- July 19, 2021
- Posted by: Clearport Team
- Categories: Clearport, College and University, General, Immigration Services, News
Great news for International Students!
Students from 14 Countries can study in Canada through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), a program that offers faster processing and is easier to apply to, with exceptionally good chances of success if you meet the requirements.
On July 9, 2021, the Government of Canada announced that new 7 countries have been added to the Student Direct Stream. The 7 countries just added are Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago. This brings to 14 the total number of countries that are included in Canada’s Student Direct Stream program (see full list below).
Here are the Top-25 Frequently Asked Questions:
1) What is The Student Direct Stream (SDS)
International Students that want to study in Canada need to apply for a Study Permit, which is required to travel to Canada to start their study program at a Canadian educational institution; approval for a Study Permit is still required eve if you will start your Study Program online.
Usually, the processing Study Permit Applications range from a few weeks to several months, depending on the country where the International Student lives.
The Government of Canada launched the Student Direct Stream (SDS) in 2018, to offer eligible International Post-Secondary Students from certain countries faster processing of Study Permits. The SDS program asks International Students for additional information up front, which allows Immigration Officers to quickly provide a final decision.
2) What Are the Benefits of Using the SDS?
- Faster Processing: Students from the countries on the list can get their study permit applications processed much faster by using the SDS. IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the eligibility requirements are met.
- A Clear Way to Meet a Key Requirement: The SDS allows you to meet the Proof of Funds requirement easily. For many International Students, proving to the Government of Canada that they have enough funds to support themselves while they study in Canada is a barrier, because -even if they do have the financial resources- they might not have the documents that the Government of Canada might readily accept as proof. Students living in any of the 14 countries eligible for the SDS program can eliminate this barrier by purchasing a student Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of a minimum of CAD $10,000 from a participating bank in Canada to qualify.
“Our country’s diverse and inclusive 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. The global pandemic has caused disruptions and distress for everyone, including international students. By expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we have great optimism that international education will recover, and indeed flourish, as Canada emerges from the pandemic.”
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
3) Can My Family Members Also Get Faster Processing?
Yes! If you submit their applications at the same time as yours, your spouse and dependent children may also get faster processing.
These Family Members can apply, together with your SDS application, for one of the following:
- A Visitor Visa,
- A Work Permit, OR
- A Study Permit
4) Which Are The Countries in the SDS List?
Luckily, the list continues to be expanded by the Government of Canada.
When the Government launched the SDS program in 2018, the lust only included China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam.
In 2019, Pakistan, Morocco and Senegal were added to the SDS list.
As mentioned before, on July 9, 2021, IRCC announced that the SDS added 7 new countries in the Americas.
Currently, the SDS is available to International Students who live in any of the following countries (those just added shown in blue):
- Costa Rica
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
Source: IRCC Canada
5) What is a Study Permit?
The study permit is a document issued by the Government of Canada. It allows International Students to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. Even if you have a Letter of Acceptance from a Canadian DLI, you need to have a Study Permit to commence your Study Program. Most foreign nationals need a Study Permit to study in Canada, with just a few exceptions.
A Study Permit is not a Visa. A Temporary Resident Visa as a Student allows you to travel to Canada with the purpose of Studying here.
The process is started with a Study Permit Application under the SDS program. If you are approved, you will get a “Letter of Introduction” issued by the Government, and you will also get your Visa. With that, you can travel to Canada and get your Study Permit, which is physically issued by an Immigration Officer and stapled to your Passport when you arrive at the Port of Entry in Canada (the International Airport or Border Crossing where you first enter Canada).
You may also need to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before you travel to Canada.
6) Who can apply using the SDS
International Students must meet the following requirements to be eligible to apply through the SDS program:
- Be a legal resident living in one of countries on the SDS country list;
- Applications have to be submitted electronically (i.e., via IRCC online account). No paper applications will be processed under the SDS program;
- Have a valid English IELTS test result (obtained within 2 years) with a minimum score of 6.0 in each of the four language skills (Listening, Writing, Speaking and Reading); OR a valid French TEF test result (obtained within 2 years) with a minimum score of 310 for Speaking, 249 for Listening, 207 for Reading and 310 for Writing;
- Purchase a student Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of a minimum of CAD $10,000 from a participating Bank. The Bank will issue a GIC certificate to the Student. The funds in the GIC will be released to the Student while studying in Canada, in monthly or bi-monthly installments, after they enter Canada and verify their identification with the Bank;
- Be accepted by a Post-Secondary Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada (Students admitted into a secondary or primary school program do not qualify under the SDS program);
- Have paid in full their Tuition for the first year of studies;
- Submit most recent Secondary or Post-Secondary school transcripts (your grades, along with a certified English translation);
- Have completed an Immigration Medical Exam;
- Provide Fingerprints and a digital Photo (which together are called Biometrics by the Government of Canada);
- International Students living in some of the countries in the SDS list must submit a Police Certificate from all the countries they have resided in for more than 6 months after they turned 18 years old.
