Canada has added a number of new countries to its Student Direct Stream, which is meant for international students. It’s a program that helps them fast-track their arrival to the country in order to pursue their studies. The CIC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) made the announcement recently.
The additional countries are as follows:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Student Direct Stream
Abbreviated as SDS, the Student Direct Stream allows for study permits to be processed in an urgent or expedited state for individuals looking to study at a DLI (designated learning institution) in the country. The first step, and the first thing any immigration agency will look for, is for the DLI to issue a Letter of Acceptance (LOA).
The Canadian government must authorize the welcome of international students by a post-secondary educational institution such as a college or university before it can be considered a DLI. The next step for a candidate that receives an LOA is to apply for a study permit and submit that to the IRCC.
Study Permit Process
Working with a reputable immigration consultant is the best way to go about making sure the study permit is being processed well and on time. This is partially because depending on what country you’re from, the process can take up to months at a time. When the SDS is at play, the IRCC’s average processing time shortens to 20 calendar days.
Initially, it was China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam that the SDS catered to during its 2018 launch. Come 2019, an expansion occurred to include Morocco, Pakistan, and Senegal.
The following criteria must be met by anyone from the aforementioned countries looking to apply for a study permit under SDS:
- Canadian DLI LOA
- Educational transcript – It has to be the most updated, recent one.
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate – This must be worth at least $10,000 CAD. Moreover, it must be from a Canadian financial institution that’s eligible.
- Language Test/s Result/s – Candidates who are Francophones should have a CLB (Canadian Language Benchmark) equivalent of 7 per skill that’s on the Test d’Evaluation de Français. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) must be taken. Prospective students must have a minimum score of 6.0 on either the IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training per skill (Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing).
- Proof of fully-paid tuition (at least for the first year of the candidate)
- Upfront medical exam proof – When applicants have lived or travelled for up to half a year in certain countries for their field of study, they have to undergo an upfront medical exam.
There were a record 642,000 international students hosted by Canada in 2019, pre-pandemic.
Canada has always been open to international students, hence the SDS—their program to fast-track study permits for international students and one of the easiest ways to immigrate to Canada. For 2021, the CIC added more countries as eligible for the SDS (Student Direct Stream). These countries include Brazil, Peru, and Colombia, to name a few.
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