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Monopoly of IELTS ends for Canadian student visa under SDS category

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The Canadian government’s recent decision to end the monopoly of the International English Language Test System (IELTS) for the Canadian student visa under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) category has opened up new opportunities for aspiring international students.

Starting from August 10, 2023, applicants will be able to submit English language test results from alternative proficiency exams, including the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) General, Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) Test, Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic, and Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT.

The inclusion of these four additional language proficiency exams offers greater flexibility to students applying for Canadian student visas under the SDS category. Among these options, PTE and TOEFL are particularly popular not only in Canada but also in other countries.

PTE is advantageous for those considering studying in Australia, while TOEFL is widely accepted in popular destinations such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and over 98 percent of universities in the UK.

Canadian SDS category

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) category is an expedited study permit processing program designed for international students who plan to enroll in post-secondary designated learning institutions in Canada. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to process most SDS applications within 20 calendar days, provided that all eligibility requirements are met.

To be eligible for the SDS category, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Legal residency in one of the designated countries.
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Colombia
    • Costa Rica
    • India
    • Morocco
    • Pakistan
    • Peru
    • Philippines
    • Senegal
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Vietnam
  2. An acceptance letter from a post-secondary designated learning institution.
  3. Residency outside of Canada.
  4. Payment of tuition fees for the first year of study.
  5. Proof of a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAN$10,000.
  6. Completion of a medical examination.
  7. Submission of a police certificate.
  8. Recent secondary or post-secondary school transcripts.
  9. English language test results.

IELTS fees, payment options

The fees for the IELTS academic and general training tests have recently increased to Rs. 16,250.

Applicants can make payment for the IELTS test fees through the following modes:

  1. Credit/debit card
  2. Net banking
  3. Demand draft
  4. Bank deposit

It is important to note that credit/debit card payments must be made using either Visa or Mastercard.

In India, there is a wide network of IELTS test centers spread across 75 cities. Among these, three centers are located in Hyderabad.

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