For some international students, there is a faster process for applying for a Canadian study permit. The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program is a great option for residents of India, China, Morocco, Senegal, Vietnam, Philippines, and Pakistan.
Canada aims to process all eligible SDS study permit applications in 20 calendar days.
In order to submit a study permit through the SDS program, the student must:
- Must be living in one of the 7 countries listed above
- Provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a post-secondary DLI (designated learning institution) in Canada
- Prove that the first year of tuition has been paid (i.e. receipt from the DLI, official letter confirming payment, bank receipt showing tuition fees have been paid to the DLI)
- Live outside of Canada at the time of applying
- Have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000CAD
- Get a medical exam prior to applying (if applicable)
- Get a police certificate prior to applying (if applicable)
- Have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
- Proof of language test results of at least 6.0 in each ability (reading, writing, speaking, listening) on IELTS (or 7 in each for French – TEF)
- If planning on studying in Quebec, have a Certifica d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ)
Approved applications will be issued a letter of introduction (known as Point of Entry letter of introduction) and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.
This letter is proof of approval for a study permit and must be presented to the visa officer upon arrival.
Who Isn’t Eligible for the Student Direct Stream
If you live outside of any of the countries listed above, despite being a citizen of that country, you will have to apply though the regular study permit application process.
If an application does not meet the SDS program requirements, IRCC will process the application as the regular study permit application. Processing time will vary depending on your country of residence.
Accompanying Family Members
Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children may also be eligible for faster processing on their visitor visa, work permit, or study permit. Their application must be submitted at the same time as your own to be considered for faster processing.
When applying online, indicate that you have family members coming with you to Canada as this will then let you complete their application alongside yours.