The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that effective August 10, 2023, four new language tests will be accepted for Student Direct Stream (SDS) applicants. The newly eligible language tests are CELPIP General, CAEL, PTE Academic, and TOEFL iBT Test. This means that SDS applicants can submit the scores from these tests to meet the language requirements for their study permit application.
By expanding its list of accepted language tests, IRCC is offering more flexibility to students in demonstrating their language proficiency. Moreover, this move aligns with the goal of the SDS program to provide faster processing times for international students applying to study in Canada while maintaining language proficiency standards. It is essential to note that the test results must demonstrate abilities in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Here are the specific requirements for each of the newly eligible language tests:
- CELPIP general tests: A score that is equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark of at least 7 is required in each of the four language speaking abilities.
- CAEL: Test results must show a minimum score of 60.
- Pearson PTE Academic: Test results must show a minimum score of 60.
- Educational Testing Service (ETS) TOEFL iBT Test: A minimum score of 83 is required.
It is important to take note of them while selecting the right test to meet the language proficiency requirements. The announcement by IRCC is excellent news for international students interested in studying in Canada through the SDS program, as they now have more options to demonstrate their language proficiency. However, it’s worth noting that the tests must be taken in-person, and online proctored tests will not be accepted for SDS applicants.
Student Direct Stream (SDS) The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program that provides faster processing times for study permit applications for eligible students from specific countries. Here are the program’s key details:
- Eligible students must be legal residents of: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam.
- SDS applications have a service standard of 20 days for processing study permit applications for all eligible students.
- The SDS program was launched in 2018 with the goal of providing faster processing times for international students who want to study in Canada.
- Indian international students have been particularly interested in the SDS program since its launch.
In summary, the SDS program offers an expedited process for study permit applications for eligible students from specific countries. With a service standard of 20 days, this program is an excellent option for students who want to study in Canada while enjoying faster processing times.
Eligibility Requirements for the SDS
To be eligible for the SDS program, students must meet the following criteria:
- Be legal residents of specific countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam.
- Provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI).
- 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.
- Show proof of language test results completed within two years of the SDS application being received demonstrating an IELTS score of 6 in English or NCLC 7 for French.
- Submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
By meeting these requirements, eligible students can benefit from faster processing times with a service standard of 20 days for study permit applications. Indian international students have shown significant interest in the SDS program since its inception.
According to a report by the IRCC, Canada welcomed over 800,000 international students at the end of 2022, marking the largest number in the country’s history. This represents a significant increase from 2008, where Canada’s international student population was only a quarter of what it is today. The surge in numbers can be attributed to both domestic and international factors.
On the domestic front, the Canadian government and Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) have been actively recruiting international students for economic, social, and cultural reasons. Meanwhile, on a global level, the rise of the middle class has led to an increase in the number of students seeking higher education opportunities overseas. Canada has become an attractive destination for international students due to its high quality of education, reputation for multiculturalism, and the availability of work and immigration opportunities after graduation.