April 26, 2023

Understanding the Student Direct Stream

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program launched by the Canadian government to expedite the process of obtaining a study permit for international students from 14 specific countries. The program aims to process applications within 20 days and is open to students from Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Vietnam.


Eligibility Requirements

It is important to note that citizens of the above-mentioned countries who currently reside in another country will not be able to avail of the SDS program benefits when applying for their study permit. Additionally, incomplete applications will be refused per IRCC regulations.


Application Process

The process of availing a study permit through the SDS is similar to the process of applying for a non-SDS study permit. Candidates must provide the following documents:

  • A copy of a letter of acceptance to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • 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.
  • Proof of completion of the applicant’s upfront medical exam
  • A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $ 10,000
  • Proof that the tuition fees for the first year of study have already been paid
  • Most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript
  • Application for Study Permit made outside of Canada form
  • 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.


Work Permits

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 popular destination for international students in recent decades, with hundreds of thousands moving to study at Canadian institutions every year. The country offers a high-quality education, a safe and stable environment, a competitive rate of the Canadian dollar, and a multicultural society. Canadian students also have a number of immigration programs and options available to them after graduation, making it a great option for those looking to settle in Canada long-term.

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program is a great option for international students from 14 specific countries looking to study in Canada. The program aims to expedite the process of obtaining a study permit and allows students to work while studying, opening up more opportunities for them. With a strong education system, a safe environment, and a multicultural society, Canada is a great option for students looking to further their studies


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