Canadian Immigration News

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) Program to Include 7 New Countries

2 minute read
"The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced on July 9, 2021, that the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program has been expanded to include 7 new countries. The SDS is a fast-track program for international students to obtain a Canadian study permit within 2 weeks."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 2, 2021
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Author info:

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced on July 9, 2021, that the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program has been expanded to include 7 new countries. The SDS is a fast-track program for international students to obtain a Canadian study permit within 2 weeks. 

What New Countries Are Eligible for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) Program?

The following 7 countries will be eligible for the SDS program:

  • Brazil

  • Colombia

  • Peru

  • Antigua 

  • Tobago

  • Saint Vincent 

  • The Grenadines

What Is the Student Direct Stream (SDS) Program?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program provides expedited processing of study permit applications for international students with a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. 

The study permit processing time under the SDS program takes less than 20 calendar days. For non-SDS study permits, the processing time is roughly 3 months. 

This program was first introduced by the IRCC in 2018 for students from India, China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Later, the program was expanded to include 3 more countries: Pakistan, Senegal, and Morocco in 2019.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Student Direct Stream Program (SDS)?

For international students from the 14 eligible countries, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • Need at least a level 6 on an approved English language test or a level 7 on the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) for French for language proficiency
  • Provide proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate of at least $10,000 obtained from an eligible Canadian financial institution
  • For the first year of the study program, you need proof of tuition payment
  • Have a Letter of Acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada
  • Have your most recent educational transcript
  • Clear medical examination if you have lived or traveled for 6 months in one of the designated countries or if your study program requires an upfront medical exam

In 2019, Canada invited an estimated 642,000 international students. The top-most source countries for international students include the SDS participating countries including India, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, and Morocco.

Which New Countries Will Have the Most Impact on International Student Enrollment?

Among the newly included countries, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru are most likely to impact international student enrollment in Canada. Over the last two decades, enrollment of international students from Brazil has increased tenfold while the Colombian student population has quadrupled.

Since 2000, the international student population from Peru has also increased five-fold. Nearly 16,000 of all study permits issued last year were issued to applicants from the newly included SDS countries. About 10,000 international students applied from Brazil and around 4,400 were from Colombia. 

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