SDS: New Student Visa Program of Canada

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Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jan 14, 2021 21:26 IST

SDS: New Student Visa Program of Canada

Indian students applying to Canadian universities can now expect a faster visa processing time, thanks to the newly launched student visa program. With effect from June 8, 2018, the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada has launched a new program namely Student Direct Stream (SDS) to make processing times faster for students from India, China, Philippines, and Vietnam. The SDS program is supposedly replacing SPP, the previous student visa program which also facilitated a faster visa process.

As per the newly introduced SDS program, students must meet a certain set of criteria, stricter than those compared to the erstwhile SPP.

For Indian students, following are the new elgibility requirements which must be fulfilled

1. Candidates must have scored a minimum IELTS score of 6 bands in each module for both UG & PG courses.

2. Students must pay full tuition fees for the first year of study.

3. Students must buy a Guaranteed Investment of Certificate (GIC) of $10000.

4. Colleges and institutions applied by the students must have a registered Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) number.

List of documents required for SDS visa application:

1. Copy of your acceptance letter from the DLI.

2. Copy of your upfront medical examination confirmation.

3. Proof of GIC payment of $10000.

4. Proof of payment of first-year tuition fee.

5. Proof of English language requirements that is IELTS score of 6 in each module or the candidate must have graduated from a Canadian curriculum high school.

Under this new program, all Canadian colleges and Institutions with a registered DLI number will come under SDS. Unlike SPP which allowed international students to apply to only 40 odd PSI institutions, the SDS now is open to any college and university with the valid DLI number. The visa processing time for SDS student visa applications will be around 45 days or less. For non SDS programs the processing time will be the same as regular processing times which is around 7 weeks.

Advantages of applying through SDS

  • Faster visa processing time
  • Less financial documentation

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Summing up, here are the main highlights:

1. Visa processing time reduced to 45 days.

2. Every college and institution having a registered DLI comes under SDS increasing the options for students.

3. GIC payment of $10000

4. Payment of full tuition for the first year

5. Medical examination to be taken one week before submitting the application.

6. Have an IELTS of 6 in each module.

The SDS program seems to be a breather for Indian students who can now hope for a faster visa, more options, and opportunities for jobs and PR.

Also read:

About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio




Aastha Hooda

2 months ago

I will be filing under SDS category so do I need to have my documents notarised

Reply to Aastha Hooda


Aravind Kumar

4 months ago

I have got an offer letter from a Canadian University.As I am a current student doing my UG ...Should I wait till I receive 8th semester mark sheet ..or can I apply the SDS visa with just the 7 semesters marksheets which I have?

Reply to Aravind Kumar


Aravind Kumar

4 months ago

Because of this pandemic.most probably I would be receiving my 8 semester mark sheet by the end of June 2022 only... But my Program starts from September 2022(Fall)



7 months ago

Can i know about the colleges that are available for may intake?

Reply to Khushi


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

7 months ago

Hi Khushi, please elaborate on your query and let us know which course you want to study ahead, so, we can assist you better.


Dhilna Mathews

11 months ago

For 1 year Ontario College Certificate courses (PSW) is it mandatory to have IELTS score of 6 in each module through SDS or non-SDS ? The college demands score of 5.5 in each module and overall 6.

Reply to Dhilna Mathews


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

11 months ago

Hi Dhilna, please follow the entry requirements set by the college while applying.


Riya Khurana

11 months ago

Can a third party pay my full year tuition fee

Reply to Riya Khurana


Manish Yadav

10 months ago

Yes, while updating payment details we get options to pay by multiple sources/ profiles.
Reference is CIBC payment portal.


Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

11 months ago

Hi Riya, please elaborate on your query and let us know who wants to give your fee, as if any of your relatives want to pay your fee then yes they are allowed to pay your fee.

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