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SDS and Non-SDS Category for your Student Visa Canada

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April 11, 2023

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Naju Gadhavi

If you intend to study in Canada, you may become perplexed by words like SDS and Non-SDS throughout the visa application process. SDS stands for Student Direct Stream, formerly known as the Students Partner Program, and is available to students from countries such as India, Brazil, and other french speaking countries. Non-SDS is a general visa application process for a temporary stay in Canada for work, study, or immigration. It is open to all international visitors, regardless of country of origin. This blog will explain the distinction between SDS and Non-SDS.

What is the Difference between SDS and Non-SDS Visa Applications?

SDS (Student Direct Stream) visa applications are for students who want to study in Canada, whereas Non-SDS (Non-Student Direct Stream) visa applications are for anybody who has scored less than 6  bands in one module of their IELTS examination.

The Second main reason can be the Processing time:

Students who are eligible for SDS can benefit from a faster processing time, with the goal of processing applications within 45 calendar days, Once approved, the student can start their journey in any designated learning institution (DLI). Non-SDS applications may take longer to process, and the processing time can vary depending on the individual case and the country of origin.


Documents required for SDS Process

  • Official academic transcripts, including the 12th marksheet, indicating a minimum of 55% aggregate marks.
  • English proficiency test scores with a minimum IELTS score of 6.0.
  • Statement of Purpose.
  • Offer letters from colleges falling under SDS.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate of $10,000 (INR 6.2 lakhs) to cover the cost of living.
  • Proof of previous work experience (if applicable).
  • Receipt of tuition fees.
  • Proof of necessary medical tests.
  • Payment of visa application fees and Biometric of $235.
  • Digital photograph.

To be eligible for the SDS category, international students must meet certain requirements, including:

  • Being a legal resident of China, India, the Philippines, or Vietnam
  • Having an acceptance letter from a DLI that is designated to host SDS students
  • Paying the tuition fees for the first year of study upfront
  • Providing proof of language proficiency in English or French (depending on the language of instruction at the DLI)
  • Submitting all required documents upfront, including biometric information

If a student does not meet these requirements, they will be processed under the Non-SDS category. It’s important to note that meeting the requirements for SDS does not guarantee a study permit, and all applicants must meet the eligibility criteria set by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).


Contact our immigration specialists from Canada for an assessment of your profile and expert guidance on all your inquiries related to Canadian immigration. Speak with our experienced practitioner and top visa consultant in Ahmedabad to evaluate your profile and receive advice on the appropriate course of action. To learn more, you can call (1) 905-362-9393 (Canada), +91 9586 226232 (Ahmedabad), or send an email to support@spscanada.com (Canada), support.amd@spscanada.com (Ahmedabad).






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