In order to make the process of applying for a Canadian Study permit robust, faster, and more efficient for a specified group of international students a new program has been designed i.e Student Direct Stream or SDS program. Currently, the SDS program serves residents of seven countries that are: China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam and aims to process all study permit applications eligible for SDS processing in 20 calendar days.

Eligibility Requirements for Canada's Student Direct Stream

To submit an application for a Canadian study permit through the SDS program, prospective student applicants must:

  • provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution;
  • 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; and
  • show proof that they either completed studies at a Canadian curriculum high school or show proof of a language test results demonstrating an IELTS score of 6 in English or NCLC 7 for French.
  • submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

An application that is approved will be issued a letter of introduction, or what is officially known as a Point of Entry letter of introduction, and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

The letter of introduction, or Point of Entry (POE) letter, is issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as proof of approval for a study permit and is presented to a visa officer upon arrival in Canada.

Note: Citizens of one of the countries listed above cannot be residing in another country at the time of applying for a study permit through the SDS program.

Advantages of applying for Study Permit with Student Direct Stream

Faster study permit processing times are one of the major advantages of applying for a Study Permit with Student Direct Stream. IRCC says that applications processed through the SDS program will be reviewed as soon as they are received and if an application does not meet the requirements for the SDS program, IRCC will process the submission as a regular study permit application. At present, the processing times for Canadian study permit vary based on country of residence.