7) Who Cannot Apply Using the SDS?
If you do not meet all of the requirements listed above, or do not live in one of the countries included in the SDS list, you cannot apply through the SDS, but you can still apply for a Study Permit using other programs.
8) What is A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)?
A GIC is a Canadian Investment Certificate that offers a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. Many banks offer GICs. The Bank from which you buy the GIC must:
- Confirm that you bought the GIC, by giving you 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 cannot access until you arrive in Canada;
- Make you confirm your identity before they release any funds to you; and
- Release the funds to you in monthly or bi-monthly installments over a period of 10 to 12 months while you study in Canada.
If the Bank or GIC do not meet these criteria, you will not be able to apply through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).
The following financial institutions offer GICs that meet the criteria:
- Bank of Beijing
- Bank of China
- Bank of Montreal (BMO)
- Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.
- Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
- Habib Canadian Bank
- HSBC Bank of Canada
- ICICI Bank
- Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
- RBC Royal Bank
- SBI Canada Bank
- Simplii Financial
9) Not sure if you are eligible? Consult with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants
Foreign nationals who are eligible for SDS processing are still subject to all other eligibility and admissibility requirements under the Canadian immigration laws.
If you are not sure whether you can apply using the SDS, book a consultation with our experienced Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants.
Rui Jiang, RCIC # R530523
Dongkai Li, RCIC # R522600
10) Can I Work While I Study in Canada?
Many International Students want to work while studying in Canada to help cover some expenses and/or to gain valuable work experience and build their Resumes.
You will need to be enrolled in a full-time Post-Secondary Study Program at a Designated Learning Institution (or DLI).
While you are studying in Canada, you can work part-time while you study, up to 20 hours per week during each study term, and full-time during vacations and official school breaks.
If the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from your Post-Secondary Designated Learning Institution indicates that Work Experience (such as a Co-op or Internship) is part of your Study Program, you may be able to work more than 20 hours per week during each term, in which case you may be issued a Study Permit and a Work Permit.
In any case, these documents will define if you are allowed to work off- or on-campus and how many hours per week.
Become a Clearport Study-Work Concierge Member and we will help you in every step, from choosing your program to preparing and submitting your School and Study Permit applications.
11) Why Study in Canada?
Canada is among the Top 3 Education destinations in the World for International Students, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Per the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), 530,540 International Students attended School in Canada even during COVID-19, in the 2020 school year. According to Statistics Canada, International students accounted for all of the growth in postsecondary enrolments in 2018/2019, and International Student enrolments in formal programs in Canada more than tripled over a 10-year period.
There is great demand to study in Canada.
The top 3 reasons why International Students choose Canada are:
|1. Canada’s quality of life and quality of education|
|2. Its reputation as a safe country|
|3. Its tolerant, non-discriminatory society|
Other advantages of Studying College or University in Canada include that:
12) What Are the Conditions of a Canadian Study Permit?
Your Study Permit comes with certain conditions, which you must respect.
- You must be enrolled at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), in a Study Program that is 6 months or longer.
- You must not take any leaves from your Study Program (even if they are authorized by the School) longer than 150 days.
- If your Study Permit allows you to work part-time, you must comply with the conditions stated in your Study Permit (i.e., where are you allowed to work, number of hours per week, etc.).
- If you receive a Work Permit additionally to your Study Permit, you must comply with the conditions stated in both your Study Permit and your Work Permit.
- You can only stay in Canada as long as permitted in your Visa and/or Study Permit, and to continue to study in Canada after its duration you must apply to renew or extend your Study Permit before it expires.
Working in Canada can help you develop business contacts and gain practical experience for the future. It can even help you immigrate to Canada after you graduate.
There are three ways to work in Canada while you complete your education:
- On-campus work,
- Off-campus work,
- Co-op placements or Internships (note that some Co-Op and Internship programs are unpaid).
Wages or salaries for work in Canada will depend on the skills required for your position and the employer. Minimum wage varies by province.
13) Where can I Work While I Study in Canada?
You can Work On-Campus, Off-Campus, or work as a Co–op Student or Intern.
As an International Student, you can work in Canada without a Work Permit if your Study Permit indicates as a condition that you are allowed to work On-Campus or Off-campus.
