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A complete comparison - SDS and Non-SDS Canada Visa Application


Canada is the top study destination for many aspirants because of its high-quality education and multicultural environment. If you plan to study in Canada, you must know two terms, SDS and Non-SDS, during the Visa Application process. SDS is a student-direct stream open to 14 countries, including India, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, China, etc. Non-SDS, Non-Student Direct Stream is a general visa application process for temporary residence, work, or study in Canada. It is open to international travelers irrespective of the country they belong to. This blog will further discuss Canada's SDS and Non-SDS Visa Application process.

A complete comparison - SDS and Non-SDS Canada Visa Application
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Comparison between SDS and Non-SDS Visa Application

Student Direct Stream(SDS)

  1. Visa time- This requires approximately 20 calendar days.

  2. Countries- This applies only to 14 countries, including- India, Brazil, Antigua and Barbuda, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vicent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

  3. It's an utterly online process from applying to receiving the Visa;

  4. Visa Success Rate- This has an approximately 70% success rate.

Non-Student Direct Stream(Non-SDS)

  1. Visa time- This requires approximately 49 days, i.e., 6-8 weeks, to generate the Visa.

  2. Countries- There is no such bar on countries eligible; it applies to any country.

  3. This application process is both online and offline; it depends on the candidate's suitability.

  4. Visa Success Rate- This has approximately 40% success rate.

Documents required for SDS Visa Application

There are some documents that IRCC requires for this procedure, which include:

  1. Academic documents, including the 12th Marksheet and undergraduate degree, must be submitted with a 55% minimum score.

  2. IELTS of a minimum 6.0 score for undergraduates is mandatory.

  3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate(GIC) is to be submitted of CAD 10,000 to cover the living expenses.

  4. Medical Examination Reports from authorized physicians are to be submitted.

  5. Visa Application fees are CAD 150 for the application process, whereas biometric fees are CAD 85

  6. Digital proofs such as identify proofs and digital photographs. Previous work experience evidence and receipt of tuition fees(paid in your first year)

Documents required for Non-SDS Visa Application

There are some documents that IRCC requires for this procedure, which include:

  1. Academic background documentation including 12th Marksheet, Undergraduate degree with a minimum of 55% aggregate marks.

  2. Advanced Diploma with a minimum of 50% for undertaking admission in Post-Graduate courses in Canada.

  3. IELTS of a minimum 6.0 score for undergraduates.

  4. Receipt of tuition fee payment(first year) and medical documentation from authorized physicians.

  5. Income tax return documents.

  6. Visa Application fees of CAD 150 for the application process.

  7. Proof of bank statements such as loan statements, investment reports, bank savings, etc.

  8. Evidence of previous work experience of last three months.

  9. Guaranteed Investment Certificate(GIC) is optional to be submitted.

Non-SDS Visa Application is lengthy and requires time, cost investment, and ample documentation. SDS comparatively requires less commitment to time, and less documentation is required. In contrast, SDS is an entirely online process feasible for everyone.

Major SDS Universities/Colleges in Canada

Major Non-SDS Universities/Colleges in Canada


Canada, a dream destination and land of opportunities for many students to work or study, has two streams for its Visa Application viz SDS and Non-SDS. The decision to choose SDS or Non-SDS entirely depends on the students and whether they meet the eligibility criterion and documentation required for the application process. Both the application process requires efficient hard work and time. Timely submitting these application forms with adherence to the deadlines is the key to a successful application.

We know and understand that the application process can be overwhelming, so we are here for you. The study abroad experts at Hello Study Global are there for you every step of the way. From preparing for entrance exams to college applications, we will guide you to success.

Feel free to reach us at Hello Study Global.

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