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IRCC Updates: New English Language Testing Rules for SDS Applicants in Canada

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The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced changes to the English language testing requirements for SDS applicants. These changes mean that students who are applying for a Study Permit in Canada through the SDS program can now use the Pearson PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, or Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) in addition to IELTS Academic.

Let’s first understand What is SDS category in Canada?

What is Student Direct Stream (SDS)?

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program launched by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to make it easier and faster for international students to study in Canada. The SDS program is available to students from certain countries with certain eligibility criteria.

The main benefits of the SDS program are:

  1. Faster processing times: On average, SDS applications are processed within 20 calendar days. This is much faster than the typical processing time for a study permit application, which is 9 to 11 weeks.
  2. Simplified application process: The SDS application process is simpler than the regular study permit application process.
  3. Guaranteed acceptance: If you are accepted to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) that participates in the SDS program, you are guaranteed to be accepted for a study permit under the SDS program.

IRCC’s New English Language Test Rules for SDS Applicants: Key Updates

The minimum overall band score required for SDS applicants remains the same for all four tests: 6.0. However, there are some changes to the minimum band scores required and tests accepted in the recent announcement.

IELTS Academic:

  1. Applicants who take the IELTS Academic test before August 10, 2023, will still need to achieve a minimum band score of 6.0 in each skill. 
  2. However, applicants taking the IELTS Academic test after August 10, 2023, must achieve a minimum band score of 6.0.

IELTS General Training:

Applicants who take the IELTS General Training test will need to achieve a minimum band score of 6.0 in each skill, regardless of when they take the test.

Additionally, IRCC will also accept the Pearson PTE Academic, TOEFL internet-Based Test (iBT), and Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) as proof of English proficiency for SDS. 

The IRCC has made these changes to the English language testing requirements for SDS applicants to provide students with more options and to make the process more streamlined. The changes also reflect that all four tests are reliable and valid measures of English language proficiency.

If you are planning to apply for a Study Permit in Canada through the SDS program, it is important to check the IRCC website for the latest information on English language testing requirements. You can also contact a Transglobal Overseas counselor for more information and assistance.

Why Take IELTS Test as an SDS Applicant?

You should take the IELTS if you are applying for a study permit under the SDS program in Canada:

  1. Reliability: IELTS is the world’s most popular English language test, with over 3 million tests taken each year. This means that it is a well-established and reliable test accepted by a wide range of universities and organizations worldwide.
  2. Validity: IELTS is a valid measure of English language proficiency, as it has been shown to predict academic success in English-medium universities.
  3. Flexibility: IELTS is available in a variety of formats, including paper-based, computer-based, and online. This means that you can choose the format that best suits your needs and preferences.
  4. Wide acceptance: More than 11,000 universities and organizations accept IELTS around the world. This means you can use your IELTS test results to apply for study, work, or immigration opportunities in various countries.

Explore more:

  1. IELTS Syllabus | IELTS Eligibility | PTE Syllabus | PTE Eligibility 
  2. What is EOR in IELTS?
  3. How Many Bands Are Required for Canada After 12th?

How can We help you with Canada Student visa for 2024 Intake?

At Transglobal Overseas, we are your trusted partner in your study abroad journey to Canada. Our experienced team of expert counselors is dedicated to helping you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and successful visa application process. Here’s how we can assist you:

  1. Personalized Guidance: Our counselors take the time to understand your individual preferences, academic background, and career objectives. With this personalized approach, we help you select the right course and institution that aligns with your interests and ambitions.
  2. Document Preparation: Our counselors meticulously guide you through the document preparation process, ensuring that all required paperwork is complete, well-organized, and meets the visa office’s criteria.
  3. Visa Interview Preparation: If a visa interview is required, we conduct mock interview sessions to help you build confidence and refine your responses. Our expert feedback and tips on handling interview questions prepare you to ace the interview.
  4. Application Submission and Follow-Up: We assist you in accurately filling out the online application form and submitting it on your behalf. Additionally, we keep track of your application’s progress and follow up with the visa office to ensure timely processing.
  5. Exam Preparation: We provide coaching classes in the Delhi region for English proficiency exams like IELTSUKVI, and PTE. Our trainer has 8+ years of experience. So, what are you thinking? Book your free demo class today.
  6. Expert Solutions: In case of any challenges or hurdles during the visa application process, our expert counselors are equipped to provide timely and effective solutions. We address any concerns and guide alternative courses of action if necessary.

Contact our education counsellor today to take the first step towards an enriching study abroad experience in Canada. Let us be your guiding force in making your aspirations a reality.

FAQs

What are the new English language proficiency tests accepted by IRCC?

In addition to the IELTS Academic test, the IRCC will now accept the Pearson PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, and Canadian Academic English Language Assessment (CAEL) tests as proof of English proficiency for SDS applicants.

What are the minimum CAEL, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT score requirements for SDS applicants?

The minimum overall scores required for each English proficiency test are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic: 6.0
  • CAEL: 60
  • TOEFL iBT: 83
  • PTE Academic: 60

Does the recent IRCC announcement affect minimum IELTS band score requirements for SDS Applications?

Yes, the IRCC announcement does affect the minimum IELTS band score requirements for SDS applications. After August 10, 2023, applicants will only need an overall band score of 6.0 on IELTS Academic rather than a minimum band score of 6.0 in each individual skill.

How does this change affect future SDS Applicants?

The IRCC announcement is good news for students who are planning to apply for the SDS program. The new changes make it easier for students to meet the English language requirements for the program, and they also provide students with more options when choosing an English test.
If you are considering applying for the SDS program, we recommend taking an English test as soon as possible. This will give you time to retake the test if you do not achieve the required score. It is also important to choose an English test that the IRCC accepts and that you feel comfortable taking.

Published by Bhupinder

Bhupinder is a compassionate and skilled counselor who has been helping students from the UK, Canada, and Australia for 10 years. With her extensive experience and deep understanding of the challenges faced by students, she is able to offer personalized and effective support to her clients. Bhupinder is dedicated to helping her students navigate the complex and often overwhelming process of pursuing higher education abroad. She is a trusted resource for those seeking guidance on everything from academic and career planning to personal growth and well-being. With Bhupinder's help, you can confidently take the next step towards achieving your goals and realizing your full potential.

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