New Delhi, June 13
The Justin Trudeau government in Canada has announced important changes to shorten the processing time for student visa application in order to allow more international students to study at post-secondary Canadian institutions.
Starting from June 8, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) Programme has replaced the Student Partnership Programme (SPP) in India and other existing facilitation programmes for students in China, Philippines and Vietnam.
The existing SPP in India is restricted to international students intending to study at one of approximately 40 post-secondary institutions in Canada. The new SDS will be open to all international students going to any Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada, including both publicly-funded and private post-secondary institutions, announced the government.
SDS is aimed at offering faster and simpler visa processing to international high calibre students, who could be potential permanent residents of Canada.
Canada has quickly become the preferred destination for Indian students looking for a high quality international education. It provides a world-class education in a safe and welcoming environment at a competitive and affordable cost, said Nadir Patel, Canadian High Commissioner to India.
For SDS study permit applications, the processing time will be an expedited 45 days or less. For non-SDS applications, normal processing times continue. The new SDS will provide for students aspiring to go to Canada with an even faster and more streamlined visa application process, added Patel.
To be part of SDS, international students will need to provide proof of acceptance by an eligible post-secondary DLI and payment of their tuition fees for the first year. A minimum-required IELTS level of English language ability of 6.0 in all categories (listening, reading, writing and speaking) is also mandatory among other rules.