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Canada’s Student Direct Stream: Eligibility, Application Procedures, and Essential Insights for 2024

Ashley Shelton



Canada's Student Direct Stream

The process of studying abroad can be daunting, especially when it comes to applying for a study permit. Aspiring students often seek clarity and guidance to ease their journey. This comprehensive guide provides you with everything you need to know about applying for Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) in 2024. We’ve got you covered from eligibility criteria to document requirements and application procedures.

Student Direct Stream (SDS) 2024

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program introduced by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to expedite the processing of study permit applications for international students from select countries. The program aims to streamline the application process while maintaining the integrity of Canada’s international student program.

Eligibility Criteria for SDS

To be eligible for the SDS program, you must be a legal resident of one of the following countries:

Antigua and BarbudaBrazil
Costa RicaIndia
SenegalSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and TobagoVietnam
  • Applicants from these countries may have their study permit applications approved within 20 calendar days, compared to the standard processing time of 10 weeks for non-SDS applicants.
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Steps to Apply for SDS

Step 1: Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying for the SDS program, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria based on your country of residence. If you qualify, you can proceed with the application process.

Step 2: Obtain a Letter of Acceptance

The next crucial step is to apply to a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and await a Letter of Acceptance (LOA). DLIs are authorized to admit international students, and IRCC provides a list of recognized institutions on their official website.


Step 3: Gather Required Documents

As part of your SDS application, you’ll need to provide various documents, including:

  • Letter of Acceptance from a DLI
  • Confirmation of upfront medical exam (if applicable)
  • Police certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of sufficient funds for travel and tuition fees
  • Language test results
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
  • Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) (if applicable)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) for students studying in Quebec

Ensure that you have all necessary documents ready before proceeding with your application.

Step 4: Obtain a Provincial Attestation Letter

Depending on the location of your DLI, you may need to obtain a Provincial Attestation Letter (PAL) to support your application. This requirement aims to ensure that DLIs do not exceed their capacity to accommodate international students. Each province in Canada has its own process for issuing PALs, so be sure to research accordingly.

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Step 5: Open a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Part of the SDS application involves purchasing a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $20,635 CAD. This investment serves as proof of your financial capacity to support yourself during your studies in Canada. The TD International Student GIC Program offers a convenient online application process, allowing you to open a TD Student Chequing Account and a TD International Student GIC without any application fees.

Step 6: Submit Your Application

Once you’ve completed all prerequisites and gathered the necessary documents, you’re ready to submit your SDS application to IRCC. If approved, you’ll receive a letter of introduction and, if required, a temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to enter Canada. Applying for Canada’s Student Direct Stream in 2024 can be a smooth and efficient process if you follow the steps outlined in this guide. By ensuring eligibility, gathering required documents, and adhering to application procedures, you’ll be one step closer to pursuing your academic goals in Canada.

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