Speed Up Your Canadian Study Permit through the Student Direct Stream: Tips for International Students

Published: June 14, 2024

International students aiming to study in Canada can expedite their study permit application process through a specialized program offered by the Canadian government.

Are you considering studying in Canada and searching for a quicker way to obtain your Canadian study permit? If so, this article offers some helpful guidance.

International students aiming to study in Canada can expedite their study permit application process through a specialized program offered by the Canadian government. Under Student Direct Stream (SDS) students from eligible countries may be able to receive their Canadian study permit faster – in as little as 20 days, although it should be noted that some applications may take longer (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada defines these timelines).

  1. About the SDS Program[1]

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program offered by the Canadian government provides a faster processing option for eligible international students applying for study permit in Canada. By meeting specific criteria and submitting required documents, students may be able to benefit from a streamlined study permit application experience.

Most SDS applications are processed within 20 calendar days; however, you’ll want to give your application ample time to pass through the system and be prepared for certain delays.

Please note that your study permit isn’t a visa: on its own, it doesn’t let you enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to be able to enter Canada.

  1. Who Can Apply?[2]

 Wondering if you are eligible for the SDS program to fast track your application? To qualify, you must meet specific criteria, including your country of residence, a school acceptance letter, a language proficiency test, financial proof, and acceptance into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Let’s break it down for you:

  • Country of residence: To qualify for the SDS stream, you must be a resident of one of the following countries: Antigua, Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, The Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam.
  • School acceptance letter: You must provide an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution in Canada (DLI).
  • Medical exam: This may be required if you:
    • have lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 or more months in the year before you come to Canada, or
    • plan on studying or working in healthcare, primary or secondary education, or child or elder care.
  • Police certificate: This may be required to verify that you do not have a criminal record and are legally admissible to Canada.
  • Provincial attestation letter (PAL)[3]: This letter will confirm your intent to study in a specific province or territory in Canada and is an important part of your application.
  • Proof of language proficiency: Proof of successful completion of a recognized language test is required to demonstrate your proficiency in English or French.
  • Attestation of issuance: 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.
  • Financial proof (two parts):
    1. Proof of tuition: You’ll need to provide proof of full payment of tuition for your first year of study at a designated learning institution (DLI).
    2. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC): You’ll need to obtain a GIC from a participating Canadian financial institution. This certificate should be in the amount required for your intended province/territory of study.

It’s helpful to set aside enough time to fully understand all the criteria, eligibility requirements, and guidelines before you apply to the SDS Stream.

What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) and how do you get one?

A GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. GICs can be obtained from a participating Canadian financial institution, including TD.

With a TD International Student GIC you can enjoy the security of having a set interest rate for the full term. The TD International Student GIC also offers the added benefits of:

  • No application fee
  • A simple and fully digital application process
  • Support through a network of over a thousand branches across Canada once you arrive

Benefit from TD's International Student GIC Program

  1. How to Apply for a Study Permit under SDS Program?[4]

Ready to apply? Here's how to fast-track your study permit application under the SDS program:

Step 1: Get organized. Gather all the required documents, including your letter of acceptance from a DLI, proof of payment for tuition & International Student GIC, language test results, medical tests and police reports, and the provincial attestation letter.

Step 2: Apply online. Once you have all your documents in order, you can apply online through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. It’s a good idea to take time and double-check your application for accuracy and completeness before submitting it. Incomplete or inaccurate applications may result in delays or even rejection.

Step 3: Track your application status. After submitting your application, you can track its status online using the application number provided by IRCC. While processing times may vary, SDS applications typically receive faster processing (as little as 20 days) compared to regular study permit applications.

  1. Post-Application: What Happens After You Apply?[5]

You can use the SDS application status tracker to receive updates on your application's progress. You'll need your unique client identifier (UCI) and application number to create an account.

If your application is approved, congratulations! You'll receive a letter of introduction from IRCC, which you can present to the immigration officer upon your arrival in Canada. This letter is not your study permit. You'll also receive an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visitor visa if required. Remember to double-check your study permit to ensure all information is correct.

On the other hand, if your application is refused, don't worry. You will have the option to appeal the decision or reapply with updated information. Take time to review the reasons for refusal carefully and address any concerns in your new application.

By understanding the requirements and following the steps outlined in this article, you might be able to fast-track your application and embark on your educational journey in Canada with confidence. Good luck!

Learn more about TD New to Canada Banking Package

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150 years helping Canadians:

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With over a thousand branches, a reputation for excellence in financial services, and the ability to also serve you in more than 80 different languages, TD has become one of the largest and most trusted banks in Canada, now serving 16 million Canadians.

TD offers online support and resources of interest to newcomers on topics such as banking basics, moving to Canada, credit score essentials, and more. TD is open longer hours for your convenience and has thousands of ATMs across Canada to help you take care of your everyday banking needs quickly and easily.

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Book an appointment to talk with a TD Personal Banker about the TD New to Canada Banking Package. You can book online right away, or visit the TD website to learn more. 

Legal Disclaimer:

Information provided by TD Bank Group and other sources in this article is believed to be accurate and reliable when placed on this site, but we cannot guarantee it is accurate or complete or current at all times. Information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial, legal, accounting or tax advice, and should not be relied upon in that regard. This information is not to be construed as a solicitation to buy. Products and services of the TD Bank Group are only offered in jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale. All products and services are subject to the terms of the applicable agreement. The information in this article is subject to change without notice.

® The TD logo and other trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank or its subsidiaries.

[1] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/student-direct-stream.html

[2] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/student-direct-stream/eligibility.html

[3] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/get-documents/provincial-attestation-letter.html

[4] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/student-direct-stream/apply.html

[5] https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/student-direct-stream/after-apply.html

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