What Is Student Direct Stream (SDS) Canada

Canada makes it easier for students from certain Asian or African countries to study in Canada.

Find out your eligibility to apply for a Canadian Study Permit through SDS Canada.

What’s The Student Direct Stream?

International students who wish to study in Canada can apply for a student permit through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). IRCC created this program to help support international student applications. SDS applicants have the advantage of faster processing times for their study permits.

However, eligible applicants must meet specific criteria. These criteria are explained below. Continue reading to find out if you qualify for the SDS.

Who is Eligible for SDS?

First, applicants must plan to study at a recognized post-secondary institution (DLI) in Canada. Here is a complete listing of Canadian DLIs.

Second, applicants must meet financial, language, and medical criteria. Exceptionally, applicants must provide documentation that proves they can succeed academically and sustain themselves financially while studying in Canada.

SDS applicants must also legally reside in the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

The SDS is not available to students who are citizens of any of the seven listed countries. However, they must be able to live in the country. The student must currently reside in the country to apply for the program.

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What is the cost of applying through Canada’s Student Direct stream?

International students who apply through SDS Canada must show proof of payment for their tuition in the first year.

This could look like this:

  • A receipt from DLI
  • A receipt from a bank indicating that tuition fees were paid to DLI
  • An official letter from DLI confirming payment for tuition fees

Applicants need to submit a Guaranteed Investor Certificate (GIC).

What requirements are there for SDS Canada?

To be eligible for SDS, a person must be a citizen of these countries. The person must also have the following documents:

  • Acceptance letter from Designated Learning Institution (DLI), Canada
  • Confirmation document for the up-front medical exam
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 10,000
  • Evidence that tuition fees for the first academic year in Canada were paid
  • Proof of graduation from a Canadian Curriculum High School, or with a language test that shows either:
    • Minimum 6 points in each IELTS category
    • Niveaux de competence Linguistique Canadiens Score of at least 7 for French

What’s a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)?

GICs are Canadian investments that offer a guaranteed return over a set period. GICs must be issued by a bank that is licensed to do so. Many banks provide GICs.

  • You can confirm that you purchased a GIC by providing you with one of the following:
    • is a letter of attestation
    • a GIC certificate
    • Confirmation of Investment Directions or
    • an Investment Balance Confirmation
  • You can hold the GIC in either an investment account or a student account. Still, you won’t be able to access it until you arrive in Canada.
  • please verify your identity before they release funds to you

You will be paid a portion of the GIC once you arrive in Canada. You will receive the rest over the next 10-12 months.

You won’t have the opportunity to apply for Student Direct Stream if your bank or GIC does not meet these requirements.

How can I obtain a GIC?

A Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website can help you get a GIC. You should ensure that the financial institution you choose offers a GIC and that it meets the requirements for the Student Direct stream.

These financial institutions offer GICs that satisfy the following criteria:

can My family can come along with me through SDS Canada?

Yes. Yes. Your spouse, partner, or dependent children can accompany you when applying through SDS Canada.

They might also be eligible to receive faster processing times for applications for study permits, work permits, and visitor visas.

When you apply online, you must indicate family members traveling with you to Canada. All members of the family must submit and complete their applications simultaneously. You can meet their applications simultaneously with yours.

Will the SDS replace IRCC’s regular study permit stream?

The SDS is not intended to replace the regular study permit program of IRCC. Students who apply for the SDS but are not eligible will have their applications processed according to standard procedures. It is a stream that expedites the process.

How to Apply For the SDS

International students can apply online for the SDS. Students must also submit the following documents in addition to their electronic application:

  • Copy of the acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI
  • Copy of the upfront medical exam confirmation document (if necessary)
  • A police certificate (if required)
  • They have a Guaranteed Investor Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAN
  • They have proved that they have paid their tuition fees for the first year of study
  • Copy of the most recent transcript
  • They have passed a language test and either:
    • Minimum 6 points for English on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or
    • A score of at least seven on the Test d’Evaluation de Francais

Additional information regarding the SDS application supporting documents can be found at the IRCC.