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IRCC approves 4 new English language tests for Student Direct Stream

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

IRCC will begin accepting the results of these four new tests beginning 90 days after May 27, 2023.

The new eligible tests are:

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

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All test results must demonstrate speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills.

General CELPIP tests must show a Canadian Language Benchmark equivalent score of at least 7 in each of the four language skills.

The results of the CAEL and Pearson PTE academic tests must show a minimum score of 60.

The TOEFL iBT exam from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) requires a minimum score of 83.

Students must take these tests in person. Remotely proctored online tests will not be accepted for applicants at the SDS.

Prior to this change, IELTS General and IELTS Academic were the only IRCC-approved tests for SDS applicants.

What is the SDS?

SDS offers expedited study permit processing for students from specific countries. Eligible students are legal residents of: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, or Vietnam.

There is a 20-day service standard in Canada for all SDS-eligible study permit applications.

The SDS was launched in 2018 and is particularly popular among Indian international students.

Who is eligible for the SDS?

In addition to being legal residents of specific countries, students who meet this criteria must also:

  • provide a copy of an acceptance letter from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI);
  • submit a confirmation document for the applicant’s initial medical examination;
  • prove that you have obtained a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000;
  • demonstrate that tuition fees for the first year of study are paid;
  • show proof of language test results completed within two years of receipt of the SDS application demonstrating an IELTS score of 6 for English or NCLC 7 for French; and
  • submit the application at a Visa Application Center (VAC).

Canada is now home to more than 800,000 international students.

IRCC reported that Canada welcomed more than 800,000 international students by the end of 2022, the largest in the country’s history. Canada’s international student population has quadrupled since 2008 due to a number of national and international factors. At the national level, the Canadian government and DLIs have recruited international students more aggressively due to a number of economic, social, and cultural factors. Globally, the international student population has increased due to the rise of the global middle class. Canada is seen as an attractive destination for international students due to its high quality of education, reputation for multiculturalism, and job and immigration opportunities.

Find out if you are eligible for Canadian immigration

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