student’s identity before they release the money
    d. Banks release funds to the student after arriving in Canada. This comes as;
    – A tangible amount once you land and identify yourself in Canada
    – The rest of the funds come as installment payments for ten to twelve months
  4. Proof of valid certificate in language. This can either;
    a. A Test d’Evaluation de Francais (TEF) score that corresponds with the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score. This benchmark is as follows:
    – 310 minimum for speaking
    – 310 minimum for writing
    – 249 minimum for listening, and
    – 207 minimum for reading.
    b. An international English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. The minimum is 6.0 for every skill – reading, listening, speaking, and writing.
  5. Police clearance
  6. Proof of completion of medical examination
  7. Transcript from most recent secondary or post-secondary school
    NB: you may have to present Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) if you want to study in Quebec.

Other Relevant Information

Another good side of the SDS application is that you can apply online. Since submission is electronic, you will need a good camera and scanner if you meet the requirements above. Also, you will have to upload your biometrics, IRCC forms, biometrics, and visa fees to complete your SDS application.

You can use your common-law partner or spouse and children as a dependent. The implication is that it is faster to process their visitor visa, study permit, or work permit. However, submitting their application with your student’s SDS application is important.

Any visiting member or dependent will need a visitor visa or eTA (electronic travel authorization). Kindly note that a study permit is different from a visa. It does not permit them to travel to Canada.

Prepayment Amount

You are eligible for the prepayment amount if you are:

  • An undergraduate student or post-baccalaureate student (For Term 1 and 2 Tuition)
  • Graduate students (For Term 1 and 2 with Summer Session)

There are more details about the prepayment as they apply to different categories of students. You can contact your Student Service Centre to know important details as either an undergraduate or graduate students.

Is a Student Direct Stream different from a Regular Study Permit?

The answer is yes. SDS is not a replacement for a regular student permit. For example, the SDS is only available to 14 countries, while the Regular Study Permit is for all countries. You can apply for your RSP via an online or paper-based application.

Similarly, the processing time for RSP depends on the country. Finally, you may not need IELTS or TEF when applying – you only need a Letter of Acceptance from a DLI (Designated Learning Institution).

You can seek further assistance and advice if you have more questions about applying for a student visa. Also, you can read out other content to understand your other options to get into Canada.