- What is the Student Direct Stream?
- What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Student Direct Stream?
- Which Countries Are Eligible for the Student Direct Stream?
- What Documents Are Required for the Student Direct Stream?
- What is a Guaranteed Investor Certificate?
- How Do I Apply Through the Student Direct Stream?
- What Are the Fees and Processing Times for the Student Direct Stream?
- What Happens After I Apply?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Student Direct Stream?
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is an accelerated pathway for eligible international students to obtain a Canadian study permit quicker than usual.
It is only open to legal residents of certain countries.
You must meet the specific criteria for the SDS pathway in order to be eligible, in addition to meeting all the regular eligibility requirements for the study permit.
This includes things such as giving your biometrics as quickly as possible and having a Guaranteed Investment Certificate worth CAN$10,000.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Student Direct Stream?
In order to be eligible for the Student Direct Stream, you must:
- Comply with all the regular eligibility requirements for a study permit
- Be a legal resident of one of the eligible countries
- Live outside of Canada when you apply
- Get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one)
- Get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one)
If you need a medical exam or police certificate, you must include these in your application in order for it to be processed as quickly as possible.
You may need a medical exam if either of the following applies:
- You’ve lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 months or more before you come to Canada
- You plan on studying or working in:
- The health field
- Primary or secondary education, or
- Child or elder care
You will be told if you need to get a police certificate by your visa office instructions you receive when you apply.
Which Countries Are Eligible for the Student Direct Stream?
You will only be eligible for the Student Direct Stream if you’re a legal resident living in one of the following countries:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Brazil||China|
|Philippines||Senegal||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Vietnam|
Note that applicants will not be eligible to use the Student Direct Stream to get their study permits faster if they live anywhere other than any one of the countries listed above. This applies even if you’re a citizen of one of the above countries.
If you don’t live in one of the eligible countries, you may still be eligible for a Canadian study permit through the regular application process.
What Documents Are Required for the Student Direct Stream?
You must provide the following documents with your Student Direct Stream application:
- An acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
- Proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study, which can be in the form of:
- A receipt from your designated learning institute (DLI)
- An official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees
- A receipt from a bank showing that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
- Proof that the tuition fee amount has been transferred into a repository account at the DLI to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
- Your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
- A language test result that shows either:
- An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic or general training score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- A Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
- A Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (only if you’re studying in Quebec)
What is a Guaranteed Investor Certificate?
A Guaranteed Investor Certificate (GIC) is a type of Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. It is also one of the requirements in order to be eligible for the Student Direct Stream.
In order for the GIC to be eligible, the bank that issues the GIC must:
- Confirm that you bought a GIC by giving you one of the following:
- A letter of attestation
- A GIC certificate
- An Investment Directions Confirmation
- An Investment Balance Confirmation
- Hold the GIC in an investment account or a student account that you can’t access until you arrive in Canada
- Make you confirm your identity before they release any funds to you
- Release the funds to you by providing:
- An initial lump sum once you identify yourself upon arrival in Canada
- The remainder of the funds in monthly or bi-monthly installments over 10 to 12 months
What Financial Institutions offer GICs?
You will be able to obtain a GIC from a financial institution listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website. You will need to ensure that the financial institution you choose offers a GIC and meets the criteria for the Student Direct Stream.
As an example, the following financial institutions offer GICs that meet the criteria:
|Bank of Beijing||Desjardins||SBI Canada Bank|
|Bank of China||Habib Canadian Bank||Scotiabank|
|Bank of Montreal (BMO)||HSBC Bank of Canada||Simplii Financial|
|Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.||ICICI Bank||TD Canada Trust|
|Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)||Industrial and Commercial Bank of China|
|China Everbright Bank||RBC Royal Bank|
How Do I Apply Through the Student Direct Stream?
You must apply for a study permit through the Student Direct Stream online.
