Canada Introduces New Scheme to Expedite Student Visa Applications

The Student Direct Stream is aimed at applicants from China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines.


The Canadian government has made significant changes in visa procedures to reduce the processing time for student visa applications, and to give more eligible students the opportunity to study at post-secondary institutions in the country through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), the government said in a statement recently.

The SDS is aimed at applicants from India, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Canada will provide expedited study permit processing for international students from key Asian markets through this scheme, which replaced the Student Partnership Program (SPP) from June 8 this year. Canada is also mulling over expanding the scheme to other nations like Kenya and Senegal, the statement added.

“Canada has quickly become the preferred destination for Indian students looking for a high quality international education. Canada provides a world-class education in a safe and welcoming environment at a competitive and affordable cost. The new SDS will provide for students aspiring to go to Canada with an even faster and more streamlined visa application process,” Nadir Patel, the Canadian High Commissioner to India, was quoted as saying by ANI.

The processing time for SDS study permit applications will be an expedited 45 days or less, providing students aspiring to go to Canada to pursue higher education with a more streamlined visa application process, Patel added, as per the agency. The regular study permit under SPP takes more than 50 days.

While the existing SPP in India is limited to international students who wish to study at one of about 40 post-secondary Canadian institutions, the SDS scheme will be open to international students aiming to pursue higher education in any Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, which includes publicly-funded as well as private post-secondary institutions.

In order to qualify for SDS, a student must be accepted by a designated Canadian learning institution. The documents needed for the application include a copy of the upfront medical exam confirmation document and a proof that the tuition fee for the year of study has been paid, among other documents, the statement added.

Once the student completes the application process, it will be reviewed to check whether it meets the SDS criteria. Once the application is approved, a letter of introduction will be sent to the student, which the student needs to show to the immigration official on arrival in Canada.

Data provided by the University of Toronto showed that the number of students applying from India to the institute increased by 57 per cent , while the number of students accepted from India in 2016 increased by 45 per cent to 315, as compared to 218 the previous year.

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