May 20, 2024 10:42 AM

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An Updated Guide For Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) Application

Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) for study permit applications has undergone recent changes, affecting candidates applying for expedited processing in 2024. 

Introduced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), these changes aim to enhance the integrity of Canada’s international student program.

The updated process has several key steps:

Determine SDS Eligibility

International students from select countries may qualify for expedited processing through SDS. Applicants from these countries can expect approval within 20 calendar days, compared to the standard 10-week processing time.

Obtain a Letter of Acceptance

Prospective students must apply to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and await a Letter of Acceptance (LOA). DLIs are the only schools permitted to admit international students.

Gather Required Documents

Applicants must provide supporting documents, including:

  • Copy of Letter of Acceptance from a DLI
  • Confirmation of upfront medical exam, if applicable
  • Police certificate
  • Proof of travel cost coverage
  • Proof of paid tuition fees for the first year
  • Language test results
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 20,635
  • Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL), if applicable
  • School transcripts

Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL)

A new requirement for DLIs to ensure support capacity. Applicants to master’s, PhD, primary, or secondary school programs are exempt.

Obtain GIC

Applicants must open an International Student GIC of $20,635 CAD, providing proof of investment.

Submit Application

Once accepted to a DLI and with all documents in hand, applicants can submit their application to IRCC.

Approved applicants will receive a Letter of Introduction (Port of Entry letter) and a temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). 

With these updates, international students can complete the SDS application process efficiently and begin their educational journey in Canada.

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