You can also work while you study in Canada if you have a Study Permit and a Work Permit, which applies for International Students enrolled in a full-time Study Program that includes a mandatory Co-Op Placement.
14) Can I Work On-Campus While I Study?
Who Can Work On-Campus?
You cannot work On-Campus before your studies begin, only when you start your Study Program in Canada (see information about this from the Government of Canada).
You can work on your School Campus without a Work Permit if you:
- are a full-time post-secondary student:
- at a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec;
- at a private college-level school in Quebec that operates under the same rules as public schools, and is at least 50% funded by government grants; OR
- at a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law;
- have a valid study permit, AND
- have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
Who Cannot Work On-Campus?
If and when any of the following happens, you are obligated to stop working On-Campus:
- On the same day you stop studying full-time;
- When your Study Permit expires;
- At any time that you start authorized leave from your studies, and while the leave is in place; and
- When you start the process of switching from one School or Study Program to another and while you are not studying.
You can go back to work part-time On-Campus only after you are back to studying and you meet all the requirements to do so.
Where Can You Work On-Campus?
First, let us define what “On-campus” means.
“On-Campus” includes all the buildings on your School Campus. In most cases, if your School has several Campuses, you can only work at the Campus at which you are studying.
You can only work at other locations while studying in Canada:
- If you are working as a Teaching or Research Assistant; AND
- If your work is strictly related to a Research Grant.
If this is your case, you may work at a Research Facility, a Library, or a Hospital associated with your School, even if they are outside the Campus you are studying at.
Who is an “Ob-Campus Employer that You Can Work For?
An “on-campus” employer can be:
- Your School (University, College);
- A Member of the Faculty;
- A Student Organization;
- Yourself, if you run a business is physically located On-Campus (i.e., if you own a Restaurant, Coffee Shop, or any other legally incorporated and permitted business located On Campus);
- A Private Business; and
- A Private Contractor that provides On-Campus services to your University or College.
Do I Need a Social Insurance Number to Work On-Campus?
Yes, you do. Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a 9-digit number that is provided by the Government of Canada. With this number, you can work in Canada and get government benefits and services.
To apply for a Social Insurance number or SIN to work On-Campus, one of the following two conditions must be printed on your Study Permit:
- May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f), (v) or (w). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.
- This permit does not authorize the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada. May accept employment only on campus if meeting eligibility criteria as per R186(f). Must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.
If you are eligible to work On-Campus but your Study Permit does not include one of the two conditions above, you can ask to have them added, and there is no Government fee required. You will need to request and obtain an Amendment to your Study Permit before you can apply for a Social Insurance Number SIN from the Government of Canada.
15) Can I Work Off-Campus While I Study?
You cannot work before your studies begin, only when you start your Study Program in Canada (see information about this from the Government of Canada).
Who can work off campus (see Government Website here)
Who Can Work Off-Campus?
Remember that you cannot work Off-Campus before your studies begin, only when you start your Study Program in Canada (see information about this from the Government of Canada).
It is also important to note that if you start working Off-Campus without meeting all requirements, you may have to leave Canada. Before you start working, both you and your Employer must ensure that you can work Off-Campus without a Work Permit.
If you are able to work Off-Campus during your studies, it will say so in the conditions on your Study Permit.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements to Work Off-Campus?
You can work Off-Campus without a Work Permit if you meet all of these Five Requirements:
- You are a Full-Time International Student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
- You are enrolled in:
- A Post-Secondary Academic, Vocational or Professional Training Program anywhere in Canada; or
- A Secondary-Level Vocational Training Program in Quebec only;
- Your Study Program:
- Is 6-months long or longer; and
- Leads to a Degree, a Diploma, or a Certificate;
- You have already started studying in your Study Program; AND
- You have a Social Insurance Number (SIN).
If you are a Part-Time International Student, you can only work Off-Campus if:
- You meet all of the requirements listed above, and
- You are only studying Part-Time instead of Full-Time because:
- You are in the last Semester of your Study Program, and you do not need a full course load to complete it, and
- You were a Full-Time student in your Study Program in Canada up until your last Semester.
If you are on an Authorized Leave, or if you are Switching Schools or Study Programs:
If you are on an Authorized Leave from your studies in Canada, or if you are switching your School or Study Program to another and you are not studying, you cannot work Off-Campus. You can return to work only after you are back studying and meeting all requirements.
Do I Need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to Work Off-Campus?
