A New Update for International Students

Student Direct Stream (SDS) is the faster visa processing program for international students who want to study in Canada at a post-secondary Designated Learning Institution (DLI) launched by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). As a student, you can expect visa processing within 20 working days, if the eligibility criteria are met. So far IELTS was only an English language testing option for the SDS programs. But now, According to the Education Testing Service (ETS), IRCC has recently approved TOEFL ibT as an English testing option for the SDS program.

This Program aims to expedite study permit processing and students get more comprehensive options to prove their English proficiency starting from August 10, 2023. The TOEFL ibT is widely accepted by all Canadian universities. Also, Canada will take PTE academics in addition to TOEFL.

There are a total 4 English language proficiency tests for the SDS program 

  1. Pearson Test Examination (PTE Academic ) : Min 60 overall score                          
  2. Test of English as Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL ibT) : Minimum 83 score
  3. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) : Minimum 6 overall score
  4. Canadian Academic  English Language Assessment (CAEL) : Minimum 60 score


SDS Process of Eligibility Criteria for Canada Visa

  1. Students are supposed to submit all the documents electronically
  2. Students must have results of English language proficiency tests (reading, writing, listening and speaking) result with at least minimum scores
  3. Students must pay first-year full fees.
  4. Students must buy a GIC (Guarantee Investment Certificate) of Canadian $10,000 from any bank insured by Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) like ICICI Canada or SBI Canada
  5. Colleges and institutions applied by students must have registered DLI number
  6. If you are planning to study in Quebec get a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (QAC) from the Ministry of Quebac Immigration.
  7. Medical certificate
  8. Police Certificate
  9. Transcripts from secondary school and colleges(Post-secondary)
  10. Must have an acceptance letter from post-secondary DLI
  11. Canada Student Visa fee $150
  12. In most cases, If students receive a Biometrics Instruction letter(BIL), they are required to submit biometrics and biometrics fee if applicable.


When Does the Application Reject

  • If Applications are incomplete/incorrect
  • If any document is wrongly present or seems forged
  • If you fail to get GIC or QAC


How Popular is TOEFL, and What is its Exam Format?

TOEFL is approved by over 12,000 institutions in over 160 countries and is universally accepted in major countries such as Australia, London, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand, as well as 99% of universities in the United Kingdom.

There are 4 Modules of the TOEFL Exam

Total test time - 3hr + 0.5 hr for rechecking/ verifying= 3.5hrs


Time Slots

No.of questions



30-40 questions


45 mins-1hr

30-40 questions

Break Time

10 mins



15 mins

4 task


50 mins

2 task


Changes in TOEFL ibT test

ETS, the organization responsible for administering the TOEFL, has recently improved the test-taking process. Commencing on July 26, 2023, the TOEFL iBT exam will be reduced by one hour earlier it was of 4.5hrs. This will be achieved through simplified instructions and navigation, the introduction of a new writing task centred around academic discussion, a shorter reading section, and the elimination of non-scoring questions. These modifications are designed to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the test.

Benefits of TOEFL Approval

The Inclusion of TOEFL brings several benefits to the SDS program. Firstly it expands options for international students giving them flexibility in choosing an English proficiency language test . Secondly, open a wider pool of applicants who can demonstrate their skill in the English language through these tests.

With TOEFL, Opportunities have become more abundant and easy to decide. Take the first step to relish your Abroad plans . Now is the time to make impossible plans possible. Get in touch for Free Consultation with First Step Immigration and make your Canada studying and settling  plans from dreams  to reality