Student Direct Stream Canada: SDS (SPP) Requirements for Student Visa


Sristy Sharma
Updated on Jun 03, 2023 12:23 AM IST

If you are an Indian International student to Canada then you have a special alternative of SDS or SPP Visa available for yopu. We have prepared a guide of all the requirements and documents you need to fulfill and submit in order to get the Student Visa under SDS or SPP scheme. Read below to find out in detail.

Student Direct Stream Canada: SDS (SPP) Requirements for Student Visa

SDS or SSP Requirements for Canada Student Visa: Since the beginning of the 20th century, Indian students have chosen Canada as their study abroad destination. In fact, India accounts for more than one-third of all international students in Canada each year.

As India is an important market for Canada, immigration officials and educational institutions have taken steps to make it simpler and safer for Indians to enter the country. Indian students applying to Canadian institutions may now expect a shorter visa processing duration according to the recently implemented student visa programme (SDS Canada). Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has launched the Student Direct Stream (SDS) scheme to reduce processing delays for students.

Students can apply for a Student Visa under the umbrella of the SDS student visa scheme provided they have shown their eligibility for the course. The Student Visa provided under the SDS programme allows the student to live a safe and secure student life in Canada with lesser formalities to follow. 

Let us shed some more light on SDS or SSP requirements for Canada student visa for international students in this article! 

What is SDS Canada Visa Programme?

With the introduction of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada's Study Direct Stream (SDS) programme, Indian students who wish to enrol in Canadian colleges and universities may now anticipate expedited visa processing. Students from India can obtain their visas through SDS in 4-6 weeks, as opposed to the typical visa application procedure, which could take up to 2-3 months. Most applications submitted through SDS by students who match the requirements are processed in under 20 days. SDS is a substitute for the previous SPP programme and has more strict requirements to meet. However, it may be quite helpful for individuals who fit the requirements since it facilitates quick visa processing for SDS-eligible DLI institutions and necessitates less financial evidence.

Note: In India, the Student Partners Programme (SPP) has recently been superseded by the Student Direct Stream (SDS) programme.

Consult Experts and Choose the BestStudy Abroad College!

Before we move ahead in knowing about the SDS or SPP requirements for a Canada student visa, we need to understand a little about the Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs). 

What is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)? 

To apply for a study permit, you must obtain an acceptance letter from a designated learning institution or DLI, which is a school that has been approved by a province or territory government to admit overseas students. Except for those excluded from the list, all of Canada's elementary and secondary schools are recognised learning institutions. If your present college’s DLI status is revoked while you are studying, you are authorised to continue until the expiration of your study permit. In some cases, though, you may need to apply to a new DLI.

SDS Canada Visa Programme Eligibility Criteria 

To apply for a study permit through SDS, you must meet specific requirements, such as:

  • Acceptance from a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI).

  • Tuition for your first year of study has been paid.

  • CAD10,000 GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate).

  • Minimum IELTS test score of 6 with no band less than 6 or TEF (Test d'évaluation de français - French language proficiency exam) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).

SDS Canada Visa Programme Document Checklist Criteria

If you meet the SDS or SSP requirements for a Canada student visa, you must submit the following documents:

  • Acceptance letter from a DLI.

  • Proof of tuition payment for your first year of study.

  • Proof of payment for a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

  • TRF or TEF scorecard for IELTS.

  • A copy of your medical exam from an accredited panel of doctors.

  • Relevant academic background, including any academic documents.

  • CAQ is an additional prerequisite for students planning to study in Quebec.

SDS Visa application criteria are organised differently from SPP requirements, however, they are influenced solely by SPP requirements. The requirements under SDS can be divided into two categories:

  • Eligibility Documents 

  • Additional Documents 

The documents and other requirements have been described in the following sections in detail:

Eligibility Documents

Eligibility Documents are the one which needs to be satisfied as per the conditions set by the SDS supervisory authorities.


As is required the candidate applying for the SDS Visa is required to have a valid passport issued by their home nation as an authorizing and citizenship proving document. Although having a valid passport might seem as obvious information, however, there is a certain technicality which governs the validity. Any passport shall be considered valid for the purposes of SDS Visa application when the expiry of the passport doesn't fall anytime during the course duration. The need to extend the passport must be completed before applying for an SDS Visa.

Acceptance Letter

Designated Learning Institute (DLI) are those institutions which have been authorized as a part of collaborative effort of SDS to offer their Indian students an option to own SDS Visa. In order to be considered eligible to apply for SDS Visa only applying for DLIs is not enough, the Visa applicant also needs to own an acceptance letter from such DLI. This is due to the limited and special authorisation of the SDS Visa and therefore the compulsory pre-acceptance requirement of the candidate.

Language Proficiency Test Scores

Even though an Acceptance Letter from applied DLI indicates that the candidate must have satisfied the English Language Proficiency Test Score requirements of that DLI for the chosen course program, however, to be considered eligible for SDS Visa there are additional requirements of immigration authorities and these need to be satisfied by the candidate.

  • The English Language Proficiency Test whose scores are being used for application must have been authorized under the SDS program.

  • IELTS Academic and IELTS General both are considered valid under the SDS program.

  • The minimum score in each section (Reading, Speaking, Writing and Listening) must be 6.0 bands.

