July 12, 2024


Canada has long been a preferred destination for international students due to its world-class education system, diverse culture, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. The Student Direct Stream (SDS) program has streamlined the application process for eligible international students, making it faster and more efficient. In a recent development, Canada’s Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has expanded the list of language tests accepted for SDS applications. This change aims to make the immigration process more accessible and inclusive for international students. In this article, we will explore the new language tests accepted for Canada’s Student Direct Stream and how this update can benefit prospective students.

Expansion of Language Test Options

The Student Direct Stream program, introduced in 2018, allows students from certain countries to expedite their study permit applications. One of the key requirements for SDS eligibility is proving language proficiency in either English or French. Previously, only the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Test de français international (TFI) were accepted as language tests. However, the recent update has broadened the list of accepted language tests to include the following:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): The TOEFL is a widely recognized English language proficiency test, often preferred by students aiming to study in North America. It assesses listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills.

Pearson Test of English (PTE): PTE Academic is another popular English language proficiency test known for its computer-based format and quick results. It evaluates reading, writing, listening, and speaking abilities.

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE): The CAE is a high-level English language exam that measures advanced language skills, suitable for students pursuing postgraduate or advanced degree programs.

Benefits for Prospective International Students

The expansion of accepted language tests under the Student Direct Stream offers several benefits to prospective international students:

More Options: Students now have a wider range of language tests to choose from, catering to their preferences and strengths.

Greater Accessibility: This change makes it more accessible for students in various regions to prove their language proficiency, as different language tests may be more readily available in certain countries.

Faster Processing: SDS applicants typically benefit from expedited processing times. With more language test options, students can complete this requirement efficiently, helping them secure their study permits more quickly.

Flexibility: Some students may have already taken one of the newly accepted language tests for other purposes, such as admission requirements for their chosen institutions. Now, they can use these results for their SDS applications as well.

Enhanced Competitiveness: Students who excel in one of the newly accepted language tests may have an advantage in their application, potentially increasing their chances of being accepted into their desired Canadian institutions.


The expansion of language tests accepted for Canada’s Student Direct Stream is a positive step towards making the Canadian education system more accessible and inclusive for international students. This update acknowledges the diverse linguistic backgrounds of applicants and provides them with flexibility in demonstrating their language proficiency. Aspiring international students should take advantage of these new options to streamline their study permit applications and embark on their educational journey in Canada with confidence. As the international education landscape continues to evolve, Canada remains committed to welcoming talented students from around the world.

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