Exciting Update: Canada's Student Direct Stream Now Welcomes Additional Language Tests!

Meridean Overseas
Meridean Overseas

Updated On 11 August 2023 & Read Time 4 minutes



If you are aspiring to study in Canada via Student Direct Stream then there is a good news for you!


As of August 10, 2023, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has added four newly approved English language tests for applicants applying through the Student Direct Stream (SDS). This initiative aims to streamline the study permit process for international students. The newly accepted tests are:

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based test (TOEFL iBT)


The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program that accelerates the study permit process for international students hailing from particular countries. The goal is to maintain a 20-day processing standard for eligible study permit applications. Countries eligible for SDS include India, Morocco, Antigua and Barbuda, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, China, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Vietnam and Trinidad and Tobago.


For SDS eligibility, all test results must demonstrate proficient skills in a Canadian official language (English or French), covering speaking, listening, reading, and writing abilities. Specifically, for English proficiency, students must achieve a total score of:

  • 7 for CELPIP General tests
  • 60 for CAEL tests
  • 60 for Pearson Academic tests
  • 83 on TOEFL iBT tests


It's essential to note that these tests must be taken in person, as online or remotely proctored tests are not considered valid for SDS applications.


Additionally, students can still opt for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) General Training or Academic tests. Noteworthy changes to the IELTS requirements for SDS applicants will take effect on August 10th:

  • If applying from August 10, 2023, an IELTS Academic overall band score of 6.0 is needed.
  • If the application was submitted with IELTS Academic before August 10, 2023, a score of 6.0 is required in each skill section (speaking, listening, reading, and writing).
  • Applying with IELTS General Training still necessitates a 6.0 in each skill section, irrespective of the date.


To qualify as an SDS applicant, students must:

  • Be a legal citizen of the mentioned countries
  • Provide a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI)’s letter of acceptance’ copy
  • An upfront medical exam confirmation
  • Possess a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 or prove its acquisition
  • Show proof of payment of first-year tuition fees
  • Present language test results obtained within two years of receiving the application, exhibiting eligible scores meeting SDS criteria
  • Submission of the application at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)


It's important to note that despite meeting these eligibility requirements, an IRCC officer could still reject an application if they think there's insufficient evidence that the international student can fulfil their obligations during their stay in Canada.


Canada hosted a record-breaking 800,000 international students by the end of 2022, marking a significant increase attributed to the nation's efforts to attract students due to their positive impact on the economy, diversity, and culture. Globally, the rise in the middle-class population has led to a surge in international student numbers wherein the Canadian authorities are also engaged assertively in enticing international students to study in Canada.  Canada's appeal as an education hub is attributed to its high-quality education, multicultural environment, and promising career and immigration prospects post-graduation, setting it apart even from other competent international student markets such as the United States.


If you are still unsure or would like to get deeper insight, we encourage you to have a word with our team of expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you are unable to travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website. Our dedicated counsellors will provide you with the best guidance regarding your application to study in Canada. Apart from this, our expert counsellors will also provide assistance in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at application02@meridean.org or call us at 1800-1230-00011.


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