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SDS Colleges in Canada for Indian Students


SDS is an acronym for Student Direct Stream, a study permit processing mechanism for students wishing to pursue post-secondary education at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). If you want to study in Canada, you should look at SDS institutions with a shorter student visa application procedure that takes less time and requires fewer financial documents. This blog attempts to focus on the critical aspects of applying to SDS colleges in Canada and provide a complete list of these universities and the admission prerequisites you must meet.

Indian students desiring to seek their higher education in Canada can now search for SDS colleges in Canada and apply online. These colleges provide degree programs that allow international students to use their prior learning, experience, and training to obtain a degree.

What is SDS Colleges in Canada?

The SDS [Student Direct Stream] is a quick visa processing system proposed by the Canadian High Commission in partnership with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC). With the adoption of the new SDS policy, students from specified countries can apply online to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for their VISA, which they will complete within 20 calendar days. These submitted applications are reviewed and processed as part of the regular study permit application stream. They are subject to the remaining eligibility and admissibility criteria outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) and Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

The SDS allows some overseas students to get study permits more quickly. IRCC will process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if all qualifying conditions are satisfied.

The Benefits of Applying through SDS

How SDS Programme is different from SPP in Canada for Indian Students?

  • For Indian students, the Canadian government has finally replaced the Student Partnership Scheme (SPP) with the Study Direct Stream (SDS) programme.
  • Compared to the original SPP programme, the Study Direct Stream (SDS) programme has minor differences.
  • The IELTS band criteria for Indian students are a significant adjustment in the SDS programme. Six bands are now required in each module, up from 5.5 bands in the SPP programme.
  • Another significant change under the Study Direct Stream (SDS) is paying a one-year tuition fee to a college or university in advance.

List of SDS Colleges in Canada for Indian Students

Most Canadian universities have a Designated Learning Institution number, which allows them to participate in the Student Direct Stream programme. Here is the list of SDS colleges in Canada where Indian students might apply:

Name of the University 


Offers Post-Graduate Work Permit 

Algoma University 



Algonquin College  



Brock University 



Centennial College 



Fanshawe College 



Fleming College 



Georgian College 



Humber College 



Lakehead University 

Thunder Bay 


McMaster University 



Queen’s University 



Sault College  



Seneca College  

King City 


Sheridan College 



University of Toronto 



University of Waterloo 



Wilfrid Laurier University  



Eligibility for SDS Colleges in Canada

Candidates wishing to be eligible for the SDS programme must fulfil certain qualifying conditions. Indian aspirants must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must pass the IELTS exam with a minimum overall score band of 6 or above. It will apply to both undergraduate and postgraduate SDS courses.
  • One must have an admission letter from the institution they intend to pursue higher education courses.
  • Candidates seeking a study permit through SDS should pay the first-year tuition amount in advance when applying for a visa.
  • To secure the availability of finances throughout the stay, applicants must obtain a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate) worth $10,000.
    • The following bank offers GIC in India.
      • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
      • HSBC Bank
      • ICICI Bank
      • SBI Canada
      • Scotia Bank
  • Students who apply to the institutions must have a DLI number.

What are the Required Documents for SDS Colleges in Canada?

To expedite the application process, study abroad applicants who wish to pursue higher education in Canada under the Student Direct Stream programme should provide the following documents:

Documents about Prior Academic Performance

  • Proof of payment for a $10,000 GIC
  • A copy of a recent medical check-up performed by a licenced facility
  • Proof of payment of the first-year tuition charge
  • IELTS test results
  • A copy of one of the SDS colleges' acceptance letter

Application Procedure for SDS Program

The Student Direct System cannot be applied offline. As a result, applicants seeking a Canadian study visa through SDS must apply online. Here's a brief list of the procedure:

  1. Fill out the online application form first, pay the biometric costs and submit the application.
  2. Candidates must give biometrics within 30 days after submitting their online application form. They will get a biometric request letter with all pertinent information. The application form processing will not commence until the biometrics are provided.
  3. After submitting biometrics, applicants will be asked to present medical examination results and police certificates.
  4. If their application is accepted, they will be given a letter of introduction and a temporary residence visa for Canada.

However, keep in mind that this letter of introduction does not constitute study permission. Candidates must provide this letter to the officer upon arrival in Canada to get the study permission paperwork. When students receive their study permission, they should adequately inspect it to ensure no discrepancies.

The Difference Between SDS and non-SDS Colleges in Canada

SDS stands for Student Direct Stream, also known as Students Partner Program, and is available to specific nations like India, Brazil, and others. On the other hand, non-SDS is a standard visa application procedure for temporary residency in Canada for employment, study, and immigration.

Here is the basic comparison table for SDS & Non-SDS visa list.

SDS Visa 

Non SDS Visa 

Lesser Documents Required 

More Documents Required 

Processed within 20 days on average 

Processed within 2 to 3 months 

GIC Compulsory 

GIC is Not Compulsory 

Only IELTS Accepted 


Tuition Fees to be paid for 1 year 

Tuition Fees may be paid for 6 months 

Higher Success Rate 

Comparatively Less Success Rate 

SDS Visa Requirements

As per the SDS system in Canada, these are essential checklists for the SDS Visa process.

  • English Proficiency Test – Students can apply IELTS Academic or IELTS General under the SDS Category. The minimum score is 6.0 bands, including reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) - You must deposit at least $100,000 (CAD) as a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). This money assists in ensuring that you are secure in Canada and have sufficient resources to finance any further expenditures. You will receive this money after you arrive in the country. NOVA SCOTIA, ICICI, CIBC, and SBI are among the banks that provide GIC.

When you arrive in Canada, you will receive around CAD 2,000 plus interest, which will be transferred into your student bank account. For the following 12 months, you will get around $667 CAD every month.

  • Tuition fees - Students must pay the total amount for the 1st year programme.
  • Letter of Acceptance - The candidates are given an acceptance letter from the Designated Learning Institute (DLI) to apply for further study. The Canadian provincial and territory governments have designated several colleges and universities as DLIs.
  • Education Documents – Students must submit their previous academic certificates like 10th and 12th or diploma and graduation certificates if applicable.
  • Proof of Medical examination.
  • Statement of Purpose (SOP) - The Statement of Purpose (SOP) is essential in acquiring a student visa. Who must write the SOP regardless of whether it is for SDS or non-SDS? It is more like an essay explaining why you have chosen a specific subject at a Canadian institution. It clarifies the visa officer regarding the candidate's profile and interests.
  • Digital Picture: Another necessity is digital photographs of students. The image is 35*45 with an 80 percent magnification and a white backdrop.

Acquiring a student visa in Canada is not easy. It takes a significant amount of time, work, and instruction to complete successfully. Do you plan on studying in Canada? Meet an AECC Global team today to make your Canada student visa procedure as straightforward as possible and we can provide you with the best possible assistance in acquiring a student visa in Canada. Our professional Canada Student Visa advisers are here to assist you at any moment.

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