Canada adds 4 new English Proficiency Tests for Study Permits under SDS Stream

Canada adds 4 new English Proficiency Tests for Study Permits under SDS Stream

Exciting news for aspiring students looking to study in Canada!
As of August 10, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is expanding its English proficiency test options for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program. This means more pathways to your Canadian dream are now open, enhancing your study permit application process.

Previously, only the IELTS general or academic exams were deemed acceptable for a Canada study visa under SDS. However, now you have the flexibility to choose from a wider range of approved tests, providing you with more options to showcase your language skills effectively.

What are the approved English Proficiency tests for Study Visa under the Student Direct Stream SDS?

There are 4 new Tests added to the IELTS general or academic exams, which are:

  1. CELPIP General
  2. CAEL
  3. Pearson PTE Academic
  4. TOEFL iBT Test

Breakdown of the newly approved English tests for SDS

Here’s a breakdown of the newly approved English tests that can pave your way to Canada:

  1. CELPIP General: With a focus on assessing your language abilities, CELPIP General offers a comprehensive evaluation of your listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. Achieving a Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 in each module of this test is required. The cost is $280 plus taxes, making it an economical and efficient choice for your study permit application.
  2. CAEL: The Canadian Academic English Language exam is designed to gauge your English proficiency for academic purposes. A score of 60 on a scale of 10 to 90 is necessary to qualify for SDS. With a fee structure similar to CELPIP at $280 plus taxes, CAEL ensures a smooth and accessible way to showcase your language skills.
  3. Pearson PTE Academic: This test assesses your English language competence across writing, speaking, listening, and reading. Scoring between 10 and 90 is crucial, with a target of 60 for your SDS application. At a cost of $330 plus taxes, PTE Academic offers a convenient and comprehensive evaluation in just a two-hour timeframe.
  4. TOEFL iBT Test: If you’re eyeing a Canada study visa under SDS, achieving a score of 83 or above on the TOEFL iBT Test is a requirement. With four parts, each worth 30 points, this three-hour exam costs $240 USD (approximately $330 CAD). Its flexibility in scoring can be advantageous if you excel in certain modules.

But wait, there’s more! The best part of these new English tests is that they can also play a role in your permanent residency journey. CELPIP General, for instance, is accepted not just for study permits but also for Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). This means that the skills you demonstrate now can continue to benefit you in the long run.

Lower IELTS Score for SDS Study Visa? Click here to read more details→

Is my country eligible for SDS Stream?

Let’s find out! Student Direct Stream SDS offers faster processing for study permits, benefiting residents of 14 eligible countries:

  1. Antigua and Barbuda
  2. Brazil
  3. China
  4. Colombia
  5. Costa Rica
  6. India
  7. Morocco
  8. Pakistan
  9. Peru
  10. Philippines
  11. Senegal
  12. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  13. Trinidad and Tobago
  14. Vietnam

What are the key requirements for a Canada Study Visa under SDS?

To be eligible for SDS Stream, you must have:

  1. A valid English or French proficiency test with CLB level 7 or higher.
  2. A Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada.
  3. A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD.
  4. Proof of advance payment of 1-year tuition fee to the DLI.
  5. A Statement of Purpose (SOP) – though not mandatory, it is recommended for a stronger application.

How long does it take to get SDS Study permit?

The IRCC is committed to processing all study permit applications under SDS within just 20 working days, ensuring a swift and efficient journey toward your Canadian education.

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a streamlined and expedited study permit processing program offered by the Government of Canada for international students looking to study in Canada. It aims to provide a faster and more efficient pathway for eligible applicants from select countries to obtain their study permits. The SDS program ensures qualified students can start their Canadian educational journey without unnecessary delays.

Here’s an overview of the key features and benefits of the SDS study permit program:

  1. Faster Processing: One of the main advantages of the SDS program is its faster processing times. The program aims to process study permit applications within 20 working days, allowing students to receive their study permits more quickly than through regular processing channels.
  2. Simplified Application Requirements: The SDS program has specific and streamlined application requirements, which include certain documentation and language proficiency standards.
  3. Language Proficiency: Language proficiency is a crucial aspect of the SDS program. Applicants must demonstrate their English or French language skills by taking an approved language test and achieving a minimum Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of 7 in each language skill (listening, reading, writing, and speaking).
  4. Financial Proof: SDS applicants need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation. This can be shown through a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD.
  5. Acceptable Institutions: Applicants must have a Letter of Acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada to be eligible for the SDS program. DLIs are institutions recognized by the Canadian government to host international students.
  6. Biometric Collection: Like other study permit applicants, SDS applicants are also required to provide biometric data (fingerprints and photographs) as part of the application process. This helps ensure the security and integrity of the immigration process.
  7. Eligible Countries: The SDS program is available to residents of specific countries. The latest information shows residents of 14 countries are eligible for the SDS program.

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