Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program designed to expedite applications for a study permit for international students from 14 countries. Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will aim to process applications of individuals applying through this program within 20 days. The eligible countries are:
- Antigua and Barbuda;
- Costa Rica;
- Trinidad and Tobago;
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and
Note, however, that citizens of any of the countries listed cannot be residents of another country at the time of their application through the SDS program. Citizens of the above countries who currently reside in another country will not be able to avail SDS program benefits when applying for their study permit. Additionally, incomplete applications will be refused per IRCC regulations.
Applying through the SDS
- Provide a copy of a letter of acceptance to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A DLI is a school approved by the provincial or territorial government to host international students;
- Proof of valid language test results completed within 2 years of the date of application, showing either: an IELTS score of 6 or higher in each language skill; or a TEF score equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 for each language ability.
- Present proof of completion of the applicant’s upfront medical exam;
- Prove that they have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $ 10,000. The GIC is a document issued by a bank or financial institution to prove investment of money into an assett or purchase. Eligible GICs are issued from financial institutions listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website;
- Prove that the tuition fees for the first year of study have already been paid;
- Most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript.
- Submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
In addition to these, there are additional documents that candidates will need to send with their application, including (but not limited to):
- Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada form; and
- Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa form.
Successful applicants under the program will receive a Port of Entry letter of introduction, and a Canadian study permit (temporary resident visa) to enter and study in Canada. With a valid study permit, students enrolled full-time, in an eligible program (at least 6 months in duration and leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate) from a DLI can work in Canada.
Students are permitted to work on-campus, full-time throughout the year; or off-campus on a part-time basis during regular semesters, with the option of working full-time during scheduled breaks (i.e.: winter/summer holidays). If the program requires that students must work to complete their degree, students may also work in a co-op or internship placement. Note that to work students will need to obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN). The SIN number is a unique 9-digit number that the Canadian government uses to identify and categorize all residents—international students are eligible for a temporary SIN.
Why study in Canada?
Canada has become a hotbed for international students in recent decades, with hundreds of thousands moving to study at Canadian institutions every year. Among other benefits, the quality of education, safety and stability of Canada, competitive rate of the Canadian dollar, and the multicultural society of the country have all proven key reasons for many students choosing to study, and even settle in Canada long-term.
Canadian students also have a number of immigration programs and pathways open to them after completing their studies and obtaining their Post Graduation Work Permit(PGWP), including Express Entry, the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Quebec-specific programs, and more.