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June 12, 2018

Welcome, Students! IRCC Announces New Program – Student Direct Stream

Posted by Rikhav Shah - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 8 June 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that it is launching a new program, effective immediately, to decrease processing times for study permits. Called the Student Direct Stream (SDS), it allows qualifying individuals applying from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines (“designated countries”) to be eligible for expedited processing of study permits. Similar individual programs already existed for each of these countries, but they have now been consolidated under the SDS. The SDS is only available if an individual applies from one of the designated countries; If they are a citizen of a designated country but applying from a third country, they will not be able to access the SDS.

There is an intention to expand the program to other countries in 2019 if it is successful, such as Kenya and Senegal. Expansion to Senegal is of particular interest, as it would be in line with Canada’s goal to attract more French-speaking students to Canada.

Applicants from these 4 designated countries are not automatically eligible for SDS; there are certain criteria that must be met by providing upfront proof of the items below:

  • Accepted at a Canadian learning institution that is designated to host internationals students
  • Tuition payment for the first year of study at a designated learning institution in Canada
  • Purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000
  • Completion of an upfront medical examination
  • Qualifying score of at least 6 for English (IELTS), or Niveaux de competence linguistique canadiens score of 7 for French (TEF), or graduation from a Canadian-curriculum high school

Of note is that the language levels are stricter than with a regular study permits. If an applicant applies under SDS and is found not to be eligible under the program, they will be transferred to the regular study permit processing stream and will not receiving the faster processing benefit.

For more information on applying under Student Direct Stream, please click here.