The Student Direct Stream is a fast-track programme for international students from select countries to apply for their study permits. Previously, residents of five countries were eligible for this programme – China, India, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam – which gets the processing done in an average of less than three weeks
As of September 9, 2019, this list now includes Senegal and Morocco.
“By providing fast, reliable processing of study permit applications, Canada is better equipped to compete in attracting the best and the brightest from around the world,” the Canadian government said in a statement.
Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said:
“Canada’s diverse, welcoming society, high-quality educational institutions and opportunities to work or immigrate after graduation have made Canada a leading destination of choice for students from around the world.”
Canada Immigration Newsletter reported the move as part of the federal government’s Francophone Immigration Strategy to attract young French speakers to study in the North American country.
It also serves the recently announced five-year CA$150 million international education strategy that will, among other things, diversify the countries from which international students come to Canada. Currently, more than half of the entire international student cohort in Canada are from just two countries – India and China.
“In expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we’re enhancing the tremendous cultural, social and economic benefits that international students provide,” said Ahmed.
To apply for a Canadian study permit via the SDS programme, students must have a copy of a letter of acceptance from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution, medical report, Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CA$10,000, proof of payment of tuition fees for the first year and their IELTS/NCLC results.
Successful applicants will be issued a Point of Entry (POE) letter of introduction, and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. The POE letter issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will act as proof of approval for a study permit. Upon arrival in Canada, it is presented to a visa officer.
Pathway to permanent residence
International students who graduate from Canada’s postsecondary education system are eligible to submit their application to the Express Entry system to apply for permanent residence.
This system manages applications for permanent residence from skilled workers using the points-based Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). In 2018, nearly 54,000 former students transitioned to permanent residence – an all-time high.
Canadian education credentials, high proficiency in English or French and skilled work experience in Canada earn additional CRS points.
“In addition, since 2017, Express Entry candidates with strong French skills have been able to earn additional ranking points. This provides more opportunity for them to successfully transition to permanent residence and contribute to the vitality and growth of Francophone communities outside of Quebec,” said the statement.