With its distinctive welcoming culture and internationally acclaimed universities, Canada is a popular study destination for students across the world. Student Direct Stream an initiative by the Canadian government to make the student visa application process easy for international aspirants. 77,140 Indian people sought study permits under the SDS program in 2019. The SDS programme was responsible for 54.4 percent of study permits given to Indian students the same year.
In this blog, we take you through everything that you need to know about SDS visas including SDS visa processing time 2022, its eligibility criteria, required documents, application process and also some frequently asked questions.
Table of Contents:
What is SDS in Canada?
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) launched the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program in June 2018 for international students willing to study in Canada. With the rapid growth of students from across the world traveling to Canada, IRCC felt the need to provide support and assistance to them. The main intention behind the SDS program is to smoothen the entire process of studying at different universities in Canada. The program comes with a lot of benefits, some of which are:
- Quicker Processing Time: The processing time for a typical Canada study permit is around 9 to 11 weeks. It begins at the time you submit your complete application and IRCC makes the decision in your favor. On the other hand, SDS visa processing time on average is 20 days.
- Fewer Documents Required: Student Direct Stream Canada not only requires less time but also less number of documents to prove financial and personal eligibility. As compared to the usual Canada student visa, an SDS visa is easy to acquire.
What are SDS Canada Requirements?
Student Direct Stream Canada depends upon a number of factors. One of the most important SDS Canada visa requirements is the country of your residence. To apply for an SDS visa you must be a permanent resident from the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
If you do not belong to the above-mentioned countries, you need to apply through the regular study permit process in Canada.
What is the Eligibility for SDS Canada?
As we have already seen, the first requirement for Student Direct Stream Canada is to have a permanent residence certificate from the desired countries. Apart from that, the eligibility criteria for SDS Canada for Indian students include:
- All international students must acquire an acceptance letter from the Designated Learning Institute (DLI).
- Under the SDS Canada Visa for international students, the payment of tuition fees for the first year is mandatory. The receipt from the DLI is required as a proof for the same. The students also need to present the bank receipt to confirm that the transaction is done from the student’s account to the respective university account.
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 10,000 is another requirement for SDS Canada for Indian students. The certificate is given after the purchase of GIC along with a letter of attestation and Investment Directions Confirmation. The banks keep the funds in the investment or student account till he/she arrives in Canada. Once the students land in Canada, he/she can release the fund by validating their identity.
- English Language Proficiency is a major requirement in all the steps involved in your study abroad journey. Canada too asks for the same during SDS file processing time. The scorecard of IELTS is only taken into consideration for this purpose. You may either opt for IELTS Academic or General. The English Language Proficiency test scorecards are valid for 2 years of the SDS application date.
Suggested: Difference between SDS vs Non SDS in Canada!
Documents Required for SDS Visa Canada
- A copy of the acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI
- A copy of the upfront medical exam confirmation document (if required)
- A police certificate (if required)
- Proof that they have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) CAD $10,000
- Proof of payment of tuition fees for their first year of study
- Copies of educational transcripts
- Proof of language proficiency
- Application form for a study permit outside of Canada
- Application for Temporary Resident visa form
- Marriage license or marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Statement of Purpose
- Representative form
- Identity proof
- Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) or letter of approval from the University of Quebec (for example)
- Receipt of application fee for the Study Direct Stream process
- Any other documents of valid evidence as asked by the Visa officers
Application Process for SDS Canada Visa
A step-by-step guide to applying for SDS Canada Visa is discussed below:
- Visit the Immigration Refugee Citizenship (IRCC) website and fill the SDS application form IMM 1294.
- Upload scanned copies of required documents.
- Pay the fees. The fees here are divided into: Application fees and Biometrics fees. The application fee is CAD 150 per person, while the biometrics fee is CAD 85.
- After the payment of the fee, you will receive the link to your biometrics request letter. You need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo) information for your application to begin processing.
- When your biometrics form is accepted, you may be asked to go through medical exams and background verification too.
- Once your SDS visa is approved you will receive a letter of introduction, an electronic travel authorization (eTA), or a temporary resident visa to enter Canada as an international student.
The otherwise exhaustive Canada visa application procedure is eased out to a great extent to get into SDS Colleges and Universities in Canada. The less time and effort involved in the process is an attractive initiative of welcoming more and more international students to Canada.
Frequently Asked Questions for SDS Canada Visa
- What is SDS full form Canada?
Ans. SDS in Canada stands for Student Direct Stream program.
- What is SDS category in Canada?
Ans. Under specific eligibility criteria, international students can apply for their student visa through the SDS category in Canada. It is easier and convenient than the usual visa process in Canada.
- What is the SDS file processing time?
Ans. Student visas applied through the Student Direct Stream program require 20 days on average to be processed.
- What can delay SDS file processing time?
Ans. The following situations may delay the Student Direct Stream Visa application processing time:
- Unclear photocopies of documents
- Verification of your information and documents
- Any medical condition that may need more tests or consultations
- Criminal or security problem
- Consultation needed with other offices in Canada and abroad