Canada study permit
For students from seven South American countries, the road to the Great White North just got smoother. Source: Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will fast-track Canada study permit applications from seven additional countries in the Student Direct Stream (SDS) — the latest move in a series of measures to boost Canadian higher education and immigration post-pandemic. Going to study in Canada just became an even more attractive prospect.

Students from Brazil, Columbia, Peru, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will now have their study permit processing sped up. This could allow applicants to have their study permit processed within 20 days, on average. Ordinarily, this process could take up to several months.

IRCC launched the SDS in 2018, attracting students from China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam to study in Canada. Pakistan, Senegal, and Morocco were added to the list in 2019.

“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,” immigration minister Marco Mendicino said in an official release.

Canada study permit

International students who come to Canada for a better life can find an immigration pathway to work towards. Source: Geoff Robins/AFP

How to get Canada study permit via Student Direct Stream

With the addition of these seven countries, SDS now expedites Canada study permit applications from 14 countries worldwide. Before you apply for that permit to study in Canada, though, you must secure a spot in your university of choice — known as a designated learning institution (DLI) within the country.

Once you have your Letter of Acceptance (LOA), you may apply for SDS along with the necessary documents. Additionally, you must also prove language capabilities (English and French) and funding abilities, with your first-year tuition already paid in full. Applicants who have lived or travelled in certain countries in the past six months must also undergo a medical exam.

Successful applicants will be issued a Point of Entry (POE) letter of introduction and a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. IRCC issues the POE letter as proof of approval for a study permit. Upon arrival in Canada, you must present it to a visa officer to be allowed into the country.

Applicants must be a citizen of one of the 14 aforementioned countries. They must also be living in this country at the time of SDS application. According to IRCC, complete applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received.

The SDS programme has proven effective in attracting students from India, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, and Morocco — these were among the top 15 source countries for international students in 2019. CIC News predicts that this move will see increased enrolments from young people in Brazil, Columbia, and Peru who want to study in Canada. In 2019, 16,000 study permits were issued to residents of these seven new SDS countries; 10,000 to Brazil, and 4,440 to Colombia.