Student Direct Stream: Who can apply
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- Eligibility requirements
- Bring your spouse or partner and children with you to Canada
To be eligible for faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must:
- be a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
- live outside of Canada when you apply
- have proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study
- have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
- have an attestation of issuance of your Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
- This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec.
- get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one)
- get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one)
- have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
- have the minimum score required for one of the qualifying language tests
Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to provide other documents. Make sure you include all the documents required by the visa office that processes your application.
We may ask you to give additional documents to support your application. In this case, your application will take longer to process.
Who isn’t eligible for the Student Direct Stream
If you live anywhere other than 1 of the countries listed above (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), you must apply through the regular study permit application process.
If you live in another country (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), or if you don’t meet the eligibility for faster processing, you may still be eligible for a study permit through the regular study permit application process.
Proof of full payment of tuition for the applicant’s first year of study
This may be in the form of the following:
- a receipt from the 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
Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
A GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. Many banks offer different types of GICs. The bank that gives you the GIC must
- confirm that you bought a GIC by giving you 1 of the following:
- a letter of attestation
- a GIC certificate
- an Investment Directions Confirmation or
- an Investment Balance Confirmation
- 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 instalments over 10 to 12 months
The GIC you get for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) must be held in an investment account or a student account and will be released to you when you arrive in Canada.
If your GIC doesn’t meet this criterion, you won’t be able to apply through the SDS.
Financial institutions that offer eligible SDS GICs
Make sure the financial institution and the type of GIC you choose meet the above criteria.
The following list includes financial institutions that may offer GICs that meet the SDS criteria. It is up to you to make sure the GIC you submit meets the SDS criteria.
- Bank of China (Canada)
- Bank of Montreal
- Bank of Nova Scotia
- Bank of Xi’an Co. Ltd. – in partnership with the Bank of Nova Scotia
- China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd. – in partnership with the Bank of Nova Scotia
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- Simplii Financial’s GICs are provided by CIBC.
- Fédération des caisses Desjardins du QuébecFootnote 1
- Habib Canadian Bank
- HSBC Canada
- ICICI Bank Canada
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Canada)
- National Bank of Canada
- Royal Bank of Canada
- SBI Canada Bank
- The Toronto-Dominion Bank
If you’re a representative of a financial institution offering an SDS-eligible GIC product and would like to be on this list, please email IRCC.SDS-VDE.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.
Medical exams and police certificates
Depending on where you’re applying from, you may need to get a medical exam or police certificate. To get faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must include these with your application (if you need them). If you don’t, we won’t process your application faster.
Who needs a medical exam
You may need to get a medical exam if:
- you lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 or more months in the year before you come to Canada, or
- you plan on studying or working in:
- the health field
- primary or secondary education, or
- child or elder care
To get a medical exam, you must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC.
Who needs a police certificate
Your visa office instructions will tell you if you need to get a police certificate. You’ll find these instructions when you select your country of residence below. Make sure you read these instructions before you apply, so you know if you need a police certificate or any other documents to apply.
You must have a valid language test result that meets the minimum required score. Test results must be less than 2 years old when we receive your application. Tests must be taken in-person; online tests aren’t accepted.
If you applied before August 10, 2023
We only accept valid International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) language test results. Your language test result must show either of the following:
If you applied on or after August 10, 2023
You must submit the results from 1 of the valid language tests below that show all 4 language abilities were tested (speaking, listening, reading and writing).
You must take these language tests in their in-person format to be accepted for the SDS. Online tests will not be accepted.
Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Test
You need a CAEL Test minimum overall score of 60.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic
You need an IELTS Academic minimum overall score of 6.
Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
You need a PTE Academic minimum overall score of 60.
Test de connaissance du français (TCF) tout public
You need a TCF tout public minimum overall score of 400.
Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) 5 épreuves
You need a TEF 5 épreuves minimum overall score of 400.
Note: The Lexique/Structure ability isn’t required for SDS.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT
You need a TOEFL iBT minimum overall score of 83.
Bring your spouse or partner and children with you to Canada
- visitor visa
- work permit
- study permit
You must complete and submit their applications at the same time as your own. If you don’t, we will not process their applications faster. When you apply online, indicate that you have family members coming with you to Canada. This lets you complete their applications with yours.
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