Depending on where you live, the Student Direct Stream may allow you to obtain your study permit sooner (SDS).
Most SDS applications are processed within 20 calendar days by the Government of Canada. Some applications, however, may take longer.
You must, in order to obtain faster processing:
- Give your biometrics as soon as possible and
- make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements.
A study permit is not a visa and does not allow you to travel to or enter Canada on its own. A visitor visa or electronic travel authorization may also be required (eTA). If you do, the Canadian government will issue your visitor visa or eTA along with your study permit.
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program that expedites the processing of study permits for those applying to study in Canada at a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI). Legal residents who also live in the countries below are eligible for the SDS.
- Barbuda and Antigua
- India Costa Rica
- The Republic of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)
Applicants must meet specific requirements by providing documentation up front in order to be considered.
Brief Details About The SDS
The SDS allows some international students to obtain study permits more quickly. If all eligibility requirements are met, IRCC will process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days.
Only electronic applications are eligible for SDS processing. All paper applications are processed through the regular study permit application stream and are subject to the processing times that go with it.
Foreign nationals who qualify for SDS processing must still meet all other eligibility and admissibility requirements outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).
Criteria for Eligibility
To be eligible for SDS processing, the applicant must include the following documents:
- Proof of a valid language test result obtained within two years of the SDS application date, demonstrating either of the following:
- a score of 6.0 or higher on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in each language skill.
- A Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) score equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each ability: at least 310 for speaking, 249 for listening, 207 for reading, and 310 for writing.
- Proof of a CAN$10,000 or more Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) from any bank insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or any bank listed on the IRCC SDS web page.
The GIC must meet the following requirements:
- When the GIC is purchased, the bank issues the applicant a letter of attestation, the GIC certificate, the Investment Directions Confirmation, or the Investment Balance Confirmation.
- The funds are held by the bank in an investment or student account and are not available for release to the applicant until the applicant arrives in Canada.
- Before releasing funds to the study permit holder, the bank must validate the client’s identity upon arrival in Canada.
- After identifying themselves, the applicant receives an initial disbursement, and the remaining funds are disbursed in monthly or bimonthly installments over a 10- to 12-month period.
Proof of full tuition payment for the applicant’s first year of study
This could take the following forms:
- A DLI receipt an official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees a bank receipt demonstrating that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
- Proof that the tuition fee amount has been deposited in a DLI repository account to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date
- DLI most recent secondary or post-secondary educational transcript letter of acceptance from a post-secondary DLI
- Proof of completion of an upfront medical examination from a panel physician for applicants who have lived or traveled for 6 months in designated countries or territories in the year preceding their arrival in Canada and whose field of study requires upfront medical examination results.
Note: If the physician uses eMedical, the medical examination confirmation may be an information sheet printout or an Upfront Medical Report form [IMM 1017B].
In addition to the above criteria, applicants for SDS processing must include the following documents as part of their electronic application (e-application):
- Form for Study Permit Application Made Outside of Canada [IMM 1294] (PDF, 566 KB) (overseas)
- Family Information Form (PDF, 1.56 MB) (if applicable)
- Schedule 1 – Temporary Resident Visa Application Form [IMM 5257] (PDF, 533 KB) (if applicable)
- Marriage license or certificate or Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form (PDF, 637 KB) (if applicable)
- Form of Representative [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 pay the Quebec application processing fee and biometric processing fee (if applicable)
- Proof of identity photocopy of the applicant’s passport’s information and biographic data page any additional documents specified by the visa office instructions for the applicant’s region
Note: It should be noted that in most cases, the applicant is required to submit biometrics. After submitting a complete application, including application and biometric processing fees (if applicable), the applicant receives a biometric instruction letter (BIL), which includes instructions on submitting biometrics.
Officers may also ask the applicant for additional documents at any time in order to make a decision on their application.
Officers must be convinced that the applicant is genuine and will leave Canada by the end of the period of stay authorized.
Applications That Are Incomplete
Applications that are incomplete are rejected. With the exception of the biometric fee, the application is refused if the application processing fee is not included or is incorrect. If the biometric fee is not present, the officer must request it.
Family Members Of SDS Study Permit Applicants
Concurrent processing is available to family members of principal applicants who apply under the SDS at the same time as the primary applicant. See the definition of a family member in subsection R1 for more information (3).
As part of a family grouping, the accompanying family members’ temporary residence applications (work permit, study permit, and temporary resident visa applications) must be submitted online.
Course Prerequisites And Bridging Programs Of Study
Applicants who are enrolled in a prerequisite course or bridging program of study at a DLI prior to beginning their main program may be eligible to apply under the SDS if they meet all program eligibility criteria.
Applicants from other countries must still submit an e-application. The prerequisite course or bridging program of study, however, must be clearly identified as such in the applicant’s acceptance letter, and the applicant’s main program of study must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate.
Using the Student Direct Stream to apply for a study permit. Can I bring my family along?
Yes, you may be able to bring your spouse or common-law partner, as well as your dependent children, to Canada. They may be able to obtain a study or work permit, as well as a visitor visa. When you apply for your study permit, you must submit their applications online. Learn how to submit their applications along with yours Here