Last updated on October 18th, 2021

Last Updated on October 18, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

On May 2, 2019 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada unveiled the Student Direct Stream (the “SDS”), an expedited study permit processing program available to legal residents of India, China, Philippines and Vietnam.


To be eligible for the SDS, an applicant must:

  • be a legal resident of India, China, Philippines and Vietnam;
  • provide proof of a valid language test result, completed within 2 years of the date of the SDS application, showing an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher in each language skill, or a TEF score that is equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark 7;
  • provide proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate “GIC” of CAN $10,000.00 or more issued from any bank that is insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (“CDIC”) or any bank listed on the IRCC SDS webpage;
  • provide proof of full payment of tuition for their first year of study;
  • provide a letter of acceptance to a Designated Learning Institute (a “DLI”);
  • complete an upfront medical exam.

The GIC must meet the following criteria:

  • when the GIC has been purchased, the bank provides a letter of attestation, the GIC certificate, the Investment Directions Confirmation or the Investment Balance Confirmation to the applicant;
  • the bank holds the funds in an investment account or a student account that is inaccessible for release to the applicant until the applicant’s arrival in Canada;
  • upon entry to Canada, the bank must validate the client’s identity before releasing funds to the study permit holder; and
  • the applicant receives an initial disbursement upon identifying themselves, and the remaining funds are disbursed in monthly or bi-monthly installments over a period of 10 to 12 months.

Proof of completion of full payment of tuition for their first year of study can include:

  • a receipt from the Designated Learning Institute (“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; and
  • 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.


Applicants to the SDS must be submitted online.

SDS applications will be centralized and processed in Canada. The service standard for SDS processing is 20 calendar days from the completion of biometrics.

Decrease in Chinese Use

SDS Decline