IRCC improves processing times for students from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines


Studying in Canada just got a whole lot easier for students from four of the most populous countries in Asia.

On June 8th, 2017 the Canadian government announced that the Student Direct Stream (SDS) will be open to students applying for a study permit from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.

To qualify for the SDS program, a student from a listed country must:

  • Be accepted to a Canadian learning institution that is designated to host international students; and
  • Submit proof of:
    • Payment of tuition for the first year of study
    • The purchase of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) in the amount of $10,000CDN
    • Completion of an upfront medical exam
    • Meet minimum language requirements or have graduated from a Canadian-curriculum high school

Students meeting these criteria will benefit from faster processing times. If students from those countries cannot meet the additional requirements, they would still be allowed to apply through the regular study permit process.

The move comes as international students continue to flock to Canada for their post-secondary education. International students often enjoy lower tuition rates and, in many places, a lower cost of living than those who choose to travel to the United Kingdom and the United States to study.

Of course, it’s not just students that benefit from coming to Canada.

The Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen noted the “tremendous economic, cultural and social benefits that international students bring to Canada.” The Minister also stated that the federal government was “committed to improving client service for all applicants, including students, as [they] continue to find new and efficient ways to reduce processing times.”

The government also noted that it expects to expand Student Direct Stream access to countries in Africa, including Kenya and Senegal.

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