Student Direct Stream: Apply for a Fast-Track Study Permit

Last updated: 5 February 2024

The Student Direct Stream, or SDS, is a program designed to make the process of applying for a Canadian study permit faster and more efficient for some international students.

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Eligibility Requirements for Canada's Student Direct Stream


The SDS program currently serves residents of 14 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

Canada aims to process all study permit applications eligible for SDS processing in 20 calendar days.

To submit an application for a Canadian study permit through the SDS program, prospective student applicants must:

  • provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution;
  • provide a copy of a provincial attestation letter, unless they are masters or PhD student, primary or secondary school student, or a visiting or exchange student;
  • present a confirmation document for the applicant’s upfront medical exam;
  • prove that they have obtained a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $20,635 CAD;
  • prove that they have covered their travel costs;
  • 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; and
  • submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

IRCC accepts the following English language tests:

  • IELTS Academic or IELTS General Training score of at least 6.0 in each language skill level (reading; writing; listening; and, speaking);
  • CELPIP General (minimum score of CLB 7);
  • CAEL (minimum score of 60);
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic (minimum score of 60); and/or
  • Educational Testing Service (ETS) TOEFL iBT Test (minimum score of 83).

An application that is approved will be issued a letter of introduction, or what is officially known as a Point of Entry letter of introduction, and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada.

The letter of introduction, or Point of Entry (POE) letter, is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as proof of approval for a study permit and is presented to a visa officer upon arrival in Canada.

Citizens of one of the countries listed above cannot be residing in another country at the time of applying for a study permit through the SDS program.


Contact the Cohen Immigration Law Firm for Assistance

Do you need assistance studying in Canada? The Cohen Immigration Law Firm can help. Cohen Immigration Law offers over 45 years of Canadian immigration expertise.

Please contact us to schedule a free telephone consultation with one of our lawyers.

Get a Free Legal Consultation