Good news for all aspirants out there looking forward to fulfil their overseas education dream? Canada has now opened the doors of student direct stream category to international students from 7 new countries namely Brazil, Barbuda, Columbia, Costa Rica, Peru, St. Vincent and the Grenadians, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Student Direct Stream is a fast track and expedited student visa application process wherein your student visa application can be processed quickly in just 20 days from date of submission. It was launched in 2018 to offer accelerated study permit processing for talented and meritorious students from countries like India, China, Philippines, and Vietnam. Later in 2019, the list was extended to Pakistan, Senegal, and Morocco.
As the Canadian Government recognizes the vast social, cultural, and economic benefits of absorbing international students into Canadian society, it has undertaken efforts to improve customer service for visa applicants and develop new efficient ways to fast track the application processing system.
So, what prompted this decision to add 7 more countries?
Among all the newly added countries, Peru, Columbia, and Brazil seem to have made a greater impact on Canada’s international student enrolment scheme. In fact, Brazilian students in Canada have increased ten-fold over the past 20 years while students from Peru have increased 5 times since 2000. Also, the number of Columbian students has nearly quadrupled since the past two decades. According to IRCC figures, about 16000 study permits were issued to students from these 7 countries out of which Brazil accounted for nearly 63 percent while Columbia contributed about 27 percent.
Eligibility for SDS Processing:
So, does that mean being a legal resident of the any of the SDS approved countries makes you eligible for student direct stream process in Canada?
The answer is simply no! Actually, apart from the basic requirement of being a citizen or legal resident of any of the approved countries, you need to have a letter of admission from a designated learning institute in Canada and demonstrate your financial capability to sustain in Canada at least for a period of one year. The proof of fund should be in form of one year tuition fees as mentioned by the University and a GIC of 10000 CAD.
But what is a GIC certificate?
GIC or a Guaranteed Investment Certificate is an investment scheme which offers fixed interest for a period of time. It guarantees a rate of return in exchange of deposit for a fixed period of time. It is actually an agreement between an investor and an insurance company. The GIC should be obtained for an amount of 10000 CAD from an eligible financial institution insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Given below are process to obtain a proof of GIC account:
- Register online for a GIC account with an eligible banking institution in Canada.
- Send the GIC amount (at least 10000 CAD) to the bank through wire transfer once you receive your GIC account number.
- Once the amount is received and processing is done, the bank will issue a GIC, Investment Directions Confirmation, Letter of Attestation, or Investment Balance Confirmation.
- Submit the relevant documents while applying for your SDS application.
- The funds will be locked in your account until you arrive in Canada, personally visit the bank and activate your account.
- Once your details are verified by the bank authorities, a personal deposit account will be created and an initial amount of 2000 CAD will be released to your account.
- Henceforth, you will receive a monthly amount of 700 to 800 CAD for the next 10 to 12 months.
Having a letter of acceptance from the designated learning institute, tuition fee receipt for the first year, and a GIC proof doesn’t implies your profile is eligible to be processed. In fact, there are a list of other essential documents needed to apply for student visa through the SDS category.
1. Medical Exam Report: If you have lived or travelled in the designated countries for at least 6 months during the year of application and your field of study requires, you must submit an upfront medical report.
2. Academic Transcripts: Keep the latest transcript of your recently availed graduate or post-graduate degree ready to be submitted while completing your online SDS application.
3. Language Test Results: You must show your English language proficiency through exams like IELTS where you should get a score of 6 or higher. Also, having a score of CLB 7 or higher in TEF (French) would be a bonus for you. However, you must make sure these results are not older than 2 years from the time of SDS application.
Process of Applying for Student Direct Stream:
Merely having all the required documents and meeting the eligibility criteria doesn’t mean it is just a cakewalk to apply for student visa. In reality, you need to find the best student visa consultant in your vicinity to guide you through the entire student visa application process right from selecting the right program and institute, to preparing documentations, to applying for the visa. While recent years have seen an upsurge in the number of student visa consultants in Hyderabad, Bangalore & Mumbai, not every one can claim to be as trustworthy and reliable as Gateway Visas.
Now what if your SDS application gets rejected? Don’t worry, you can still apply for student visa through the non-SDS category. In fact, if you do not qualify for the SDS process, your application will be automatically processed for the regular study permit scheme, which implies you will need to wait for 3 months.
So, ready to commence your academic journey in Canada? Gateway Visas is not just your student visa consultant, but your partner throughout your voyage as a student in Canada and until you settle down there.
Contact Gateway Visas to discover your student visa options.