New English Tests for Canada Study Visa under SDS

New English Tests for Canada Study Visa under SDS


Comprehensive Guide to the New English Tests for Canada Study Visa under SDS

The landscape of English proficiency tests for the Canada Study Visa under the Student Direct Stream (SDS) is evolving. As of August 10, 2023, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has expanded its list of accepted English tests. This article provides an in-depth look at these new tests, their requirements, and the implications for prospective students.

The Expansion of Accepted English Tests

Previously, the IRCC only accepted the IELTS general or academic as the English proficiency test for the Canada Study Visa under SDS. However, this has changed. The IRCC now accepts four additional tests. These are:

  1. CELPIP General
  2. CAEL
  3. Pearson PTE Academic
  4. TOEFL iBT Test

It’s important to note that in-person testing is mandatory for all these tests. Remote-proctored examinations online are not accepted for SDS candidates.


CELPIP General

The CELPIP General is a comprehensive English language test that assesses four language competency domains: listening, reading, speaking, and writing. Candidates must achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 in each module to be eligible for SDS. The CELPIP score ranges from 0-12, and a score of 7 bands in each module is acceptable. The cost of the CELPIP General is $280 plus taxes.


The Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) exam is another accepted test. The CAEL score ranges from 10 to 90, with a score of 60 being acceptable for the Canada Study Visa under SDS. The cost of the CAEL is the same as the CELPIP at $280 plus taxes. The test is offered at over 40 locations in Canada, the United States, India, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and China.

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Pearson PTE Academic

The Pearson PTE Academic test assesses the four components of English language ability in a two-hour exam. The cost of the PTE Academic is $330 plus taxes. Candidates’ performance in writing, speaking, listening, and reading is scored between 10 and 90, with 60 being acceptable for SDS.


The TOEFL iBT Test is also accepted. A score of 83 or above is required for the Canada Study Visa under SDS. The test, which costs USD 240 (equivalent to CAD 330 or more due to forex exchange), assesses four language competency domains and lasts three hours.

Eligibility for Canada Study Permit under SDS

Fourteen countries are eligible for the Canada Study Permit under SDS. These include Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.

Requirements for Canada Study Visa under SDS

To apply for a Canada Study Visa under SDS, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  1. A valid English or French proficiency test with a CLB level of 7 or higher.
  2. A letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
  3. A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of CAD 10,000.
  4. Proof of advance payment of 1-year tuition fee to the DLI5. A Statement of Purpose (SOP) – recommended but not mandatory.

The IRCC aims to process all the study permit applications under SDS within 20 working days.

IRCC Processing Fee for Canada Study Visa under SDS


The IRCC processing fee for the Canada Study Visa under SDS is essential to consider while planning your study journey in Canada. The exact fee is subject to change and can be confirmed from the official IRCC website.

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The expansion of accepted English tests for the Canada Study Visa under SDS opens up new opportunities for prospective students. By understanding the requirements of each test and the application process, you can make an informed decision about your study abroad journey. Remember, the key to success is thorough preparation and understanding of the process. Good luck with your application!

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