SDS Canada Eligibility Criteria for Indian Students

SDS Canada Eligibility Criteria for Indian Students

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Raj Vimal
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 10:33 IST

SDS Canada Eligibility Criteria: Indian students who want to apply under the Student Direct Stream program have to fulfil certain requirements. Apart from an impressive academic background, students need to fulfil eligibility announced by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). SDS Canada Visa processing time is 20 days for eligible candidates.


The Student Direct Scheme Canada was introduced by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to offer student visa faster. SDS Canada aims to make the study visa processing time shorter for students from India, Brazil, China, Colombia and other countries. According to the official website of IRCC, students need to fulfil SDS Canada eligibility criteria and present certain documents to apply under the SDS program.

SDS Canada processing time is just 20 days for eligible students. This time is much less than the Student Partners Program (SPP). The students should check the Canada student Visa requirements and ensure that they are eligible before proceeding to apply. Keep in mind that candidates need to submit the SDS Canada Visa application online.

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SDS Canada Eligibility for Indian Students

According to the Official website of IRCC, the SDS Canada Visa success rate is 71%. It means you can get admission to the universities of Canada if you fulfil the eligibility criteria of SDS Canada. To help you better, we have mentioned point-wise SDS Canada requirements for Indian students below.

  • International students must have an attestation letter from the Province where they plan to study (From January 22, 2024).
  • You should be a citizen of any country mentioned below

SDS Canada Countries- India, Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa, Rica, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam

  • Candidates must have an acceptance letter from Designated Learning Institutions in Canada.
  • Candidates should not be in Canada at the time of application.
  • Proof that you have paid the tuition fee of the first year (If you are planning to study outside Quebec).
  • Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) from the Ministry of Immigration if you are planning to study in Quebec.
  • Police Certificate
  • Family information form (if required)
  • Temporary Resident Visa application form (if required)
  • Recent educational transcripts.
  • Valid score in Language proficiency test

Latest Update

From January 22, 2023, Students have to get an attestation letter from the Province or territory of Canada, where they are planning to study. The government is working to develop an easy process for this. It is expected to start functioning by March 31, 2024. According to IRCC, an SDS Visa application without an attestation letter will be returned.

SDS Canada Visa Requirments in Detail

Check out the detailed information about the eligibility criteria of the Student Direct Stream program for an international student.

English Language Proficiency Test For SDS Canada

Candidates must have scored a minimum IELTS score of 6 bands in each module for both UG and PG courses. From August 10, 2023, PTE Academic will be accepted in Canada for all Canada SDS applications. In early 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognised PTE Core as proof of English language proficiency for Canada PR. Students need to note that the PTE Academic exam taken before August 10, 2023, will be considered for a Canada SDS visa if: the scores are not expired and they are submitted after August 10, 2023.

Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

Students need to show a GIC amount for Canada is 20,635 (INR 12,71,619). You can buy this from any bank which is listed on the IRCC SDS website or insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

GIC should fulfil the following criteria:

  • Once the student buys the GIC, the bank gives the GIC certificate, a letter of attestation, the Investment Balance Confirmation or the Investment Directions Confirmation to the student.
  • The funds are secured in an account that a student cannot access and are only released once the student arrives in Canada.
  • Once the student lands in Canada, the bank must validate their identity before releasing the funds.
  • The student receives an initial amount once they identify themselves. Students receive the remaining funds in monthly or bimonthly instalments.

Proof of Full First-year Tuition Fee: The following can be used as proof:

  • Tuition fee receipt from your DLI.
  • Bank receipt indicating that you have paid tuition fee to your DLI.
  • Official letter from DLI confirming tuition fee payment.

Proof of medical examination: Students need to undergo a medical examination if they want to stay for more than 6 months.

Importance of SDS Study Visa Eligibility 

Candidates should know that incomplete applications are refused straight away. In case the biometric fee is not paid, the visa officer can ask to submit the fee. Excepting the biometric fee, if the application processing fee is not paid or is not included in the application, then the application is refused.

Apart from this, candidates who are going to pursue a bridging program at a DLI before the commencement of their main program may be eligible to apply under the SDS program, however, they should meet the eligibility criteria for the program.

SDS Canada Visa and Family Members

Family members of the candidates who applied under the SDS program are eligible for concurrent processing if they also apply at the same time when the candidates apply for it. Temporary residence applications of the family members of the applicants need to be submitted online as part of a family grouping.

With a processing time of nearly 20 days, the SDS Canada visa programme is particularly beneficial for Indian students who want reduced processing times and minimal documentation.

For help with university applications, students seeking to study abroad can contact our Shiksha Study Abroad Counsellors. The comments section below allows candidates to contact us as well.

Learn more about the SDS Program:

SDS Canada Eligibility Criteria FAQs

Q. What is the eligibility criteria for SDS Canada for Indian students?

A. According to IRCC, candidates need to fullfill all criteria mentioned below to apply under SDS Canada program

  • Must have an attestation letter from a Canadian Province.
  • You should be a citizen of India.
  • Acceptance letter from a DLI.
  • First year tuition fee payment slip.
  • Police Certificate
  • Recent educational transcripts.
  • Valid score in Language proficiency test

Q. What is the new rule for SDS in Canada?

A. From January 22, 2024, it is mandatory to get an attestation letter from the province you are going to study. The Government is working to develope the system to ease the process of getting an attestation letter for an international student.

Q. Is there an age limit for SDS Canada?

A. There is no any age limit for Student Direct Stream program in Canada. Students of any age can apply to get a Canada Student Visa under the SDS program.

Q. Which is faster SDS or non-SDS?

A. The Student Direct Stream or SDS Canada program offers study visa in just 20 days. On the other hand, Non-SDS Visa process can take up to 7 to 8 weeks. You can explore more differences between SDS and Non-SDS easily

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Study Abroad Expert

Raj Vimal has experience of 7+ years in SEO Content Writing, which includes 5+ years in the Ed-Tech industry. He has written articles about studying abroad, especially in the USA, UK, and other English-speaking coun... Read Full Bio

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Reva Chaudhary

3 years ago

Hi, I paid for my first-semester fee and now I am going to start my winter semester, so just before starting the winter semester, I paid FOR my winter semester fee. Will I be eligible for SDS? I paid my first-year fee but in installments.

Reply to Reva Chaudhary


Navpreet kaur

3 years ago

Can we show a bank loan as a proof of funds?

Reply to Navpreet kaur


Piyush Kohli

3 years ago

Hi Navneet, yes you can show bank loan as proof of funds.


Gulshan Kumar

3 years ago

Hi Piyush, I have BCA with 61% & has 3 yrs of work exp. (1 yr in the field to pursue PGD) & IELTS 6 each. If the college is accepting with said scores, can i apply under SDS with the help of edu loan and poor financial background of parents? As i don't have to show financial papers in case of SDS?

Reply to Gulshan Kumar


Piyush Kohli

3 years ago

Hi Gulshan, you need to show the minimum finance as required under SDS rules in order to apply through SDS.