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Understanding the SDS

The international students from India and other designated countries under the SDS can get their study permits faster by using the SDS. IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the eligibility requirements are met.

Only applications submitted electronically are eligible for SDS processing.

The applicant must include the following documents to be eligible for SDS processing:

  • Proof of a valid language test result, completed within 2 years of the date the SDS application was received (IELTS score 6.0 or higher)
  • Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000 or more from any bank insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or any bank listed on the IRCC SDS web page. Some conditions apply*
  • Proof of full payment of tuition for the applicant’s first year of study. Some conditions apply*
  • most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript
  • proof of completion of upfront medical examination
Family members of study permit applicants under the SDS
Note that the family members of principal applicants who are applying under the SDS are eligible for concurrent processing if they apply at the same time as the primary applicant.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada today announced a new Student Direct Stream that promises streamlined processing of Canadian study permit applications for ‘legal residents’ of China, India, Vietnam and Philippines.
Previously, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) had different programs to serve individuals applying to study in Canada from these countries.
IRCC has now merged those separate programs into the SDS to ensure consistency in processing and requirements for all study permit applicants.
IRCC is also planning to expand the program to Africa in 2019 with a focus on potential French-speaking students in countries like Senegal.
“IRCC recognizes the tremendous economic, cultural and social benefits that international students bring to Canada,” Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, said in a statement.
“We are committed to improving client service for all applicants, including students, as we continue to find new and efficient ways to reduce processing times.”

What is the Process?

To benefit from faster Canadian study permit processing through the SDS program, potential international students to Canada must meet additional language requirements that are not part of existing study permit requirements.
After getting accepted at a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI), international student applicants must also show proof of:
  • Tuition payment for the first year of study at a designated learning institution in Canada
  • Purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of $10,000
  • Completion of an upfront medical examination
  • A qualifying score of at least 6 for English (IELTS), or Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens score of 7 for French (TEF), or graduation from a Canadian-curriculum high school.
IRCC says that citizens of these four countries who are residing elsewhere when submitting an application will be processed under regular study permit conditions. The regular processing time for study permit applications varies based on country of residence.
The Government of Canada says it is committed to making study in Canada easier and will evaluate the success of the program before expanding it in 2019.
The number of international students in Canada reached a record high this year with nearly half a million students from overseas choosing Canada as a study destination.
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