What is the change? Canada has introduced a streamlined study permit system for nationals of China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam.

What does the change mean? Under the Student Direct Stream, nationals of the four countries benefit from faster processing of their study permits but must also meet stricter language criteria.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Study permits.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam who are seeking to study in Canada.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants under the Student Direct Stream will benefit from faster processing. Applications will be reviewed immediately on submission.

Background: Canada’s Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced the new stream Friday. Although there is a regular study permit route for nationals of the four countries, the Student Direct Stream will unify the rules into one regime to ensure consistency. Applicants must prove upfront that they have the financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada. If applicants do not qualify under the Student Direct Stream, they will be considered under the regular study permit system, but will not get faster processing.

BAL Analysis: The Student Direct Stream will allow qualifying nationals of China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam to obtain faster processing to study in Canada and position them to gain points toward permanent residency eligibility under the Express Entry system. Canada also announced that it is exploring expanding the scheme to Africa, specifically Kenya and Senegal.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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