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    Difference Between SDS and Non-SDS Visa

    Dec 14,2021

    Difference Between SDS and Non-SDS

    Study in Canada has been an aspiration of Indian students. However, the hassles associated with the Canada student visa process do not let all study in Canada. When you plan to study in Canada, acquiring a Canada Study Visa aka Canada student visa is a must. While you strive to get a Canada Student Visa and explore details, you come across the terms SDS and Non-SDS oftentimes. Let’s understand the meaning of these terms and how they are relevant in the obtainment of a Canada Study Visa.

    What is SDS?

    The Student Direct Stream (SDS), previously known as Student Partner Program is a program led by Canada immigration authorities to help students realize their dream of study in Canada. In general, the students who want to Study in Canada apply for a Canada study visa under the SDS category.

    The SDS is a method that lets Canada Study Visa Applications be completed swiftly and effectively. You can only submit your SDS application online. In this case, students must meet specific conditions set forth by IRCC in order to be qualified under SDS Visa.

    What is Non-SDS?

    The Non-SDS category is another category that supports students wishing to study in Canada in Applying for a Canada Study Visa. The category specifically helps those aspirants to study in Canada who are unable to get a Student Visa in Canada via the SDS stream as they are unable to fulfill the SDS visa requirements. The prerequisites to apply under the Non-SDS category will be varied as the category demands more documents. 

    For SDS, only some countries, such as India and Brazil, are eligible. Non-SDS, on the other hand, is a standard visa application process for temporary residency in Canada and is available for all international travelers Who want to Study in Canada, work in Canada or accomplish other purposes, regardless of their country of origin.

    Application Process for SDS Visa Canada

    Raising an online application is a persuasive way to fasten the processing of your Canada Study Visa. Student Direct Stream does not require a paper application. Hence, completing all your paperwork in advance is imperative before submitting your application. The following is a list of items to consider

    • Your application form’s instruction manual.
    • To create digital copies of your supporting papers, you’ll need a scanner or a camera.
    • A valid credit or debit card to make payments.
    • Please provide your biometrics. For this, you need to check the official site, fill out the required information, and pay the biometric charge.

    Read More: Comprehensive Guide To Acquire Canada Student Visa Swiftly

    Application Process for Non-SDS Visa Canada

    Step 1: Log in to CIC Canada’s official website using your GCKey user ID and password. Agree to all the terms and conditions, and complete the identity verification.

    Step 2: Begin by entering your personal reference code.  In case you don’t have the code, you may find out if you’re eligible by completing a few questions and then applying online. Lastly, save and close the questionnaire.

    Step 3: Once you will answer all the questions, a pop-up will be displayed notifying you about your eligibility. You can move on to the next phase if your eligibility is confirmed.

    Step 4: Cross-check all your answers.

    Step 5: Examine your documents and checklists. If you forgot to include something, do so now.

    Step 6: Submit the application.

    Let’s Start with Step 1

    SDS Visa Requirement

    • Academic records, including a copy of the 12th-grade report card. 
    • Applicants must have received a minimum of 55 percent in their undergraduate courses.
    • Advanced diploma undergraduate degree. To attend postgraduate studies, applicants must hold at least 50% or above.
    • Statement of Purpose. 
    • IELTS score of at least 6.0 for UG and 6.5 for PG.
    • Letters of acceptance from institutions that are part of the SDS program.
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) to meet living expenses.
    • Photographs (in digital format).
    • Evidence of prior work experience.
    • Tuition Fees Receipt.
    • Evidence of required medical testing.
    • A $150 visa application fee is required (INR 11k approx).

    Non-SDS Visa Requirement

    • Academic records, including a copy of the 12th grade report card. Applicants must have received a minimum of 55 percent in their undergraduate courses.
    • Advanced diploma undergraduate degree. To undertake postgraduate studies, applicants must have scored at least 50% or above.
    • IELTS score of at least 6.0 for undergraduates and 6.5 for postgraduates are required.
    • Offer letters from institutions that are participating in the Non-SDS program.
    • Evidence of prior work experience and payslips of the previous 3 months is required.
    • Financial proof, such as bank savings, student loans, and investments, is required.
    • Documents from the candidate’s or sponsor’s income tax returns, or Form 16.
    • Tuition fees receipt.
    • Evidence of required medical testing.
    • A $150 visa application fee is required (INR 11k approx).

