The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced a significant update for international students applying through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program. Effective August 10, 2023, the IRCC will start accepting test results from four new English language tests, expanding opportunities for students seeking to study in Canada. This development brings increased flexibility and convenience, allowing applicants to choose from a wider range of language proficiency assessments. Let’s delve into the details and understand the implications of this announcement.
The four newly eligible English language tests for the SDS are CELPIP General, CAEL, PTE Academic, and TOEFL iBT Test. These tests assess the abilities of students in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Each test has specific score requirements that applicants must meet to demonstrate their language proficiency adequately.
For CELPIP General, applicants need to achieve a minimum score equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in each of the four language speaking abilities.
CAEL and Pearson PTE Academic require a minimum score of 60.
Educational Testing Service (ETS) TOEFL iBT Test necessitates a minimum score of 83. It is important to note that these tests must be taken in-person, as online or remotely proctored tests will not be accepted for SDS applicants.
Until this change, the only tests approved by the IRCC for SDS applicants were IELTS General and IELTS Academic. With the inclusion of these four new tests, students now have more options to fulfill the language requirements and showcase their proficiency.
The SDS program
It offers expedited processing of study permits for students from specific countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam. This program has gained popularity among Indian international students since its launch in 2018.
Eligibility for the SDS
To be eligible for the SDS, students must meet certain criteria. They must provide a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI), present a confirmation document for the upfront medical exam, prove that they have obtained a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000, demonstrate that the first year’s tuition fees are paid, provide proof of language test results completed within two years of the SDS application, showcasing an IELTS score of 6 in English or NCLC 7 for French, and submit the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).
The inclusion of these new English language tests in the SDS program not only provides international students with more options but also streamlines the study permit application process. With a service standard of 20 days for all SDS study permit applications, students can expect faster processing times compared to regular study permit applications.
In conclusion, the IRCC’s approval of four new English language tests for the Student Direct Stream program marks a significant milestone for international students. The expanded options for language proficiency assessments offer greater flexibility and convenience, making it easier for students to fulfill the requirements. This development aligns with the IRCC’s commitment to streamlining the study permit application process and supporting the aspirations of prospective students. International students now have enhanced opportunities to pursue higher education in Canada, contributing to their academic and career growth.
How DEV Immigration can help
Additionally, international students seeking assistance with the SDS application process can turn to DEV Immigration for professional guidance and support. DEV Immigration is a trusted immigration consultancy firm with expertise in Canadian study permit applications. Our team of experienced professionals can provide valuable insights, personalized advice, and step-by-step assistance to navigate through the SDS requirements smoothly. From helping students choose the most suitable English language test to ensuring all necessary documents are in order, we strives to simplify the process and maximize the chances of a successful application.