Student Direct Stream (SDS Canada)

What is the SDS program for Canada?

IRCC, Canada has launched the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program in India on 8th June 2018 to provide more eligible Indian students with the opportunity to study at a Canadian post-secondary institution (Universities and Polytechnics) and for the faster student visa application processing time. SDS (Student Direct Stream) is a student permit facilitation program which will offer faster and simpler visa processing to international students.

What are eligibility requirements for the SDS Canada (Student Direct Stream) program ?

In order to be eligible for SDS Canada,  students will need to:

  • have the minimum-required IELTS level of English language ability of 6.0 in all sections (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)
  • purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000,
  • have been accepted by an eligible Post secondary Designated Learning Institute (DLI List)
  • tuition payment for the first year of study at a DLI in Canada,
  • From 30th April 2019, All students need to apply online to get a study permit through the SDS Stream. No paper applications under SDS.
  • completion of an upfront medical examination,

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Canadian Student Direct Stream (SDS) for India

What about the students who have already applied for student visa under SPP program? Will they be considered under SPP OR SDS Canada?

Don’t worry, If you have already submitted your application under SPP program. In such cases, this new SDS Canada program will not affect in any way. IRCC will continue processing your application as they committed to do under the previous SPP program.

Am I assured a student visa if I choose to apply through SDS?

No, Visa is not assured for any visa category. The SDS Canada visa category provides a streamlined student visa application process and faster processing times but you must have to fulfil all the requirements for a student visa.

Please Share SDS Canada college list 2018

All DLI (designated learning institute) are eligible under SDS Canada Category.

What is a DLI (designated learning institute)? Can I have a list of DLIs?

A DLI is an institute approved by a state / provincial / territorial government to train and host international students. If you plan to apply for Student Visa under SDS, make sure your college is on this list:

Will I get Post-graduation work permit after Study from Any DLI on List?

Not all DLIs make you eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The last column of DLI List is the “Offers PGWP-eligible programs”. If you want Post-graduation work permit after Study, Choose the institute with YES in “Offers PGWP-eligible programs” column. you need to meet all other criteria to get a post-graduation work permit.

Are all colleges covered under SDS Canada or only those under SPP? I am accepted by one of the Canadian colleges, do I qualify for SDS?

Under SDS, more colleges and Universities would be eligible. To verify if an institution is included, check the website at

I think I am eligible for the SDS program (Student Direct Stream), however, I am not sure. Can I still apply for my Student Visa?

YES. You can apply for your Student Visa under the SDS program. If however, Department find you are not eligible for the SDS program then they will process your application under the regular Student Visa requirements.

I  have appeared for TOEFL / PTE Exam. Am I eligible to apply under SDS Category ?

As per the requirements for the SDS program, TOEFL/PTE scores are not accepted as an eligibility criteria.

Under the SDS Category, What is the processing time for student visa applications ?

For SDS Student visa applications, the processing time will be 45 days or less. Processing time of Regular student visa application is 60 days.

I want to apply for a Canadian Student visa, but I want to Pay semester wise Fees to the University. Is it Possible ?

Under SDS, one of the requirement is paying one year fees upfront. However, you can apply through the regular Student Visa application by paying less than 1-year fees.

What is the Deadline for student visa applications under the SDS ?

We strongly advise that you submit your student visa application at least 3 months ahead of your intended date of travel to Canada. Student visa Applications under SDS received after 1 April for May entry, after 1 August for September entry, and after 1 December for January entry may not be processed in time for the start of the course  and may be refused.

Can I still apply for a Student Visa even though I do not qualify to apply under the SDS?

Yes. You can still apply for a Student Visa and will it be processed within the current 60 day service standard.

Can I apply online for the SDS program?

YES. Prospective international students are strongly encouraged to apply for your Student Visa application online to benefit from simpler and efficient processing and communication.

You can apply for your Student Visa here:


According to IRCC guidelines, you will require approximately $10,000 CAD per year to cover your living expenses (Excluding tuition fees). This requirement can be met through the purchase of a participating GIC, and submitting proof of payment. Right now Scotiabank, ICICI Bank Canada, and SBI Canada Bank are the accepted Canadian financial institutions. Please visit their websites to learn more about their services for GIC:


ICICI Bank Canada:

SBI Canada Bank:

IRCC = Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

What happens to my GIC AND Paid Tuition fees, if my Student Visa application is refused?

You will be able to apply directly to the respective bank that issued your Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) for a full refund. You should contact your university / college for a refund of your tuition fees.

Go through below website links for more information on the same: and

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