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2. Who can apply

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Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must:

  • be a legal resident living in 1 of the following countries:
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • India
    • Morocco
    • Pakistan
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Vietnam
  • have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution
  • live outside of Canada when you apply
  • have proof you have paid your tuition for your first year of study
  • have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000
  • have an attestation of issuance of your Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration
    • This is only if you’re planning to study in Quebec.
  • get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one)
  • get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one)
  • have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s)
  • have the minimum score required for one of the qualifying language tests

Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to provide other documents. Make sure you include all the documents required by the visa office that processes your application.

We may ask you to give additional documents to support your application. In this case, your application will take longer to process.

Who isn’t eligible for the Student Direct Stream

If you live anywhere other than 1 of the countries listed above (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), you must apply through the regular study permit application process.

If you live in another country (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), or if you don’t meet the eligibility for faster processing, you may still be eligible for a study permit through the regular study permit application process.

Proof of full payment of tuition for the applicant’s first year of study

This may be in the form of the following:

  • a receipt from the DLI
  • an official letter from the DLI confirming payment of tuition fees
  • a receipt from a bank showing that tuition fees have been paid to the DLI
  • proof that the tuition fee amount has been transferred into a repository account at the DLI to be applied to the tuition bill at a later date

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

A GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. Many banks offer GICs. The bank that gives you the GIC must:

  • confirm that you bought a GIC by giving you 1 of the following:
    • a letter of attestation
    • a GIC certificate
    • an Investment Directions Confirmation or
    • an Investment Balance Confirmation
  • hold the GIC in an investment account or a student account that you can’t access until you arrive in Canada
  • make you confirm your identity before they release any funds to you
  • release the funds to you by providing:
    • an initial lump sum once you identify yourself upon arrival in Canada
    • the remainder of the funds in monthly or bi-monthly installments over 10 to 12 months

If your bank or GIC doesn’t meet these criteria, you won’t be able to apply through the Student Direct Stream.

Financial institutions that offer GICs

You can get a GIC from a financial institution listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website. Make sure the financial institution you choose offers a GIC and meets the criteria for the Student Direct Stream.

The following financial institutions offer GICs that meet the criteria:

Medical exams and police certificates

Depending on where you’re applying from, you may need to get a medical exam or police certificate. To get faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must include these with your application (if you need them). If you don’t, we won’t process your application faster.

Who needs a medical exam

You may need to get a medical exam if:

  • you lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 or more months in the year before you come to Canada, or
  • you plan on studying or working in:
    • the health field
    • primary or secondary education, or
    • child or elder care

To get a medical exam, you must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC.

Find out more about medical exams.

Who needs a police certificate

Your visa office instructions will tell you if you need to get a police certificate. You’ll find these instructions when you select your country of residence below. Make sure you read these instructions before you apply, so you know if you need a police certificate or any other documents to apply.

Find out more about police certificates.

Language tests

You must have a valid language test result that meets the minimum required score. Test results must be less than 2 years old when we receive your application. Tests must be taken in-person; online tests aren’t accepted.

If you applied before August 10, 2023

We only accept valid International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) language test results. Your language test result must show either of the following:

  • an IELTS score of 6 or higher in each language ability (listening, reading, writing and speaking)
  • TEF score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) score of at least 7 for each ability (listening, reading, writing and speaking). Check the CLB equivalencies for TEF scores
If you applied on or after August 10, 2023

You must submit the results from 1 of the valid language tests below that show all 4 language abilities were tested (speaking, listening, reading and writing).

You must take these language tests in their in-person format to be accepted for the SDS. Online tests will not be accepted.

How to submit your language test results when you apply

We’re experiencing a system error, and some of the language tests listed below do not appear as an option for applicants to select. This is affecting applicants who are applying with language test results for 1 of the tests approved for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) as of August 10.

To make sure your application is processed as an SDS application, if you have a valid test result for 1 of these tests, follow the instructions below when you apply.

  • When asked if you’ve taken a language test in the past 2 years, select Yes – IELTS.
  • When asked if your test results were 6.0 or higher, select Yes.
  • When you upload your supporting documents, upload your valid test results in the field labelled Proof of IELTS results.
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Test

    You need a CAEL Test minimum overall score of 60.

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP)

    You need a CELPIP score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) score of 7 or higher for each ability. Check the CLB equivalencies for CELPIP scores.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic

    You need an IELTS Academic minimum overall score of 6.

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General

    You need an IELTS general score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmarks score of 7 or higher for each ability. Check the CLB equivalencies for IELTS General scores.

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

    You need a PTE Academic minimum overall score of 60.

  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) Canada

    You need a TCF Canada score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmarks score of 7 or higher for each ability. Check the CLB equivalencies for TCF Canada scores.

  • Test de connaissance du français (TCF) tout public

    You need a TCF tout public minimum overall score of 400.

  • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) Canada

    You need a TEF Canada score that is equivalent to a Canadian Language Benchmarks score of 7 or higher for each ability. Check the CLB equivalencies for TEF Canada scores.

  • Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) 5 épreuves

    You need a TEF 5 épreuves minimum overall score of 400.

    Note: The Lexique/Structure ability isn’t required for SDS.

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT

    You need a TOEFL iBT minimum overall score of 83.

Bring your spouse or partner and children with you to Canada

Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children may also be able to get faster processing on a

  • visitor visa
  • work permit
  • study permit

You must complete and submit their applications at the same time as your own. If you don’t, we will not process their applications faster. When you apply online, indicate that you have family members coming with you to Canada. This lets you complete their applications with yours.

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