Canada to Lower IELTS Score Requirement for SDS Study Visa

According to the official IDP IELTS website, starting from August 10, 2023, applicants for Canada study visas through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) will no longer be required to obtain a minimum IELTS Score (Academic) of 6 bands in each module. Instead, they will only need to achieve an overall score of 6 in IELTS Academic.

Canada to Lower IELTS Score Requirement for SDS Study Visa
Canada to Lower IELTS Score Requirement for SDS Study Visa

How does my IELTS Score qualify for SDS Study Visa?

Apparently, if your scores in Reading and Writing are 5.5, and your scores in Speaking and Listening are 6.5, your overall score would be 6. With this score, you would be eligible to apply for a Canada study visa under the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

However, if you are applying with an IELTS Score under General Training (GT), the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires a minimum band score of 6.0 in each module, including Reading, Listening, Writing, and Speaking.

This is fantastic news for numerous students who were previously unable to qualify for the SDS study visa due to having an IELTS Score of less than 6 in just one or two modules, even though their overall score exceeded 6 bands.

What is SDS, and how could it help me as an International Student?

Student Direct Stream is a path that could help you gain your student permit faster, depending on where you live, and according to the official IRCC Website, the processing time of it usually takes 20 Calendar days.

NOTE/ You should know that SDS is not a visa, nor can it help you enter Canada by itself, but rather a faster path to gain your Study permit!

What are the English Language Tests required to Study in Canada?

The IRCC approves 6 English Language Tests. You can have one of the below-mentioned English Language Test results to Study in Canada:

  • PTE Academic
  • IELTS Academic
  • CAEL
  • IELTS General Training
  • CELPIP General

What is the IELTS score requirement for a Canadian study visa through the SDS program?

As of August 10, 2023, it has been officially confirmed that applicants will only need an overall IELTS Academic score of 6 and are no longer required to achieve a score of 6 in each module.

However, applicants applying under the Student Direct Stream will still need to obtain a score of 6 in each module of the IELTS General Training.

Which are the recently approved English tests by Canada for SDS Study Visa?

Canada has recently approved four new English tests for the SDS Study Visa. These tests include:

  • Pearson PTE Academic.
  • TOEFL internet-based Test (iBT).
  • and Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL).

 Starting from August 10, 2023, the IRCC has deemed these tests as valid indicators of English proficiency.

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Eligible countries for SDS Canada Study Visa?

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam