What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)?
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program designed for international students to get Canadian study permits fast who belong to Asian and African partner countries. These countries include China, India Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Senegal, and many more. In order to be eligible for study in Canada under the SDS program, applicants must have proof of financial resources and have to meet certain language requirements which are stricter than normal study permit requirements. The processing time usually takes up to 20 days. It is important to note that a Canada study permit is NOT a visa and you will need a visitor visa or eTA to enter Canada.
Who is Eligible to Apply for Student Direct Stream (SDS)?
To be eligible for the Student Direct Stream the following conditions have to be met:
- The applicant must be a legal resident of any of the following countries:
- The applicant must possess an acceptance letter from a designated learning institute.
- Have proof of having paid the first year of tuition fees.
- The applicant must reside outside of Canada at the time of application.
- Show financial resources by having a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of CAN $ 10, 000.
- Have a medical exam if required.
- Have a criminal record/police certificate
- Language test results that prove the applicant has sufficient language skills:
- For IELTS the applicant must have an average score of 6.0 or higher in each module (reading, writing, speaking & listening.)
- For Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) a score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each module (reading, writing, speaking, and listening)
- Have transcripts of all educational records such as secondary and post-secondary grade cards.
- Additional Documents that may be needed to support the student visa Canada application.
- If the applicant is planning to study in Quebec, they must possess a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion.
Ineligibility for Student Direct Stream (SDS)
An applicant is ineligible if:
- He/she lives anywhere else than the aforementioned countries irrespective of whether he/she is a citizen of those countries.
- He/she lives anywhere other than ONE of the aforementioned countries irrespective of whether he/she is a citizen of those countries.
In any of the cases above the applicant may be still eligible to apply for a Canadian study permit through the regular study permit process.
What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) for SDS?
A GIC is a Canadian Investment that is offered by many banks as an investment that guarantees the rate of return for a fixed period of time. If a bank gives you a GIC it must:
- Give the applicant a confirmation in the form of a letter of attestation, a GIC certificate, an Investment Direction Confirmation, or an Investment Balance Confirmation. Any of the above-mentioned can serve as a confirmation.
- Be held in a student account or investment account that cannot be accessed until the student arrives in Canada.
- Have the applicant confirm your identity before releasing any funds to you.
- Release the funds by providing an initial lump sum once the applicant has identified themselves and the remaining funds in installments stretched to a period of 10 to 12 months. The installments can either be monthly or bi-monthly.
In case the bank does not meet any of the above-mentioned criteria the applicant will be ineligible to apply for the Student Direct Stream due to the absence of the Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).
How to access Financial Institutes that offer GIC for SDS?
GIC account is one of the SDS visa requirements, in order to access GIC accounts, applicants can visit the Canadian Deposit Insurance website. It offers a list of all banks that offer GICs. The applicant needs to make sure the bank/financial institute which is offering GICs meets the criteria for the Student Direct Streaming. Some of the financial institutes offering GICs are listed as follow:
- Bank of Beijing
- Bank of China
- Bank of Montreal
- Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Habib Canadian Bank
- HSBC Bank of Canada
- ICICI Bank
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
- Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
- SBI Canada Bank
Can I bring my family; spouse, partner, and children with me on Student Direct Stream?
If an applicant wishes to bring their family along with them, he/she must fill out separate applications for them. The applicant must, however, fill out his/her family’s application along with their own application so that it can be processed faster. The family applicants will get a visitor visa, student visa, or work visa is also known as a work permit to enter Canada.
Other Important Considerations for Student Direct Stream (SDS)
Some applicants will have to submit a medical certificate granted by a doctor approved by the IRCC. An applicant will require a medical certificate if:
1. The applicant has resided or traveled to certain countries for 6 months or more before they arrive in Canada.
2. The applicant will be working in the health or education sectors.
Applicants may also require police certificates if stated in their application pack. These are needed to ensure the applicant has no serious criminal record before arriving in Canada.
How to Apply for Student Direct Stream (SDS)?
To apply for the Student Direct Stream the applicant will have to do download the application pack with the instructions. The application cannot be made on paper and is only done online. Once the application is carefully filled out the applicant will have to pay application fees through a valid debit or credit card. The applicant must attach important documents along with their application as stated in the instruction guide.
Once the application is received by the office the applicant will be required to send in biometrics. If the application gets accepted the applicant will:
- Receive a letter of introduction.
- Receive an eTA or a visitor visa to enter Canada.
If the application is rejected the applicant will receive a letter explaining why their application was rejected.