Amongst all the constricting regulations on visa approvals, there finally comes good news for students from Canada. Canada has decided to introduce a new program in which the approval of visa applications of students could be done faster than earlier.
This is going to be a huge boost for students planning their studies in Canada. This will remove some of the difficulties faced by the students every year. The faster Visa processing program will encourage more students to think about Canada as a higher studies destination. Canada has already been growing as a higher studies destination for Indian students. And with stricter visa regulations introduced in the UK and the USA, Canada is expecting to see a rise in the number of applications from Indian students.
The Student Partners Program and the Student Direct Stream
SPP stands for Student Partners Program. This was the earlier existing program under which faster processing time and fewer regulations were available for students applying to study in Canada. But, there were certain conditions attached to this program. According to the Student Partners Program, less visa documentation and quicker processing was available but only to those students who applied to one of the 40 participating colleges. This narrowed the reach of the program as students had very few options for selecting a college.
SDS stands for Student Direct Stream. Instead of a narrow list like the Student Partners Program, this program has made available the fast-track processing and approval for students applying from 4 designated countries. According to a statement made by the IRCC, these four countries are India, Vietnam, Philippines, and China.
In 2017, India topped the list of the number of study permits issued in Canada, being closely followed by China at no. 2 and South Korea at no. 3. The introduction of this program surely announces the intent of the Canadian administration to establish themselves as the preferred destination for Asian students.
Rules and Regulations of the Student Direct Stream Program
Although the program offers quicker approvals, there are some regulations that govern that approval. Under the Student Direct Stream Program, a student must:
- Buy a guaranteed Canadian Investment Certificate of 10,000 CAD and pay the first semester’s tuition upfront.
- In the language requirement exam of IELTS (International English Language Testing System), have a score of at least 6 or more.
- An upfront application confirming the sound medical status of the student must be submitted along with the application.
Provided that these upfront criteria are met by the students, their usual processing time of 60 days can be cut down to 45 days. The upfront confirmation of important documentation allows for faster approvals. This allows students to make travel plans and focus on other details.
International students from the top three countries (India, China, and South Korea) account for almost 60% of the total international students studying in Canada. Indian students alone account for nearly 28% of the total number of foreign students in Canada. With the introduction of the Student Direct Stream program, the number of foreign students is certain to go up even more.