The Student Direct Stream in Canada Explained

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a study permit processing program for those applying to study in Canada at a designated post-secondary institution that fast-tracks the process. The SDS is available to legal residents of countries such as China, India, the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, Pakistan, or Vietnam.

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Are you a brilliant and motivated international student hoping to get into one of Canada’s world-class universities?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) study permit provides students from select countries such as China, India, the Philippines, Morocco, Senegal, Pakistan, or Vietnam a unique opportunity to fast-track the processing of their study permits.

The government department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) processes SDS applications within 20 days if the additional eligibility requirements are met.

The SDS is available to students who would like to gain admission to a post-secondary designated institution. SDS applicants are still required to meet all eligibility and admissibility obligations under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

Who Qualifies for the Student Direct Stream?

SDS applicants are subjected to stricter eligibility requirements than regular study permits. You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an SDS:

  • Have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada
  • Provide a clearance document confirming the result of a recent medical examination
  • Submit a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) that reflects an investment account balance of $10,000 or higher. 
  • Provide a receipt for the payment of tuition fee for the first year
  • Provide a Canadian high school certificate or a language test certificate

What is the Process for the Student Direct Stream?

You must acquire a temporary resident visa and a letter of introduction, known as a Point of Entry (POE) letter of introduction to provide proof of approval for a study permit. These documents are to be submitted to a visa officer at arrival in Canada.

The POE letter is issued by the IRCC. You can not apply for an SDS while residing in any country not listed above.

An SDS also authorizes you to remain in Canada for a certain period of time after your graduation. You may also request to bring your spouse and/or dependent children when you apply through SDS.

Student Direct Stream Processing Time

Applicants eligible for the Student Direct Stream can have their study permits processed within 20 calendar days.

Student Direct Stream Refusal

These are some of the top reasons why a Study Permit under the Student Direct Steam may be refused: 

  1. Not a resident of one of the eligible countries
  2. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) requirements are not met
  3. Educational history
  4. Employment prospects in the country of residence
  5. Inability to satisfy the reviewing officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay
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