What is Canada Student Direct Stream?
International students in Canada Student Direct Stream (SDS) countries get their Canada study permit processed within 20 calendar days. The processing time for other countries could take as long as four months.
Student Direct Stream has a few requirements that are stricter than the regular study permit program. These are:
Under SDS you need to undertake an upfront medical examination and include the results in your application. This is not a requirement under the regular study permit program.
Student Direct Stream language proficiency requirement is different from the regular program. SDS requires that you must write IELTS and obtain a minimum score of 6 while regular program does not.
For international students, the SDS is beneficial in that it offers greater certainty their study permit application will be approved, and in a timely fashion. For IRCC and DLIs, the SDS is beneficial in that it provides greater certainty candidates are genuinely interested in pursuing education in Canada, and not using education as a loophole to enter Canada for alternative purposes (e.g., to enter the Canadian labour market).
Countries in Canada Student Direct Stream
The following countries are in Canada Student Direct Stream as of September 1, 2022.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to be eligible for faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must:
- have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
- live outside of Canada when you apply
- have proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study
- have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
- have a Québec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
- This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec
- get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one)
- get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one)
- have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
- have a language test result that shows either:
- an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic or general training score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening), or
- a Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to provide other documents. Make sure you include all the documents required by the visa office that processes your application.
From Student Direct Stream to Permanent Residence
Student Direct Stream’s faster processing enables international students to commence and complete their studies earlier than regular study permit holders. As such, they have a time advantage to avail of several Canadian immigration pathways to permanent residence.
Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)
PGWP is valid to up to three years after graduation.
The Canadian work experience through PGWP adds high points to a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking Score (CRS) in Canada’s Express Entry immigration pool, especially in the Canadian Experience Class category.