Study in Canada and transition to permanent resident with the ‘Student Direct Stream Program’
Here's everything you need to know!
Thanks to the Student Direct Stream, studying in Canada has become an even more attractive proposition for interested students. Under the Student Direct Stream or SDS Canada, students belonging to partner countries enjoy the benefit of expediting the processing of their applications to study in Canada.
About the Student Direct Stream program
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is an expedited study permit processing program for students applying to study in Canada at a post-secondary Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Some international students can get their study permits faster by using the SDS. According to reports, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the eligibility requirements are met.
Only applications submitted electronically are eligible for SDS processing. All paper applications are processed under the regular study permit application stream and are subject to the associated processing times. Foreign nationals eligible for SDS processing are still subject to all other eligibility and admissibility requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
Countries Eligible for the Student Direct Stream program
The SDS program is available for the legal residents of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Eligibility Requirements for the Student Direct Stream program
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, showing either of the following:
- an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 or higher in each language skill: listening, reading, writing, and speaking
- a Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 for each ability: at least 310 for speaking, 249 for listening, 207 for reading, and 310 for writing
- 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 pageThe GIC must meet the following criteria:
- When the GIC has been purchased, the bank provides a letter of attestation, the GIC certificate, the Investment Directions Confirmation, or the Investment Balance Confirmation to the applicant.
- The bank holds the funds in an investment account or a student account inaccessible for release until the applicant arrives in Canada.
- Upon entry to Canada, the bank must validate the client’s identity before releasing funds to the study permit holder.
- The applicant receives an initial disbursement upon identifying themselves, and the remaining funds are disbursed in monthly or bimonthly installments over 10 to 12 months.
- Proof of full payment of tuition for the applicant’s first year of studyThis may be in the form of the following:
- a receipt from the DLI
- an official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees
- a receipt from a bank showing that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
- proof that the tuition fee amount has been transferred into a repository account at the DLI to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date
- Letter of acceptance from a post-secondary DLI
- Most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript
- Proof of completion of upfront medical examination from a panel physician for applicants
In addition to the above criteria, applicants for SDS processing must include as part of their electronic application (e-application) the following documents:
- Application for Study Permit Made Outside Canada form [IMM 1294] (PDF, 566 KB) (overseas)
- Family Information form [IMM 5645] (PDF, 1.56 MB) (if applicable)
- Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa form [IMM 5257] (PDF, 533 KB) (if applicable)
- Marriage license or certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form [IMM 5409] (PDF, 637 KB) (if applicable)
- Use of a Representative form [IMM 5476] (PDF, 648 KB) (if applicable)
- Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or letter of approval from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) for a CAQ for applicants destined to Quebec
- Application processing fee payment and biometric processing fee payment (if applicable)
- Proof of identity
- Photocopy of the information and biographic data page of the applicant’s passport
- Any additional documents specified by the visa office instructions for the applicant’s region
Note: SDS officials may also request additional documents from the applicant at any time to decide on their application.
Transition to permanent Canadian resident under the Student Direct Stream program
International students can remain in Canada upon graduation whether they have availed of the Student Direct Stream or not. They can work both during and immediately after their studies and may plot a path towards permanent residence from the get-go, mainly thanks to the advantages of the Express Entry immigration selection system.
The selection system can be best described as an application process for skilled immigrants who want to settle in Canada permanently and take part in the country’s economy. Under Express Entry, graduates of Canadian institutions may obtain bonus points for their studies – more than candidates who studied outside Canada.
What happens to the Incomplete Student Direct Stream program applications?
According to details, incomplete SDS applications are refused. The application is also refused if the application processing fee is not included or is incorrect. The only exception is the biometric fee – if the biometric fee is missing, the official will request the fee payment for processing the application.
Click here to visit the official website to learn more about the program.
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