| Current Toronto Time: 
Faster Canadian study permits through Student Direct Stream

Depending on where you live, you may be able to get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) tries to process most Student Direct Stream applications within 20 calendar days. However, some applications may take longer than this.

To get this faster processing, you must give your biometrics as soon as possible and meet all the eligibility requirements.

A study permit is not a visa. It does not, by itself, allow you to travel to or enter Canada. You may also need a visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If you do, it will be issued with your study permit.

Who can apply. To be eligible for faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must be a legal resident living in China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines or Vietnam.

You must:

• Have an acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution.

• Prove that you’ve paid the tuition fees for your first year of study.

• Live outside of Canada when you apply.

• Have a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000.

• Have a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion if you’re planning to study in Quebec.

• Get a medical exam before you apply (if you need one).

• Get a police certificate before you apply (if you need one).

• Have your most recent secondary or post-secondary school transcript(s).

• Have a language test result that shows: a score of 6.0 or higher in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening) on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or a Test d’évaluation de français (TEF) score that is equal to a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) score of at least 7 in each skill (reading, writing, speaking and listening).

Depending on where you’re applying from, you may also need to provide other documents. Make sure you include all the documents required by the visa office that processes your application.

You may be asked to give additional documents to support your application. In this situation, your application will take longer to process.

Who isn’t eligible for the Student Direct Stream. If you live anywhere other than one of the countries listed above (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), you must apply through the regular study permit application process.

If you live in another country (even if you’re a citizen of one of the countries above), or if you don’t meet the eligibility for faster processing, you may still be eligible for a study permit through the regular study permit application process.

Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC). A GIC is a Canadian investment that has a guaranteed rate of return for a fixed period of time. Many banks offer GICs. The bank that gives you the GIC must confirm that you bought a GIC by giving you one of the following:

• A letter of attestation.

• A GIC certificate.

• An Investment Directions Confirmation or an Investment Balance Confirmation.

The bank must hold the GIC in an investment account or a student account that you can’t access until you arrive in Canada and make you confirm your identity before they release any funds to you; release the funds to you by providing an initial lump sum once you identify yourself upon arrival in Canada and the remainder of the funds in monthly or bimonthly instalments over 10 to 12 months.

If your bank or GIC doesn’t meet these criteria, you won’t be able to apply through the Student Direct Stream.

You can get a GIC from a bank listed on the Canadian Deposit Insurance Company website. Make sure the bank you choose offers a GIC and meets the criteria for the Student Direct Stream.

The following banks offer GICs that meet the criteria:

Bank of Beijing

Bank of China

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Xian Co. Ltd.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)

Habib Canadian Bank

HSBC Bank of Canada


Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

RBC Royal Bank

SBI Canada Bank


Medical exams and police certificates. Depending on where you’re applying from, you may need to get a medical exam or police certificate. To get faster processing through the Student Direct Stream, you must include these with your application (if you need them) for faster processing of your application.

Who needs a medical exam. You may need to get a medical exam if you lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for six or more months in the year before you come to Canada, or you plan on studying or working in the health field, primary or secondary education, or child or elder care.

To get a medical exam, you must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC.

Who needs a police certificate. Your visa office instructions will tell you if you need to get a police certificate. You’ll find these instructions when you select your country of residence. Make sure you read the instructions before you apply, so you know if you need a police certificate or any other documents to apply.

Bring your spouse, partner or child with you to Canada. Your spouse, common-law partner and dependent children may also be able to get faster processing on a visitor visa, work permit or study permit.

You must complete and submit their applications at the same time as your own. If you don’t, their applications will not be processed faster. When you apply online, select that you have family members coming with you to Canada. This will let you complete their applications with yours.

Applying through the Student Direct Stream. You must apply online to get faster processing on your study permit. There’s no paper application for the Student Direct Stream. Make sure you include all the documents required with your application.

Before you apply online, make sure you have:

• The instruction guide to fill out your forms.

• A scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents.

• A valid credit or debit card to pay with.

In most cases, you need to give biometrics. You should pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application online. If you don’t pay this fee, your application may not be processed faster.

If you need help with giving your biometrics or sending your passport, you can visit the nearest visa application centre.

After you apply: You need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Once you pay your fees (including your biometrics fee) and submit your application, you will be sent a letter that says you need to give your biometrics (if you need to). The letter will tell you how and where to do this. You need to bring this letter when you give your biometrics. You also need to bring your valid passport. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics in person.

If you didn’t pay the biometrics fee, IRCC will send you a letter asking you to do this first. You can only get the instruction letter if you pay the biometrics fee.

Most Student Direct Stream applications are processed within 20 calendar days after receiving your biometrics, if you meet the eligibility.

If your application doesn’t meet the eligibility for the Student Direct Stream, IRCC will review it as a regular study permit. You won’t get faster processing if this happens.

If your application is approved, IRCC will send you a letter of introduction. This isn’t your study permit. You need to show this letter to the officer when you arrive in Canada.

If you need an electronic travel authorization (eTA), your letter of introduction will have information about it. Your eTA will be electronically linked to your passport and will be valid for five years or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. Make sure you travel with the passport you used to apply.

If you need a visitor visa, you will be asked to send your passport to the nearest visa office so your visa can be attached to it. Your visa will be in your passport and will show if you can enter Canada once or multiple times. You must enter Canada before your visa expires.

Getting your study permit. When you arrive at the port of entry, an officer will make sure you meet the requirements to enter Canada. If there are no problems, the officer will then print your study permit and give it to you.

Make sure you have all the documents you need to enter Canada with you.

Your study permit is normally valid until the end of your school program. If your passport expires before the end of your study program, your permit will only be valid until your passport expiry date. If this happens, you’ll need to apply to extend your study permit once you have a new passport.

If you have questions or there’s a mistake on your study permit, ask the officer before you leave.

If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining why you were refused. If you have questions, contact the office that sent the refusal letter. 

Posted: Sep 5, 2019

May 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016