A Guide to the Student Direct Stream (SDS) in Canada for International Students

A Guide to the Student Direct Stream (SDS) in Canada for International Students

A Guide to the Student Direct Stream (SDS) in Canada for International Students
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a study permit processing program in Canada. Eligible international students can expect faster processing times through this stream. If the criteria and requirements are met, the IRCC processes SDS applications in 20 days.

The SDS is only available to legal citizens in certain countries. SDS-eligible applicants are subject to the same eligibility requirements as regular ones. Students must send their SDS application through electronic means.

Want to know more about the SDS and if you’re eligible to apply through one? Read on so you can get a short guide to the SDS in Canada:

Who Can Apply Through the Student Direct Stream?

The SDS is only available to students who are legal citizens of certain countries. If you’re from any of the countries below, you can apply through the SDS:

  • the Philippines
  • India
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • Pakistan
  • Morocco
  • Senegal

Students must also study in a post-secondary Designated Learning Institution (DLI).  You can refer to the IRCC official website to find the full list of DLIs.

Document Requirements

Students must also have certain documents to be eligible for the SDS. Below is a list of required documents to apply through the SDS:

  • Valid English language test results
  1. For IELTS – at least 6.0 of EACH language skill
  2. For ​​Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) – at least 7 for each ability; 310 or higher in speaking; 310 or higher in writing; 207 or higher in reading; 249 or higher in listening (score is based on the Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB equivalent)
  • Evidence of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) worth CAD $10,000
  • Evidence of full tuition payment for the first year at a DLI
  • Letter of acceptance
  • Recent educational transcripts
  • Proof of medical examination

Application Process in the Student Direct Stream

All applications must be done online. Don’t forget to bring the required documents during the application. You also need the following tools when applying:

  • Form instruction guide (available on the IRCC website)
  • Camera and/or scanner for your documents
  • Your credit or  debit card to pay for the application fee

Instructions to apply online vary per country. In general, here’s what you can expect to do during application:

  1. Create an IRCC account
  2. Pay application fees
  3. Submit required documents
  4. Use your IRCC account to see the application status

Before applying, make sure that you’re an SDS-eligible student. You must also refer to the Visa Office Instructions available on the IRCC website.

What To Do After Applying?

After sending in your application, the IRCC may ask for your biometrics and photo. If you receive a letter requesting this, you’ll see details on where and how you can do this. You must present the IRCC letter and your passport to give your biometrics and photo.

After receiving your biometrics, the IRCC will process your application in 20 days. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirement,  the IRCC will review it as a regular application. Regular processing times would apply.

If IRCC approves your application, you’ll receive a letter of introduction. You must present this letter to the office upon arriving in Canada.

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) makes study permit applications faster. If you’re looking into studying in Canada, start with our article on reasons to study in Canada to help you out.


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