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IRCC is now accepting new language exams Under SDS

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Language exams Under SDS: Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is accepting four additional English language examinations from August 10, 2023, from the applicants of the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

The following exams have been added to the updated list of those that are acceptable:

  • Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General;
  • Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL); and
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic;
  • TOEFL iBT.

In addition, students have the option of taking either the General Training or Academic versions of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exams. In addition, the following modifications to the IELTS requirements for the SDS will come into effect on August 10th:

  • If you want to apply using IELTS Academic after August 10, 2023, you will need an overall band score of 6.0, which is the average of all of the results for each skill part;
  • If you filed an IELTS Academic application before August 10th, 2023, you are required to have a score of 6.0 in each of the four skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing); and
  • Regardless of whether you submit your application before or after August 10, 2023, you will be required to have a score of 6.0 in each of the skill parts if you are submitting with IELTS General Training.

In order to be eligible for the SDS, a person’s test results need to demonstrate that they have a strong command of one of the official languages of Canada (either English or French), including strong skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing in that language.

The minimum cumulative score that a student must achieve in order to pass the English exam is:

  • Level 7 on the CELPIP General exams;
  • A score of 60 for the CAEL examinations;
  • A score of 60 for Pearson Academic tests;
  • A Score of 83 for TOEFL iBT.

It is extremely important that you take these examinations in person. SDS candidates are not permitted to take examinations that are proctored remotely or remotely proctored, such as online.

What is Student Direct Stream?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a scheme that assists international students hailing from particular nations in acquiring study permits in a more timely manner. The plan’s objective is to maintain a processing time of twenty calendar days for applications for study permits that are qualified for the program.

On the list of countries that have met the requirements are nations such as Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam, amongst others.

In order for students to be eligible to apply for SDS, they must be:

  • A citizen or permanent resident of one of the nations listed;
  • Must include a copy of the admission letter received from a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) in Canada.
  • Show documentation that they had an up-front medical exam;
  • Show or have proof of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) for the amount of $10,000;
  • Providing evidence that the school fees for the first year have been paid;
  • Show proof that you took a language test within two years of sending in your application and that you earned a number that qualifies for the SDS; and Show proof that you took a language exam within two years of filing your application
  • Pay a visit to a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in order to submit their application.

Even if all of these standards for eligibility are satisfied, an officer from the IRCC may still decide to deny the application if they believe that it does not provide sufficient evidence that the international student can fulfill the obligations of their stay in Canada. 

This is due to the rules that the program has in place for official government employees. You will find more information on this page about how to improve your chances of passing the study test.

Because these programs were so successful, by the end of the year 2022, Canada had more than 800,000 students studying there from other countries. This was the highest number of students from other countries that the nation had ever had. 

Since 2008, this number has nearly multiplied by ten times, and the increase can be attributed to both internal and external factors. 

Domestically, the government of Canada and the DLIs are making greater efforts to recruit international students because of the positive effects that these students have on the economy, the social makeup of the country, and the cultural depth of the nation. 

The growth of middle-class populations in many countries has contributed to an increase in the number of students coming from other countries. 

Because of the high caliber of its educational institutions, it’s well-earned standing as a multicultural nation, and the favorable employment and immigration prospects it affords to graduates, Canada has emerged as a global leader in the provision of educational opportunities. 

This provides Canada with an advantage over even the United States, which has a market for international students that is highly competitive.


  1. Canada’s SDS now accepts new English exams from August 10, 2023, alongside IELTS modifications.
  2. SDS aids fast study permit processing for international students from select countries.
  3. SDS eligibility requires specific citizenship, admission letter, medical exam, funds proof, and language scores.
  4. Canada’s student count exceeded 800,000 by 2022 due to SDS’s success and global factors.
  5. Canada’s education appeal thrives on quality institutions, multiculturalism, job prospects, and immigration pathways.

Frequently asked questions on language exams Under SDS

What is the Student Direct Stream (SDS)? 

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a streamlined program in Canada that aims to expedite study permit applications for eligible international students from specific countries. Its goal is to process applications within 20 calendar days.

Which countries are eligible for the SDS program? 

Countries eligible for the SDS program include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, and others.

What language exams are accepted under the SDS program? 

Starting from August 10, 2023, the SDS program accepts English language exams like CELPIP General, CAEL, PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, and both General Training and Academic versions of IELTS.

What are the key eligibility criteria for the SDS program? 

Eligible applicants must be citizens or permanent residents of designated countries, possess a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) admission letter, undergo a medical examination, show proof of funds, pay first-year tuition fees, and achieve qualifying language test scores.

How does the SDS program contribute to Canada’s student growth? 

The SDS program’s success has led to a significant increase in the number of international students studying in Canada, exceeding 800,000 by 2022. This growth is attributed to the program’s efficient processing and global factors.

Why is Canada a preferred destination for international students? 

Canada’s appeal as a destination for international students is due to its high-quality educational institutions, multicultural environment, strong employment prospects, and immigration opportunities for graduates. These factors contribute to Canada’s prominence in global education.


  1. SDS accepts new English exams.
  2. Fast study permit processing.
  3. Students from the listed countries
  4. SDS increased the student count
  5. Opportunities for International students

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