In July, Canada added seven more countries eligible for the Student Direct Stream (SDS).
In 2019, Canada launched a new International Education Strategy spanning five years focused on diversification and outbound mobility. Named “Building on Success: Canada’s International Education Strategy (2019-2024)”, the strategy includes the expansion of the Student Direct Stream (SDS), led by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), to attract more international students from target countries.
The SDS strategy offers faster processing of study permit applications to prospective international students from certain countries who plan to study in Canada at the post-secondary level. China, India, the Philippines, and Vietnam were the first countries included in the SDS followed by Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal in 2019.
Pursuant to the International Education Strategy’s goal of internationalisation and economic recovery during the pandemic and IRCC’s commitment to the continued expansion of the SDS, Canada has now expanded the SDS eligibility to seven more countries from the Caribbean and Central and South America namely:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
“Our country’s diverse and inclusive society, high-quality educational institutions, and opportunities to work or immigrate after graduation have made Canada a leading destination of choice for students from around the world. The global pandemic has caused disruptions and distress for everyone, including international students. By expanding the Student Direct Stream to a more diverse range of prospective students, we have great optimism that international education will recover, and indeed flourish, as Canada emerges from the pandemic.”– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship
Amidst the challenges of traveling to Canada due to the pandemic restrictions, the country continues to support prospective international students who aspire to pursue an education in the country. International students who intend to begin or resume their studies in Canada are still very much welcome in the country as long as they follow their designated learning institution’s COVID-19 readiness plan, including planning to quarantine for 14 days upon the arrival.