Yes, you do. This 9-digit number provided by the Government of Canada is needed to work Off-Campus. To obtain your SIN to work Off-Campus, one of these two conditions must be printed on your Study Permit:
- May work 20 hours per week off campus or full-time during regular breaks if meeting criteria outlined in paragraph 186(v) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
- May accept employment on or off campus if meeting eligibility criteria, per paragraph R186(f), (v) or (w) and must cease working if no longer meeting these criteria.
If you are eligible to work Off-Campus and your Study Permit does not have one of these two work conditions printed on it, you can request them to be added on it. There is no Government fee to do this. Remember, you will need to request an Amendment to your Study Permit before you can apply for a Social Insurance Number from the Government of Canada.
How Many Hours can you Work Off-Campus?
- During regular school terms/semesters, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
- During scheduled breaks in the school year, like Winter and Summer Holidays, or during a Fall or Spring “reading week”, you are allowed to work Full-Time. During these periods, you can even work overtime or work 2 part-time jobs! You must be a full-time student both before and after the break to work full-time.
Remember that you can only work after you started studying in Canada (for example, the study break that happens immediately before you start your 1st. school semester in Canada does not qualify as a break for you, because you have not started your Study Program).
How Many Hours Are Defined as Full-Time Work?
Each Province has its own set of rules and regulations around work. However. The Federal Government considers Overtime “any hours worked in excess of the standard hours specified in the Code or Regulations, in most cases 8 in a day or 40 in a week”.
Accordingly, your Employer must follow all Provincial Laws about Overtime pay and about time between shifts.
Who Cannot Work Off-Campus without a Work Permit?
You are not allowed to work Off-Campus without a Work Permit if any of the following apply to you:
- Your Study Permit says you are not authorized to work Off-Campus while you study; OR
- You are only enrolled in an English or French as a Second Language Program (ESL or FSL, respectively); OR
- You are only taking General Interest courses; OR
- You are only taking courses required to be accepted into a Full-Time program; OR
- Your situation changes and you do no longer meet all of the requirements to work Off-Campus.
If are under any of these circumstance and you want to work Off-Campus while you study in Canada, you must apply to obtain a Work Permit.
Can I Work Off-Campus if My Study Situation Changes?
If you were not eligible to work Off-Campus but your study situation has changed, you may be able to change the conditions of your Study Permit. This will be the case if:
- You have switched to a Study Program that allows you to work Off-Campus; AND
- Your Study Permit says “This permit does not permit the holder to engage in off campus employment in Canada”;
- The Government included a condition on your Study Permit that may no longer apply to you.
For example, if you originally had a Study Permit to complete courses that are a pre-requisite to your Full-Time Study Program, such as an English as a Second Language (ESL) Pathway course, and -after completing this course- you have been accepted into your Full-Time Study Program, you could apply to have the condition of not being allowed to work Off-Campus removed from your Study Permit.
If your study situation changes and you must apply to change the conditions of your Study Permit, the Government will charge a fee to make this change. And remember that you must change the conditions on your Study Permit before you can apply for a Social Insurance Number.
Changing the Conditions on your Study Permit
To change the Conditions of your Study Permit, you will need to apply for a new Study Permit within Canada (in other words, while you are still physically in Canada and your current Study Permit is still valid).
This application can be done online. You will need a personalized document checklist, which will include the form “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Student”. You will also need to include a letter with your application, explaining why you need the condition of not being allowed to work Off-Campus removed from your Study Permit.
16) Can International Students do Co-Op or Intern Work While Studying in Canada?
Some Study Programs in Canada include mandatory or optional Co-Op work or Internships as part of their curriculum, so that Students can gain some work experience related to the Study Program while they study. Information on this is available online through the Government of Canada.
You can apply for a Co-Op or Intern Work Permit if all of these apply to you:
- You have a valid Study Permit;
- Work is required to complete your Study Program in Canada;
- You have a Letter from your School that confirms that all Students in your Study Program must complete work placements to get the degree that the program grants; AND
- Your Co-Op placement or Internship equals 50% or less of your Study Program.
Co-Op or Internship Placements During COVID-19
While COVID-19 restrictions apply, many International Students are studying online from their countries of origin or residence. If your School and your Employer agree, you can:
- Accept a Canadian Co-Op or Internship placement and begin working remotely from your country of origin or residence; OR
- Work for a company in your country of origin or residence.
You must get written agreement to the above from both your School and your Employer. In either case, if you are working remotely from outside Canada, you do so while the Government of Canada processes your Study Permit and Co-Op Work Permit applications.
Who Is Not Eligible to do Co-Op or Intern Work?