Tuition Fees

The course program for which the applicant has been accepted for by the DLI needs to be funded for the first year fully. The holder of SDS Visa enjoys certain privileges right from proving their eligibility to the expiry and in order to earn these the financial security of tuition fees is considered as mandatory. Hence, the first year tuition fees need to be paid in full by the candidate before applying for SDS Visa.

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

GIC is a deposit scheme, under which the SDS Visa applicant has to apply for the scheme with a bank offering such, and deposit a minimum amount of CAD 10,000. This amount is remitted to the student as they arrive in the country as CAD 2,000, and rest over the period of 12 months in equal installments (CAD 667).

The banks which provide GIC services are SBI, ICICI, NOVA SCOTIA and CIBC. The regularized amount helps in creating confidence and feeling of security among the students.

Additional Documents

Additional Documents are those which have to be submitted by the candidate in SDS Visa application but they do not have inherent eligibility conditions which are required to be met.

Academic Transcripts

All the academic transcripts upto proving the status of a candidates qualification status uptill getting accepted in DLI or applying for SDS Visa, whichever is latest, have to be submitted by the applying candidate.

Even the documents for co-curricular diploma or certificate courses are demanded and accepted by the immigration authorities.


SOP is a standard document when applying for the DLI or any foreign institutes for that matter, but a different SOP has to be filed alongwith Visa application documents. This is known as Visa SOP, and while it has to be filed irrespective of SDS or non-SDS Visa application.

Visa SOP is different from application SOP, the format and rules are the same, however, the representation is made in relation to immigratory intent and not academic intent.

Medical Examination

A full body checkup is required to be conducted on the applying candidate in order to ensure and detect the medical status of the candidate. Though the medical examination is conducted as a security and assurance, some cases might have implications on security amount or GIC amount.

Digital Transcripts

The scanned copies of all the documents are required to be submitted and the digital transcripts of the following are required to be included in the application;

  • Digital Photograph with 35X45 dimensions and 80% zoom white background.

  • Digital Signature

SDS Application Process 

IRCC processes the majority of SDS applications within 20 calendar days. Only candidates who have submitted their SDS application online will be considered for processing. All paper applications are processed on a regular basis!

Foreign nationals who have applied for SDS processing must still meet all of the eligibility and admissibility requirements established in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

In addition, for speedier visa processing, you must provide your biometrics on time and meet all qualifying conditions. SDS success rates are greater than non-SDS success rates because the quantity of documents required in SDS is lower.

SDS requirements and processes are both designed to benefit Indian students while they pursue their education in Canada, yet the complicity of the process cannot be denied. It is recommended that guidance and support of Experts are applied.

We at Collegedekho are always ready to help you and hence you can register on our website or write to us

Fun Fact! Some Study Abroad DestinationsPay You To Study!


Can I get Canadian permanent residence through the SDS programme?

If international students wish to stay in Canada, Canada makes it simple for them to become permanent citizens. The Post-Graduate Work Permit permits overseas students to stay and work in Canada for up to three years after they graduate. International graduates may be able to seek permanent residency (PR) after working in Canada for one year. 

How can I apply to Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

SDS exclusively accepts online applications for study permits. This instruction manual might assist you in filling out the appropriate documents. 

You will also require:

  • To provide electronic copies of your papers, you will need a scanner or a camera.

  • To make a payment, you must use a credit or debit card.

Keep in mind that a study permit is NOT a visa. To enter Canada, you may still require a visiting visa or an electronic travel authorisation (eTA). The federal government will provide you with this together with your study visa.

Can my family come with me to Canada through the SDS programme?

Yes. When you apply via SDS Canada, you may bring your spouse, partner, and dependant children with you! They may also be eligible for expedited processing when applying for work permits, study permits, or guest visas. All members of the family must complete and submit their applications at the same time. Indicate that you will bring family members to Canada when you apply online. This allows you to finish their applications while still completing yours. 

What is the cost of applying to Canada's Student Direct Stream?

International students applying via SDS Canada must provide proof of full tuition payment for the first year of study. This might look like this:

  • A DLI receipt.
  • A document from a bank and DLI too, stating that tuition costs have been paid to the DLI.

  • An official letter from the DLI verifying payment of tuition payments.

  • In addition, applicants must produce a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

Who can apply through Canada’s Student Direct Stream programme?

If you live in one of the African or Asian countries listed below, you may be able to apply for a Canadian study visa via the Student Direct Stream. If a person is a resident of another country (even if they are a citizen of one of the nations mentioned above), they must apply for a study permit through the standard process. Once you have submitted your biometrics and demonstrated that you fulfil all qualifying conditions, the Canadian government will begin processing your application. 

You can share this post!

Related Articles

Jun 07, 2023 04:39 PM IST

How to Write an LOR for MBA?

Jun 07, 2023 02:19 PM IST

How to Score a Perfect 800 on GMAT?

Jun 06, 2023 05:01 PM IST

How is MBA SOP Different From MS SOP?

Jun 06, 2023 02:18 PM IST

What is an Academic Transcript?

Our Study Abroad Offerings

Related Institutes

Planning to study abroad?

Interested in Studying Overseas?

Connect with us and kickstart your learning journey for a rewarding experience!

By proceeding ahead you expressly agree to the CollegeDekhoAbroad Terms of Use & Privacy Policy.