You will need the following to hand when applying:
- The instruction guide from the Canadian government website to fill out your forms
- A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents
- A valid credit or debit card to make the payment
When applying online, you will first have to select your country from the drop-down list in order to access your local visa office instructions. You will also be directed to the log-in page where you can either sign in to your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account or create an account if you don’t have one.
It’s important to refer to your local visa office instructions, as they will inform you of all of the additional documents you need to submit with your application, as well as lists of where you might be able to obtain a GIC in your home country.
What Are the Fees and Processing Times for the Student Direct Stream?
The application fee for the Student Direct Stream is CAN$150.
Biometric information fees are CAN$85.
Most Student Direct Stream applications are processed within 20 calendar days, although this may be slightly longer if you’re asked to give any other documents with your application.
Note that if your application is found to be ineligible for the Student Direct Stream, it will be processed as a regular study permit application, and you won’t receive a faster processing time. The standard processing time for a regular study permit is around 20 calendar days after receiving your biometric information.
If you require any additional assistance with your Student Direct Stream application, Total Law is here to help. For further help, advice or support with your application, get in touch with us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.
After you submit your application for the Student Direct Stream, you may need to give your biometric information in the form of fingerprints and a photograph.
In most cases, you will need to give your biometrics if you’ve never done so, or it’s been more than 10 years since you’ve last done so.
The Canadian government will send you a letter telling you how and where to give biometrics. You must give your biometrics within 30 days of you receiving your letter.
Once you give your biometrics, IRCC will start to process your application.
If Your Application is Refused
If your application for a study permit is refused, you’ll be sent a letter explaining the reason or reasons why.
There is no formal appeal process for when your application for a study permit through the SDS is refused. However, you will be free to re-apply at any time, or you may seek a judicial review to try and have your refusal reconsidered.
If you’re considering a judicial review for your study permit application, or you’re unsure as to why your application was refused, Total Law can help. Get in touch with us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online today.
If Your Application is Approved
If your application for a study permit is approved, you will receive the following:
- A port of entry letter of introduction, which you will need to show the border services officer when you enter Canada
- An electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa
If you need an eTA to travel to Canada, it will be electronically linked to your passport and will be valid for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You will need to ensure that you travel with the passport you used when applying for the SDS.
If you need a visitor visa to travel to Canada, you’ll be asked to send your passport to your local visa office. Your visitor visa will be placed inside your passport and will show if you can enter Canada once or multiple times.
Note that your study permit will normally only be valid until the end of your school program. If your passport expires before the end of your program, your permit will only be valid until your passport expiry date.
If this happens, you will need to apply to extend your study permit once you have a new passport.
How Can Total Law Help?
The Student Direct Stream can be a useful and valuable way for eligible students to fast-track their study permit applications in order to study in Canada.
However, the process can be more challenging than a standard study permit application, with additional stringent eligibility criteria to follow.
Total Law can help. We are a team of expert and professional Canadian immigration lawyers committed to delivering the highest quality service to all of our clients. We can help establish your eligibility for the Student Direct Stream, assist you in gathering and providing documentation such as Guaranteed Investment Certificates, and help assemble your application to maximise the chances of it being approved.
We can also assist you should your SDS application be refused and guide you through the next steps of what to do.
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You will be able to bring your spouse, common-law partner and dependent children with you to Canada, as long as they also have valid visas and permits to do so.
You must ensure that you send a complete application for each of them at the same time you send your own, and indicate on your own application that you have family members coming with you to Canada in order for this to happen.
If your study permit application is refused, you will need to contact the bank that issued your Guaranteed Investment Certificate to get a refund.
No. Although the SDS allows you to get a study permit faster, you still must meet all the eligibility requirements for a study permit in order to be issued with one. There is no guarantee of obtaining a study permit when applying through the SDS.
The Student Direct Stream is intended for post-secondary students only, which means that elementary or high school students would need to apply for a study permit through the regular stream, and not the Student Direct Stream.