Canada's Student Direct Stream

July 2, 2021

Launched by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in June 2018, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) offers much faster visa processing times for qualifying international students who want to pursue higher education in Canada. IRCC developed this program to support the rapid growth of international student visa applications and to help streamline the application process for those who want to study in Canada.

Eligible applicants must meet specific criteria, however. These requirements are explained below. Keep reading to see if you qualify for the SDS!

Student Direct Stream Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for the Student Direct stream, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Study at a designated post-secondary learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
  2. Provide a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of at least CAD$10,000. The GIC must be provided by an eligible banks.
  3. If you live in a medical require country, provide an upfront medical exam. The exam must be performed by an eligible immigration panel physician.
  4. Pay for your first year tuition.
  5. Meet the minimum language test requirements of:

                  a) 6.0 on the International English Testing System (IELTS), or

                   b) CLB score of at least 7 on the French test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF).

  1. Legally reside in one of the following countries:

                   a) China

                   b) India

                   c) The Philippines

                   d) Vietnam

                   e) Pakistan

                   f) Morocco

                   g) Senegal

                   h) Antigua and Barbuda

                   i) Brazil

                   j) Columbia

                   k) Costa Rica

                   l) Peru

                   m) St. Vincent and the Grenadines

                   n) Trinidad and Tobago

SDS vs IRCC's Regular Study Permit Stream

Applying through the Student Direct stream offers 2 main advantages to international students compared to the regular Study Permit stream.

  1. Faster processing: Typically, a study permit takes multiple weeks to process. SDS offers just a 20 day processing time.
  2. Meeting the financial criteria to be approved for your study permit is much easier through the Student Direct stream: Not only does it require less financial disclosure, but it is more streamlined and only requires the CAD$10,000 GIC and proof of payment of your first year tuition.

Overall, the streamlined process of applying through SDS may increase your chances of approval.

Applying through the regular study permit stream is still effective. Check out our blog for more information on studying in Canada,

Applying for SDS through BorderPass

BorderPass offers the simplest and most effective way to apply for student visas. Our software platform will let you know of all the required documents specific to your situation, and also ensure you are supported throughout your stay in Canada and on track to apply for permanent residency.

Some of the required documents for an SDS application include:

  • A copy of your acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI
  • A copy of your upfront medical exam confirmation document (if required)
  • A police certificate (if required)
  • Proof that you have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD$10,000
  • Proof that you have paid the tuition fees for your first year of study
  • A copy of your most recent educational transcript
  • Proof that you have completed a language test showing either:
  • A score of at least 6 for English on the IELTS, or
  • A score of at least 7 on the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF)

Keep in Touch and Up to Date

IRCC and the Government of Canada are looking to expand the SDS over the next few years. For all the latest, follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also read our blogs for more.

< Back