Canada approves four new English language tests for SDS!

Canada approves four new English language tests for SDS!

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 29 May, 2023 | 04:15 AM]
About Author - 3 min read

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) just announced that it will accept language test results from four new tests - for applicants under the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Effective August 10, 2023, IRCC will begin to accept test results from these four new tests:

  • CELPIP General
  • CAEL
  • PTE Academic
  • TOEFL iBT Test

Check eligibility for a Canada Study Visa

Minimum score required to be eligible

All test results must demonstrate abilities across all four language proficiency domains i.e., Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing.

  • CELPIP General

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General test results must showcase a score that is equivalent to the Canadian Level Benchmark (CLB) of at least 7.

  • CAEL

The Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) test results must showcase a minimum score of 60.

  • PTE Academic

The Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test results must showcase a minimum score of 60.

  • TOEFL iBT Test

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT test results must showcase a minimum score of 83.

Students must take these tests in person. Online, remotely proctored tests will not be accepted for applicants in the SDS. Prior to this change, IELTS General and IELTS Academic were the only tests approved by IRCC for SDS applicants.

What is the SDS?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS), formerly known as the Students Partners Program (SPP), is a pathway introduced by the Canadian government to expedite the processing of Canada Study Visa applications for international students from certain countries. The SDS program aims to provide faster visa processing times for eligible students who are planning to study at Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) in Canada.

By participating in SDS, eligible students can enjoy streamlined visa processing, which helps facilitate their study plans in Canada. At current processing times, students can expect to get approval under the SDS within 20 days.

Who is eligible for SDS?

To be eligible for the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program in Canada, international students must meet the following criteria:

  • Citizenship: Applicants must be a citizen of one of the designated countries eligible for SDS. The eligible countries include China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam - among 14 others.
  • Acceptance into a Designated Learning Institution (DLI): Students must have an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. DLIs are recognized by provincial or territorial governments and allow international students to study in Canada.
  • Financial Proof: Applicants need to demonstrate proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and return transportation. This can be shown through bank statements, proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), or a student loan from a financial institution in Canada.
  • Language Proficiency: Students must prove their proficiency in English or French by providing valid language test results. Prior to this change, IELTS General and IELTS Academic were the only tests approved by IRCC for SDS applicants.
  • Upfront Medical Examination: Students are required to complete a medical examination before applying. They must undergo the examination by a panel physician approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

It is essential to note that meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee approval, as additional factors may be considered during the visa application process. Seek guidance from an authorized study abroad consultant if you’re having trouble.



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