June 8th, 2018 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have announced the creation of the Student Direct Stream (SDS), available to students applying for a study permit from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines. It is believed that this will help qualifying students benefit from faster immigration processing times.
While similar programs have been in place in these four countries for a number of years, IRCC is aligning them into one program to ensure consistency.
IRCC is also working on expanding SDS to Africa, looking at options in Kenya and Senegal. Expansion to Senegal would be in line with the department’s focus to attract more French-speaking students to Canada.
To qualify for SDS, applicants need to meet additional requirements, in particular language levels that are stricter than regular study permit requirements. Students who do not have all of the additional information required for SDS can apply through the regular study permit application process, either online or at a Visa Application Centre.
The SDS complements the Express Entry system as these students will be well placed to continue on the path to permanent residence and Canadian citizenship after completing their studies in Canada, if they wish to.
IRCC is committed to finding ways to improve its International Student Program by making its services faster, easier and more accessible. The success of the SDS program will be evaluated with the intention to expand the program in 2019.
To learn more about SDS, visit the IRCC website.