    Must Read: GIC For Canada Study Visa- All You Need To Know

    Why Choose SDS over Non-SDS?

    Now that you understand the difference between SDS and Non-SDS Visa, let’s dive deeper into the key reasons behind considering the SDS category over the Non-SDS category to apply for a Canada Student Visa.

    Little Documentation:

    Applicants in the SDS category do not need to provide as many documents to demonstrate financial eligibility. The amount of documentation in the Non-SDS approach is higher.

    Swift Processing:

    In comparison to Non-SDS, the SDS technique is concise and easy. It takes about 45 days to complete the process.

    Better Success Rate:

    The success rate of the SDS program is high than the Non-SDS program. The program is more appropriate for the students provided they meet the requirements for the SDS program. The program is a perfect option for students seeking to secure a Canada student visa without investing much time and effort and achieve their aspiration of Study in Canada comfortably. 

    Select The Right Category to Study in Canada

    List of SDS Colleges in Canada

    College name
    George Brown CollegeHumber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
    Red River College of Applied Arts, Science & TechnologyNiagara College
    Parkland CollegeFleming College
    Loyalist College of Applied Arts & TechnologyCanadore College
    Vancouver Island UniversityNorthern Lights College
    Columbia International CollegeLakeland College 
    Northern Alberta Institute of TechnologyLasalle College
    Seneca College of Applied Arts & TechnologySault College
    Northern CollegeMohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology
    Lawrence CollegeDawson College
    Alberta Bible CollegeSeneca College of Applied Arts & Technology
    Niagara CollegeLoyalist College of Applied Arts & Technology
    Lambton College of Applied Arts & TechnologyGeorgian College of Arts & Technology
    Fanshawe College of Applied Arts & TechnologyDurham College
    Confederation College of Applied Arts & TechnologyConestoga College
    Clair College of Applied Arts & TechnologyCentennial College of Applied Arts & Technology
    Canadore College -North Bay, OntarioCambrian College of Applied Arts & Technology
    Algonquin CollegeCamosun College
    College of New CaledoniaCollege of the Rockies
    Columbia International CollegeDouglas College
    Kwantlen Polytechnic UniversityLangara College
    North Island CollegeNorthern Lights College
    Okanagan CollegeSelkirk College
    University of the Fraser ValleyVancouver Community College
    Vancouver Island University Bow Valley College, Calgary
    Lakeland CollegeMedicine Hat College
    Norquest CollegeNorthern Alberta Institute of Technology
    Assiniboine Community CollegeManitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, Winnipeg 
    Red River College of Applied Arts, Science & TechnologyParkland College
    Saskatchewan PolytechnicLasalle College
    Sheridan College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning

    Explore: MS In Canada – Top Universities, Courses, Fees, Eligibility And Requirements


    Obtaining a student visa in Canada is not a piece of cake. It needs an ample amount of time, effort and guidance to get achieved successfully. Are you endeavouring to Study in Canada?  Meet a team that can make your Canada student visa hassle-free and provide you with the best assistance to get a student visa in Canada. Our reliable Canada Student Visa consultants are happy to help you anytime.

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      Written By

      Brijesh Dave

      Brijesh Dave is one of the key players at the Aspire Square Pvt Ltd. With his hands-on experience and exceptional understanding of Australia – Canada Permanent Residency, and Study Visa, He is managing the daily immigration updates, news section, content writing, and operations. Brijesh has been active in the field of Canada Immigration since 2012. He started his journey in immigration as a counselor then jumped into Canada's Permanent Residency Process. He has carried a comprehensive skill set of exquisite relationships with the clients, excellent interpersonal, and communication skills. He is known for his research and analysis of immigration. Currently, he is very much into marketing and promotional activities, event management and provides substantial support to the immigration team.


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