In June 2018 the Canadian Government introduced the
Student Direct Stream (SDS), which offered fast processing times on a Canada study visa or “permit” for students from India, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Initially Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) set the processing time at four weeks. As of 1 May 2019, IRCC says that it will process “most Student Direct Stream applications within 20 calendar days, if you meet the eligibility.”
Who is eligible for the fast track Canada study visa option?
To apply for fast processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must:
- be living in one of the following countries as a legal resident:
- the Philippines, or
- have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
- have paid tuition fees for your first year of study
- live outside of Canada when you apply
- have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of C$10,000
- have a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion, (only if you are planning to study in Quebec)
- get a medical exam before applying (if you need one)
- get a police certificate before applying (if you need one)
- have the following language test results:
- a IELTS score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening) , or
- a Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
More detailed information is available on the IRCC website.
Who is not eligible?
You can’t apply for a Canada study visa through the fast track SDS scheme if:
- you live in another country (even if you’re a citizen of China, India, the Philippines or Vietnam),
- you don’t meet all of the other requirements listed above.
- you have to apply through the regular study permit application process.
If you are not eligible don’t panic. You may still be eligible to apply through the regular study permit application process.
International students on the rise.
More and more international students are choosing Canada as their study destination. The Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) data shows that there were in 572,415 international students in Canada in 2018. That’s a jump of 16% from the previous year. About 60% of the international students in Canada are from the countries covered by the SDS program.
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