Student Direct Stream (SDS) Canada was launched in June 2018 by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This initiative is designed to expedite the increasing amounts of study permit applications for international students who want to pursue higher education in Canada.
The following will tell you about the Student Direct Stream, how it works and whether or not you qualify for SDS Canada.
What Are The Requirements for SDS Canada?
Applicants must show that they intend to study at one of the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada through an acceptance letter from the DLI, or a proof of full payment for your first year’s tuition.
This can come in the form of a receipt from the DLI, a bank receipt showing the full tuition fee paid to the DLI, or an official letter coming from the DLI confirming the full payment.
Second, applicants need to meet a medical, financial, and language requirement, such as:
- A medical exam confirmation document
- A $10,000 CAD Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
- Proof of graduation from a high school with a Canadian curriculum or a language exam that demonstrates either:
- Scores not less than 7 for French at the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens
- Scores not less than 6 for each IELTS category.
This might seem like a lot, but it’s to prove that a student can handle himself financially and academically in the country. Having all these also ensures that you can reach your maximum academic potential in Canada.
Another requirement is that SDS Canada applicants must legally reside in one of the following African or Asian countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
It’s important to remember that the criteria for SDS Canada is residency. Even if you’re a citizen of the above listed countries but are legally residing in another country not in the list, you will have to make a study permit application through the regular process.
How Do You Apply Through SDS Canada?
The first thing to do if you’re looking to be an international student in Canada is to check if you are eligible. If your details check all the boxes listed above, then the next step is to prepare your study permit application.
To do so, gather all relevant and required documents for your country. It’s a good idea to have a qualified immigration representative to review your application since immigration officers can rightfully refuse the issuance of study permits if an applicant does not meet the necessary requirements.
The next step is to submit your application, either online or offline. To submit your application online, create an account at the IRCC website and upload electronic or scanned copies of the required documents. For a paper-based submission, compile all the relevant and necessary documents to the Visa Application Center (VAC) in your country.
If your study permit is approved, congratulations! Get ready to pack your bags and come to Canada. The Canadian government will give you a Port of Entry Introduction Letter that you need to show to the immigration officer at the Canadian Port of Entry. It’s here that you’ll receive your long awaited Candaian study permit.
Is This Meant To Replace the IRCC’s Regular Study Permit Stream?
No, SDS Canada is not meant to replace IRCC’s regular study permit application system. SDS Canada is and initiative by the IRCC that is only meant to expedite applications from students who meet the requirements we’ve discussed above. For those who do not qualify, the IRCC’s regular procedures can still cater to their applications.
However, there are plans to expand the SDS over the next five years. This expansion will include a new application service that will streamline the application process for overseas students. In one site, students will be able to apply for a study permit, a temporary resident visa, and a co-op work permit.