Written by Alyssa Walker

Canada has introduced more streamlined visa policies for students from India and three other countries. There are about 100,000 Indian students currently studying in Canada.

The move comes as the UK's government has made it harder for Indian students to gain visas.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is trying to make it easier for international students seeking a quality education. Students from China, Vietnam, and the Philippines will also benefit.

The Business Standard quoted the IRCC: "Students from those countries who demonstrate upfront that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada will benefit from faster processing times.

"Similar programmes have been in place in these 4 countries for a few years. We are aligning them together into one programme to ensure consistency."

To qualify for the new Student Direct Stream system, or SDS as it's called, students need to meet stricter guidelines than traditional study permits, especially when it comes to language. 

The benefits may be worth it, especially for those looking to stay in Canada after they graduate. 

"The SDS complements the Express Entry system as these students will be well placed to continue on the path to permanent residence and Canadian citizenship after completing their studies in Canada if they wish to."

According to the Times of India, Ontario-based Talha Mohani, immigration law specialist explained the SDS program this way: "A study permit application is assessed in terms of eligibility and admissibility, which includes finance, language, and medical. Under the SDS program, several of these criteria are to be satisfied up front. The student must pay the first-semester tuition fee, in addition to buying a guaranteed investment certificate of Canadian $10,000. A minimum score of 6 for English in the International English Language Testing System is also required. The applicant also has to submit a copy of the upfront medical exam confirmation document."

Learn more about studying in Canada.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.
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