Expansion of Accepted Language Tests for Canada Student Direct Stream Program
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Expansion of Accepted Language Tests for Canada’s Student Direct Stream Program

Austin Campbell



Student Direct Stream Program

Canada has recently announced a significant update to its Student Direct Stream (SDS) program, expanding the list of accepted language tests. On August 10, 2023, Canada accepted new language tests for the Student Direct Stream. Now onwards, students applying for the stream will be required to pass four newly-authorised English language tests.

New Accepted Tests

Previously, only the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) were accepted for the SDS program. Now, the Canadian government has approved several additional language tests, including:

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP),
  • The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL),
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic),
  • The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)

The inclusion of these new language tests provides international students with more options and flexibility when proving their language proficiency for immigration purposes. This change aims to make the SDS program more accessible and attractive to applicants from various countries, as they can now submit scores from any of the accepted tests. Moreover, the expanded range of accepted language tests allows students to choose the test that best suits their language skills and preferences.

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However, on August 10th, the following modifications to the IELTS criteria for the SDS will also take effect. If you applied with IELTS Academic before the 10th of August 2023:

  • you’ll need a score of 6.0 in each skill section (speaking, listening, reading, and writing);
  • Attain a 6.0 score in each skill section; and
  • if you applied with IELTS General Training before or after the 10th of August 2023, you’ll still need a 6.0 in each skill section.
  • All test scores must demonstrate a thorough grasp of either English or French, the official languages of Canada

Know About Student Direct Stream Program

International students from particular countries might expedite the processing of their study permits through the SDS program. For qualified study permit applications, the SDS program aims to uphold a processing time of 20 calendar days.

Canada’s Strong Commitment in Bringing International Students

Canada’s success in attracting international students is evident from the record-breaking figure of over 800,000 international students hosted in 2022. The increased numbers can be attributed to Canada’s proactive efforts in attracting students, along with the global rise in middle-class populations seeking educational opportunities. Canada’s reputation for quality education, multicultural environment, and promising career and immigration prospects sets it apart in the competitive international student market. The recent expansion of accepted language tests for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program further demonstrates Canada’s commitment to accessibility and attracting students from various countries.



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