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4 New English Test for Canada Study Visa under Student Direct Stream (SDS)

Navigating the path toward higher education in Canada is an exciting journey of new opportunities and possibilities. For those aspiring to pursue their academic ambitions through the Student Direct Stream (SDS), a pivotal aspect is demonstrating proficiency in the English language. With this in mind, IRCC will start to accept four new English language tests that hold significance for individuals seeking a Canada study visa under the SDS program.

Previously, only IELTS general or academic were acceptable English proficiency tests for Canada study visas under SDS. Let’s delve into the details of these four new English language tests and their role in shaping the academic dreams of prospective students.

1. CELPIP General

The Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) general examinations necessitate a proficiency level aligning with the Canadian Language Benchmark 7 in each of the four core modules of this assessment. Achieving a score of 7 in listening, reading, speaking, and writing within the 0-12 range of CELPIP scores renders the test results admissible for the SDS application. Notably, the CELPIP general test carries a fee of $280 in addition to applicable taxes.

A distinctive advantage of opting for the CELPIP General is its dual applicability. It extends beyond study visas to Permanent Residency pursuits, including avenues like Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Thus, international students undertaking the CELPIP general test as part of their study permit requirements can later capitalize on the same test results as they transition toward securing their permanent residency status.


The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) examination emerges as a prominent Canadian English language proficiency evaluation. Like the CELPIP, the CAEL test incurs a fee of $280, coupled with applicable taxes. Spanning a scoring range of 10 to 90, a CAEL score 60 holds relevance for those seeking a Canada study visa under the SDS program.

Available across a network of over 40 CAEL test centers, the exam’s reach extends beyond Canadian borders to locations in the United States, India, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and China. Designed to assess language proficiency across four domains comprehensively, the CAEL test requires approximately three and a half hours to complete, ensuring a meticulous evaluation process.

3. Pearson PTE Academic

The PTE Academic examination, conducted within two hours, meticulously evaluates the four fundamental facets of English language proficiency. Undertaking the PTE Academic comes with a fee of $330, alongside applicable taxes.

Your writing, speaking, listening, and reading proficiency is gauged within a scoring spectrum ranging from 10 to 90. A score of 60 emerges as a qualifying threshold for individuals aspiring to secure a study visa under the SDS program. The examination’s division of speaking and writing into a combined assessment is worth, while reading and listening are evaluated independently. This approach lends a comprehensive insight into your language capabilities across different modalities.

4. TOEFL iBT Test

Attaining a Canada study visa under the SDS program calls for a TOEFL iBT Test score of 83 or higher. The iBT test is split into four sections, each contributing a maximum of 30 points, forming a cumulative score within the 0 to 120 range. Carried out over three hours, the TOEFL iBT Test commands a fee of around 330 CAD. This exam is a vital gauge of your English language proficiency, which is essential for pursuing academic ambitions in Canada.

Indeed, a notable advantage of the ETS TOEFL iBT Test is its acceptance of an overall total score by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This attribute presents a favorable option for individuals who might fall short by a small margin, such as 0.5 to 2 bands, in one of the IELTS modules, yet possess a stronger performance in the remaining ones. By considering the cumulative score across all four sections of the ETS TOEFL iBT Test, candidates who excel in certain aspects but may struggle in others can potentially capitalize on their strengths to attain the language proficiency requirements for the Canada study visa under the SDS program.

Countries Eligible for Canada Study Visa under SDS

Till now, there are a total of 14 countries whose students are eligible for Canada Study Permit under the SDS stream:

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

Requirements for Canadian Study Visa under SDS

Under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) program, aspiring students must meet specific requirements to secure a study permit for Canada:

  • Language Proficiency

A valid English or French proficiency test result attaining a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 or higher. This establishes your ability to communicate and engage within an academic environment effectively.

  • Acceptance Letter

A letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada confirms your enrollment in an approved educational program.

  • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)

A crucial financial aspect involves obtaining a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) amounting to 10,000 CAD. This financial commitment ensures your ability to cover initial living expenses.

  • Tuition Fee Payment

Demonstrating financial responsibility, you must provide proof of advance payment for the first year’s tuition fee to the Designated Learning Institution (DLI).

  • Statement of Purpose (SOP)

While not mandatory, a Statement of Purpose (SOP) is recommended. This document provides you with an opportunity to articulate your educational aspirations and how your chosen program aligns with your future goals.

Notably, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to expedite the processing of study permit applications under SDS within 20 working days. This streamlined approach facilitates a smoother transition for students seeking academic enrichment in Canada.

In 2022, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reported a remarkable milestone for Canada’s educational landscape—hosting a record-breaking population of over 800,000 international students, the highest in the nation’s history. Notably, Canada’s international student enrollment has surged fourfold since 2008, attributed to a confluence of factors both within the country’s borders and on the global stage.

Within Canada, a concerted effort by the government and designated learning institutions (DLIs) has propelled a more proactive approach to international student recruitment. This strategy is driven by economic, social, and cultural reasons that collectively underscore the value of fostering a diverse student community.

On a global scale, the surge in the international student population is influenced by the expanding global middle class. This demographic shift has increased the demand for quality education beyond borders, contributing to international student enrollment growth in various countries.

Canada stands out as an alluring destination for international students, fueled by various factors. Its commitment to delivering a high standard of education has garnered international acclaim, while its reputation for multiculturalism cultivates an environment of inclusivity and diversity. Additionally, Canada’s allure is augmented by the promise of work and immigration opportunities for graduates, establishing the nation as a stepping stone to future success.

If you are also looking for Canada Immigration as a student or as a skilled worker, Dynamic Group will assist you throughout the process. From preparing your application to post-landing support, we got your back. Contact us at +91-11-41170411 or mail us your query at consultation@dss-hr.com.

About the author

At 𝐃𝐲𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐜 𝐆𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐩, we help you keep your dreams alive, no matter how high they soar!

Dynamic Group is a diversified conglomerate with human resources, education, and immigration interests.

Our mission is to provide our clients with the best possible solutions to their business needs by combining our industry expertise with innovative technological advancements and strategic partnerships.

Dynamic Group has a panel of CICC registered representatives and Immigration Experts to process immigration applications. With more than 15 years of combined experience in immigration, we are a one-stop solution for all your immigration needs.
To determine your eligibility to settle in Canada, you can call us right away at +91-11-41170411 or email us at consultation@dss-hr.com.

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