SDS colleges in Canada : List of colleges, Eligibility , Documents required (2022)

Vishesh Chogtu
Modified on 2022-04-25 
Read time: 8 mins

The Student Direct Stream is a scheme that facilitates visa applications for students from certain countries. They will approve the visa applications of students from a variety of nations around 45 calendar days under this service. This program will cover a wide range of Canadian institutions having a DLI (Designated Learning Institution) number which are called SDS colleges in Canada. International students that register in the SDS program will be allocated to one of these SDS colleges in Canada.

What is Student Direct Systems?

Student Direct Stream is a scheme developed by the Canadian high commission. With the help of SDS, Canada is providing education in a simpler way for international students to take part in the Canadian educational system. With the Student Direct Stream method, study permits can be issued in as little as 20 calendar days. International students must meet the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations’ eligibility standards (IRPR) to get a visa under the SDS scheme. You will get a full refund from the bank that granted your Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC).

List of SDS colleges in Canada

Most of the Universities and colleges in Canada come Under SDS colleges in Canada with a designated learning Number which allows the institutions to become part of the SDS scheme. 

The following are lists of SDS colleges in Canada with their location and tuition fees.

University namelocationAverage tuition fees
University of TorontoToronto, OntarioCAD 50,000 – 1,30,000
University of WaterlooWaterloo, OntarioCAD 40,000 –  90,000
Seneca collegeToronto, OntarioCAD 15,000 – 20,000
Vanier collegeMontreal QuebecCAD 8,000- 9,500
Columbia CollegeVancouverCAD 16,500 – 30,000
lakeHead UniversityThunder bayCAD 23,000 – 32,000
University of GuelphTorontoCAD 8,000 – 37,000
University of WindsorWindsorCAD 10,000 – 20,000
McMaster UniversityBurlintonCAD 5,000 – 50,000
Algonquin CollegeOttawaCAD 17,000 – 22,000
Sheridan CollegeBramptonCAD 16,000 -27,000
Carleton UniversityOttawaCAD 15,000 – 22,979
Humber CollegeTorontoCAD 9,690 – 23,610
Durham CollegeWhitbyCAD 14,600 – 15,700
Georgian CollegeSouth Georgian bay( Barrie)CAD 16,990 -29,200

Check out : List of DLI Colleges in Canada

SDS and Non-cSDS colleges in Canada

As there are two different colleges in Canada. SDS colleges in Canada and Non-SDS colleges. SDS colleges in Canada come under the Student Direct Stream scheme, which is mainly developed to provide some extra benefits to some countries. Non-SDS colleges are general category colleges without much special privileges for students from international countries. 

The following are the differences between SDS Colleges in Canada and Non- SDS colleges in Canada with different parameters.

parametersSDS colleges in CanadaNon-SDS colleges in Canada
DocumentationLess documents are requiredMore documents are required
Visa processing timeThe Visa processing time is for 20 days which is less comparing with general categoryThe visa processing time takes more time about of 2-3 months
GIC requirementGIC is mandatoryGIC is not mandatory
Payment of tuition feesTuition fees need to be payed for 1 years time periodTuition fees need to be paid for 6 months
English proficiency test requirementsOnly IELTS exam is acceptedAny exam namely IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, ect are accepted

Non-SDS colleges in Canada Band requirement

Students who want to apply for Non-SDS colleges also need to provide English Proficiency test scorecards. But, students can take an exam like TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, etc., not like SDS colleges in Canada that require the IELTS exam as mandatory. The IELTS band requirements for Non-SDS colleges in Canada are a minimum of 6.0 for UG courses and a 6.5 minimum for PG courses.

Non-SDS colleges in Canada with work permit

The Work permit rules and regulations are the same for the international students from either SDS colleges in Canada or Non-SDS colleges in Canada. The work permit duration for students from SDS colleges in Canada or Non-SDS colleges in Canada is the same which is equal to the course duration. Students from either SDS colleges in Canada or Non-SDS colleges need to apply for a work permit within 90 days of course completion and students need to take a full-time course to get a work permit.

Check out : Complete list of Canada Scholarships for Indian Students

Disadvantages of Non-SDS colleges in Canada

Even though Non-SDS colleges in Canada are not strict with international students admissions, there are some disadvantages of Non-SDS colleges in Canada. They are.

