Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has just announced that it will accept language test results from four new tests for Student Direct Stream (SDS) applicants.
IRCC will begin to accept test results from these four new tests effective August 10, 2023.
The newly eligible tests are:
- CELPIP General
- PTE Academic
- TOEFL iBT Test
All test results must demonstrate ability in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
CELPIP general exams must indicate a score of at least 7 in each of the four language speaking abilities, which is equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark.
CAEL and Pearson PTE Academic test results must be at least 60.
The TOEFL iBT Test from Educational Testing Service (ETS) requires a minimum score of 83.
These exams must be taken in person by students. Remotely proctored online tests will not be acceptable for SDS applicants.
Prior to this change, IELTS General and IELTS Academic were the only tests approved by IRCC for SDS applicants.
What is the SDS?
The Study Direct Stream (SDS) is a program offered by the Government of Canada to expedite the processing of study permit applications for international students from certain countries. The SDS program aims to provide faster and more streamlined processing times for eligible students applying to study at designated Canadian educational institutions.
To qualify for the SDS program, applicants must meet specific requirements, including submitting certain documents upfront and meeting language proficiency requirements. The participating countries and institutions may vary, so it is essential to check the official Government of Canada website for the most up-to-date information on the SDS program and its eligibility criteria.
The SDS program is designed to facilitate the processing of study permit applications, but it is important to note that meeting the program requirements does not guarantee approval. Applicants must still satisfy all the necessary criteria for studying in Canada and provide accurate and complete documentation to support their application.
The SDS offers expedited processing of study permits for students from specific countries. Eligible students are legal residents of: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam.
There is a service standard of 20 days for a all study permit applications eligible for SDS.
Who is eligible for the SDS?
In addition to being legal residents of specific countries, students who meet this criteria must also:
- provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
- present a confirmation document for the applicant’s upfront medical exam;
- prove that they have obtained a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000;
- prove that tuition fees for the first year of study are paid;
- show proof of language test results completed within two years of the SDS application being received demonstrating an IELTS score of 6 in English or NCLC 7 for French; and
- submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
Canada is now home to over 800,000 international students
According to the IRCC By the end of 2022, Canada will have hosted over 800,000 overseas students, the most in the country’s history. Because of a variety of domestic and international reasons, Canada’s international student population has doubled since 2008. Domestically, the Canadian government and DLIs have increased their efforts to attract international students for a variety of economic, social, and cultural reasons. Globally, the international student population has increased as the global middle class has grown. Canada is viewed as an appealing location for overseas students due to its excellent educational level, multiculturalism, and employment and immigration options.