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SDS and Non-SDS Category Study Visa for Canada

08th July 2023 (11:07 am) / SuccessVisa

SDS and Non-SDS Category Study Visa for Canada

Flexible Pathways to Canadian Education Through SDS and Non-SDS Category Study Visas

Applying for a student visa can be a time-consuming and lengthy process. Canadian immigration has introduced the Student Direct Stream (SDS) programme to simplify the visa application process and allow students to obtain study permits more quickly. The SDS study visa is available to applicants from specific countries, including 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. The SDS programme requires only a brief documentation process, and applications are accepted exclusively online.

The following documents are required for an SDS Visa:

  1. Acceptance letter from the learning institute where you have applied to study.
  2. Proof of payment for one year's tuition fees.
  3. Details of the Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) payment.
  4. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Report Form (TRF). The required scores vary based on the chosen course of study.
  5. Medical examination report from an authorised doctor.
  6. Academic background report.


The following documents are required for a Non-SDS visa:

On the other hand, the Non-SDS category entails a more lengthy process and requires additional documentation. This category is open to applicants from all countries and takes approximately 7-8 weeks for visa processing. Non-SDS applications can be submitted both online and offline. The documentation requirements for Non-SDS visas include:

  1. Academic qualification certificates, including 10th and 12th-grade report cards. The minimum requirement for the 12th-grade score is 60% for undergraduate courses.
  2. An undergraduate degree with a minimum of 55% marks is required for admission to postgraduate courses.
  3. Letter of offer from a certified college where you have applied.
  4. Proof of work experience and payment details if there is a study gap.
  5. Proof of financial support, such as bank savings, loans, and previous investment records.
  6. Receipt of tuition fee payment.
  7. Medical certificate from an authorised doctor.
  8. Visa application fee


Here is a quick overview of the differences between the SDS and Non-SDS visa processes:

It is crucial to understand the SDS and Non-SDS applications separately. Here are some important differences:




Time for

processing visa

4-6 weeks 

7-8 weeks, approximately


Students can apply from certain countries that are mentioned above.

Residents from all countries can apply.


In brief

With proper explanation


Effective and fast 

Lengthy and sometimes confusing

Acceptance Mode

Only accepted online

It can be accepted offline, also.


Why choose SDS over a Non-SDS visa?

There are numerous reasons why the SDS category is more popular worldwide. Apart from that, choosing one category also depends on the eligibility criteria for applicants. Here is the list of reasons why more individuals use SDS:

  1. Faster Processing Times: SDS is very fast compared to Non-SDS because it does not require lengthy documents.
  2. Eligibility: Students from certain countries are eligible for SDS visas. Due to this, there is a little rush for applying for Canada study visa applications.
  3. Streamlined Process: SDS student visa process is very effective and can be done in a limited time with a much success rate.
  4. Process Mode: SDS visa application only applied online, which is much more effective than offline.

Therefore, it is easy to receive a visa from Canada by following these steps. You can make your future better by getting international study experience.