How to Apply Student Direct Stream (SDS) Canada Online

Many international residents aspire to study in Canada as an opportunity to bring their families with them and eventually migrate to this country in the future after completing their study program. Aside from living in a country that actually recognizes your efforts, you will also receive Canadian citizenship and a passport that will allow you to travel everywhere in the world without the need for a visa.

The Student Direct Stream has made pursuing higher education in Canada so much more appealing for citizens of key partner nations. Another reason why Filipinos, in particular, are attracted to this program is the fact that the applications under this program usually only take less than a month to be processed.

How to Apply Under Canada’s Student Direct Stream In 2021

What You Need to Know about Applying under Canada’s Student Direct Stream – SDS Canada Student Visa Online

In this guide, we share all of the things that you need to know when applying via the SDS Canada or the Student Direct Stream program.  With this in mind, make sure to read the rest of this guide until the end to increase your chances of making it to Canada as an international student, and even bring your family with you.

Students from China, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Senegal, and Vietnam have benefited from quicker applications processing through the Student Direct Stream, or SDS Canada as it is often called. The addition of Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil, and Antigua and Barbuda, has widened the scope of the Student Direct Stream as of July 9, 2021.

Residents from these partner nations who can show upfront that they have the financial means and linguistic abilities necessary to excel in studying in Canada benefit from shorter processing timeframes. The processing time for Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) is 20 business days.


To be eligible for the SDS program, candidates must meet additional standards, specifically more stringent language levels than required in regular standard study permit applications. Furthermore, with a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) on hand, you can prove that an investment account with a balance of at least 10,000 CAD under your name is a prerequisite for approval.

Applicants who don’t have full access to additional information can opt to apply for a study permit through the standard process, either through a Visa Application Centre or online. Applications that fulfill the standard study permit requirements but not the SDS Canada criteria may still be processed according to the regular study permit criteria, but will not benefit from the quicker processing that the SDS Canada track provides.

SDS Program Canada Eligibility

If you are a legal resident of one of the following countries, you may apply for Canada’s Study Direct Stream:

  • China
  • India
  • Costa Rica
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam
  • Peru
  • The Philippines
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Senegal

Those who live in other countries (even if you hold a passport from one of the nations listed above) must apply through the regular process (study permit track).

Applications must include the following requirements:

  • a copy of your admission letter from a chosen educational school;
  • a copy of your latest confirmation document for your medical exam;
  • a copy of the $10,000 Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC);
  • recent copies of your secondary or post-secondary school transcripts,
  • proof of payment of tuition covering the first year of your study, and
  • For French applicants: proof of completing a Canadian curriculum high school or a language test form with a score of at least 6 for English (International English Language Testing System) or a score of at least 7 for French (Test d’évaluation de français)

Providing GIC indicating that you possess an investment account with a balance of at least 10,000 CAD is a major prerequisite for applying for your study visa through the said program.

Your GIC is a type of investment. Once you begin your studies in Canada, you will receive your study funds back from your GIC. Typically, students receive 2,000 CAD upon arrival in Canada, with the remainder (8000 CAD) paid throughout the second year.

Overview: Transitioning to Permanent Residency from SDS Canada

There were over 700,000 international students in Canada as of 2020. This represents a significant increase from only a few years back. More than 404,000 international students acquired their Canadian study visas in 2019. These results are especially noteworthy because this means that Canada has already surpassed its International Education Strategy objective of 450,000 international students in Canada by 2022.

More than half of Canada’s international student population is accounted for by students from China and India. In 2018, alone, around 100,000 Indian students took part in the program for that year.

Graduates of Canadian institutions are likely to receive more points for their study credits under Express Entry than those who studied outside of Canada. According to a recent IRCC Express Entry report, approximately one-third of all invitations to apply for permanent residence given in 2017 went to graduates of Canadian colleges and universities.

Foreign graduates and students in Canada may also look through their options for immigration via the Provincial Nominee Programs since there are various PNP streams that aim to assist students and alumnae in establishing permanent ties in the country.

International grads in Canada are likewise well-positioned to eventually receive permanent resident status.

If this is one of your goals in the long-term despite the unfavorable prospects due to the pandemic, then you should keep a copy of this guide handy. The country is also perfect for Filipinos who want to study first before looking for work. Unlike its neighboring country, the United States, Canada allows students to work 20 hours per week on or off school.

In addition, you can bring your spouse with you and have him or her work full-time for the duration of your studies, which is something that international students with F-2 status in the United States are not permitted to do. Most significantly, working in Canada as a temporary foreign worker allows you to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain permanent resident status.

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