If you’re planning to study in Canada, you must be familiar with the SDS (Study Direct Stream) program. The SDS is an accelerated study visa processing program designed for students who are citizens of select countries.
As with any visa application, it’s essential to know what to expect when it comes to processing times. In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into SDS visa processing times for 2023. We’ll look at average processing times, processing times for different regions, and visa types that are eligible for SDS.
- The SDS program is designed to accelerate visa processing times for students
- The average processing time for SDS visa applications is four weeks
- SDS applicant countries are Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam
- Visa types eligible for SDS are study permits for universities, colleges, and other educational institutions
Average Processing Time
According to Canadian government statistics from 2020, the average processing time for SDS visa applications is approximately four weeks. However, this processing time may vary depending on the time of year and the volume of applications. If you’re planning to study in Canada, it’s always advisable to apply well in advance of your start date.
Canadian visa processing times for study permits have remained relatively stable in recent years. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the processing times for all visa applications may be subject to change.
Processing Time for Different Regions
The SDS processing time for different regions varies based on the volume of applications received. Some regions may have a shorter processing time than others, while some may take longer.
Citizens from some countries may also have a longer processing time than others. For instance, citizens of India may have a longer processing time due to the high number of applications the Canadian government receives each year.
To be eligible for SDS, applicants must meet specific requirements. They must have a valid letter of acceptance from a Canadian universities, colleges, and other educational institutions.
SDS applicants must also provide proof of payment of tuition fees for their first year of study. They should also have proof of purchase of Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC), which shows that they have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses in Canada.
Another requirement is that applicants must submit a medical examination report that proves they are in good health. The requirement is applicable to students who plan to remain in Canada for more than six months.
SDS vs. Regular Study Permit Processing
The SDS is an accelerated study permit processing program that is different from regular study permit processing. The regular study permit processing involves a more extended application process, which can take up to six months or longer.
Applicants applying for a regular study permit are required to provide biometric information, wait for a medical exam referral and submit additional documentation. Students applying for an SDS, on the other hand, are exempt from some of these requirements, making the application process simpler and more efficient.
How to Ensure a Smooth and Timely Application Process
To ensure a smooth and timely SDS visa application process, follow these tips:
- Start the application process well in advance of your intended start date.
- Ensure that you have all the necessary documents before you start the application process.
- Avoid submitting the application during peak periods (August-September and January- February).
- Make sure that all the information you provide is accurate, truthful and up-to-date.
- Process the requisite fees and ensure that the payment is complete at the time of submission.
Q: Can I apply for SDS if my country is not eligible?
A: No, only students from select countries are eligible to apply for SDS.
Q: How long do I have to wait for my SDS visa?
A: The average processing time for SDS visa applications is four weeks. However, this processing time may vary depending on the time of year and the volume of applications.
Q: Can I work while studying on an SDS visa?
A: Yes, you can work while studying on an SDS visa. Full-time students are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic session and full-time during scheduled breaks.
Q: Can I bring my family to Canada on an SDS visa?
A: Yes, you can bring your spouse or common-law partner, or dependent children with you to Canada on an SDS visa. However, they will need to apply for their study or work permit separately.
The SDS program is an efficient and accelerated visa processing program for students planning to study in Canada. SDS visa processing times vary based on a range of factors, including volume and region. However, by following the tips provided, you can ensure a smooth and timely application process.