You do not qualify and are not eligible for a Co-Op Work Permit if you are taking one of the following:
- English or French as a second language (ESL or FSL, respectively);
- General interest courses; OR
- Courses to prepare for another Study Program (for example, English Pathway Courses).
17) Can I Bring My Family With Me While I Study?
If you have a spouse (you are married or live in a common-law union), you may want to bring your spouse with you when you come to study in Canada. If you have children, you and your spouse may want to bring them with you.
This must be clearly indicated in your Study Permit Application, and the Visa Officers will take it into consideration. Remember, if you apply to bring your spouse and/or children with you, you will need to provide Proof of Funds demonstrating that you have enough funds available to cover not only your personal living expenses, but also those of the family members that come along with you.
You can see here the amount of funds required by the Government of Canada by number of family members.
18) Can My Spouse Work in Canada While I Study?
If your Study Permit Application includes your spouse and children, and if it is approved, your spouse will receive an Open Work Permit to work full-time in Canada, and -depending on their age- your children will receive Study Permits to study Grade School.
You can book an Immigration Consultation with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants to learn more.
Do you want to work while you study in Canada? Do you have a spouse or common-law partner who would like to work during your time here? Both of you can work while you study in Canada.
19) Am I Covered by Canada’s Health Care System While Studying In Canada?
All International Students in Canada must have Health coverage in Canada, which is provided by Health Insurance Plans obtained through your school of choice in Canada. This Health Insurance is usually paid when you pay your Tuition Fees.
20) Can I Stay in Canada After I Graduate?
Yes. You can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after you graduate, and you must do it immediately after graduating. A PGWP will allow you to stay in Canada and work for a length of time equal to the length of the Study Program you graduated from (with a limit of 3 years).
21) Can I Apply for Permanent Residence if I Graduated for a Canadian College or University?
Yes. After working in Canada for a minimum of 1 year (or equivalent number of hours), you can apply for Permanent Residence in Canada.
22) Who Can Help Me With The Whole Study Application Process?
Since 2008, we help International Students to come to study in Canada, from Grade School to English as a Second Language, College, University, and Post-Graduate studies.
Post-Secondary Schools in Canada offer great programs that are recognized worldwide, ranging from Diplomas, Advanced Diplomas or Certificates, to full Bachelor degrees, Master degrees and PhDs. They also provide strong support for International Students.
You will broaden your horizons with a true international experience and make new friends from Canada and all over the world. And the best part is that you will have lots of fun! We can help make this lifetime experience come true.
Our Two types of Memberships give Students the level of service and value you want:
Basic Student Membership:
This is a Self-Service option that gives you access to our world-class online tools to choose the right school and apply to it, and access to SRT, our English Assessment and Improvement tool, to assess if your English level meets school requirements.
Our Basic Student Membership is great value, saving you time and money vs the months it can take you to do all the school research and prepare a school application on your own.
Student Concierge Membership:
Our Student Concierge Membership gives you Convenience and all the Peace of Mind you and your family need. With our Student Concierge Membership, you get access to our fully personalized service, including one-on-one calls with our Education Consultants and step-by-step assistance in: School and Study Program research, review, and selection, including costs and requirements; School & Visa application processes; Housing arrangements; Budget preparation; and more, even 24/7 emergency support while studying in Canada.
Our Student Concierge Membership also gives you access to SRT, our English Assessment & Improvement tool to meet the English level required by your school of choice.
Click below to watch a short video and learn more about our Student Mobility Services to study in Canada!
23) Who Can Help Me With my SDS Study Visa / Study Permit and Work Permit Process?
If you are unsure whether applying to Study or to Work in Canada, or want to have specific Immigration information and assistance top Study and Work in Canada, our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC’s) can explain the requirements and take you through the process of applying for a Study Permit that allows you to work while you Study. Booking an Immigration Consultation can help define your situation and best strategy.
Book an Immigration Consultation and our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants will guide you with qualified, professional Immigration Advise.
An Immigration Consultation can save you time and money by providing the professional guidance you require from a well-prepared, certified Team of ICCRC-regulated consultants.
Please beware of advice from “immigration consultants” that are not regulated or in good standing. Only a Certified Canadian Immigration Consultant in good standing with the ICCRC can offer consultancy services for applications to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
Rui Jiang, RCIC # R530523
Dongkai Li, RCIC # R522600
24) Processing times
Complete SDS applications will be processed within 20 calendar days after you have your biometrics collected, which is much faster compared with regular study permit application streams.
25) What documents you need to submit with the application
Document checklist varies depending on where you are applying from. We will provide you with the full list of documents you need to submit tailored to your individual circumstances.
We are Your Door to Canada!!!