Things have been a little overwhelming since the beginning and ongoing second wave of COVID-19 in India. All the study abroad aspirants are still having difficulty figuring out when there will be a clear picture of them entering overseas and continuing their undergraduate or post-graduate program physically inside the campuses. Moreover, as the unlock phase begins again in the subcontinent, various governmental figures push to vaccinate students tremendously in multiple states. As a result, various study destinations have imposed guidelines and restrictions for the students from India to get both the doses of vaccination from their home country and only then enter the borders to pursue their study program.
Meanwhile, Immigration and visa have always been a challenge for study abroad aspirants; the COVID pandemic made it even more challenging than before. However, there might be good news for the study abroad, aspirants in India who dream of pursuing their study program in Canada. Canada is now making it easier and more assessable for international students from Asian and African partner countries to come and follow study programs in Canada.
The experts’ team from Student Cover will discuss Student Direct Stream (SDS) Visa Program details in this article. Furthermore, the article would elaborate on the essential information of this program, making it more accessible for International Students from Asian and African Countries to quickly get a Study permit to enter into the borders of Canada.
What is Student Direct Stream (SDS) Visa Program?
June 8, 2019: The Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a solution for the International Students willing to study in Canada. The documentation and visa application processing become time-consuming due to an inability to obtain a Study permit in time, and SDS became a savior and ease of access way-out for these international students.
SDS Visa Program is meant to make it easier for the students to receive their study permit and visa within 20 calendar days, making their entire visa and documentation phase much swifter. Student Direct program replaces the previously regulated program known by the name Student Partner Program (SPP). The student Partner program meant to consider only the online applications as the exceptional cases making the entire visa process faster for those applicants. However, the paper applications were subject to only regular study permit applications.
The Student Direct Stream Visa Program is available for all international students of China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, The Philippines, Vietnam, and Senegal. SDS program has been able to make the processing time faster for the students. However, the documentation and eligibility criteria make it a stringent program excluding the online or offline application by the students.
What is the eligibility requirement for entering into SDS Visa Program?
Student Partner Program, a faster visa processing program for International Students, had complex rules and documentation. However, the SDS program seems to have topped the document checklist for the international students. Here are some of the requirements to enter the program and move towards faster visa processing.
- Acceptance from a University/Institute registered under Designated Learning Institute.
- The first-year tuition fees must be paid.
- Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD10,000
- Minimum IELTS score band of 6 or TEF (Test d’évaluation de français – French language proficiency test) score which needs to be equivalent to the Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB), i.e., 7 in each section of the language exam (Reading, speaking, writing and Listening)
Documents requirement if one meets the Eligibility Criteria
- Offer/Admission Letter from a registered Designated Learning Institute
- The applicant needs to show proof of payment for the first year of Study. The payment confirmation proof could be demonstrated via an official letter by the Institute and the bank receipt.
- Proof of GIC payment (Guaranteed Investment Certificate). The evidence could be in the form of a certificate or an attested letter.
- ILETS/TEF Scorecard
- Copy of a medical examination from a panel of authorized doctors.
- Complete and relevant academic documents
- CAQ (Certificat d’acceptation du Québec) for the students who intend to study in Quebec.
- Another essential requirement is to present a valid police certificate to prove that the applying candidate has no criminal history or record and is a law-abiding citizen of that country.
What is a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)?
According to the Guidelines regulated by the IRCC (The Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada), a student would require a minimum of CAD 10,000 to bear the living expenses while staying in Canada. Hence, GIC helps an international student bear that cost by showing this proof of payment and getting the certificate.
Guaranteed Investment Certificate is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period. This time is mainly when a student is studying in Canada in designated learning institutes.
The idea behind owning a GIC is to have a Canadian bank account with any designated Canadian banks to be eligible to study in Canada. Once the student opens a Canadian bank account, the bank holds the GIC in a student account or an investment account, which will only be given to the student once they arrive in Canada. The Bank would release the funds from GIC only once the identity of the account holder/student is confirmed.
The Bank from which a student purchases their GIC would provide them with the following document. It is important to remember that the IRCC services check the authenticity of the GIC so that there is no investment-related fraud.
- GIC certificate
- letter of attestation from the Bank
- An Investment Balance confirmation
- An Investment Directions confirmation
Banks that provide GIC in India to the Students who are willing to study in Canada include:
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- SBI Canada
- HSBC Bank of Canada
Let’s Wrap Up!
Student Direct Stream Visa Program has proved to be a beneficial system for the Study abroad aspirants willing to travel and study in Canada. The SPP visa system was a fast-track visa program, but the SDS program now involves ten times more DLI. In addition, they provide a guaranteed work permit post the competition of graduation by a student.
Hence, Student Direct Stream Visa Program has proved to be good news for the student, especially from India post the second wave of the pandemic, making it challenging for them to set food in overseas study destinations amidst delayed documentation and visa processing formalities.
Disclaimer: This blog was written based on the personal research of the writer. Readers’ discretion is advised. Neither Student Cover nor the writer will be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of this blog’s content.