  • The processing time for visas for Non-SDS colleges in Canada takes a huge time of 2-3 months.
  • The Visa success rate of Non-SDS colleges in Canada is less than compared to SDS colleges in Canada.
  • And also, the visa application process is also tough in Non-SDS colleges in Canada.
  • Most of the Non-SDS colleges are private institutions that are expensive.

List of Countries Under SDS

The SDS scheme applies to students who wish to pursue their Post-Secondary education in SDS colleges in Canada from the countries which are listed under this scheme. There are almost 10+ countries that are allowed under this scheme. And students from these countries can enjoy the advantage of getting faster than the usual people along with $10,000 GIC, which will help to cover the expenses of studying abroad.

The following is the list of Countries under SDS:

  • India
  • China
  • Philippines
  • Peru
  • Pakistan
  • Morocco
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Brazil
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Senegal
  • Vietnam
  • Saint Vincent and Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago

Necessary documents for SDS program

Students who want to complete their studies in Canada with the help of the SDS scheme need to provide the required documents to fasten their Visa process and also they need to apply to the SDS Colleges in Canada to get those benefits.

The following are the necessary documents Under the SDS program.

  • Previous academic-related documents
  • Payment proof of $ 10,000 GIC.
  • Recent Medical examination copy from the allowed Medical institution
  • First-year tuition fees payment proof 
  • IELTS test scorecards and test report form
  • At last, the offer letter from the SDS colleges in Canada.

Eligibility for SDS program

Students who want to pursue their studies in Canada must meet the eligibility requirements under the SDS scheme to join SDS colleges in Canada. Candidates from India must meet the following requirements:

  • Students should get a minimum IELTS overall score band of 6 or higher in the IELTS test. 
  • Under the SDS scheme, this applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
  • The invitation letter from the SDS colleges in Canada is required for students.
  • Candidates who apply for a student visa via SDS should pay for the first year’s tuition before their visa application.
  • To assure that funds are available during the stay, applicants must provide a $10,000 GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate).
  • A DLI number is provided for students applying to the institutions.

SDS vs Non-SDS visa program

For students of certain nationalities, the SDS program offers faster study permit application processing. The procedure is simple, quick, and requires less financial documentation. However, Non-SDS, on the other hand, is a broad category under which students can access a study permit in Canada but requires a lot of time. Candidates who do not meet the requirements for the SDS visa program may apply through this route. Respondents will be required to submit extra documents because the criteria will be changing.


✅ What is SDS college Canada?

Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a fast Visa processing system that is developed by the Canadian High Commission and is incorporated and partnered with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) and the Canadian Visa office in India. However, SDS colleges in Canada come under this scheme and the students who are applying from the countries under the SDS scheme like India, Moroccos, China, the Philippines, etc need to fulfill all the requirements related to SDS colleges in Canada. It will help students from these countries to get a Visa within 20 calendar days after fulfilling all the other requirements.

✅ Is Canada college is SDS or Non-SDS?

Ans: Most of the colleges in Canada come under the SDS scheme and they have their Designated Learning Number. This designation Number is the proof that the institute or college is under the SDS program. Students who apply under the SDS scheme will get visas faster than the other students and also they need to provide fewer documents when compared with others. The SDS colleges in Canada are Humber college, George brown college, Fleming College, Niagara College, etc. However, there are some colleges like Lake land College, Lawrence college, etc that come under the Non-SDS category.

✅ How to apply for SDS in Canada?

Ans: The Student Direct System is not available for applying offline. As a result, students who want to study in Canada through SDS must apply online. Here’s a quick summary of the steps:
First students need to complete the online application form, pay the biometric fees, and submit the application.
Moreover, Biometrics must be provided within 30 days after completing an online application form. 
Participants will receive a biometric request letter that contains all necessary details. The application form will not be completed until the biometrics have been submitted.
Candidates will be requested to submit medical examination reports and police certifications after submitting biometrics.
They will be awarded an introductory letter and a residency permit visa for Canada if their application is approved.

✅ Who is eligible for SDS?

Ans: Students with at least a score of 6.0 points in IELTS are eligible for SDS colleges in Canada. And students who have invitation letters from the SDS colleges in Canada along with Designated learning institute numbers. And students who provide a recent medical examination certificate are eligible for SDS.

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Vishesh Chogtu

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