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Student Visa Options: SDS vs. Non-SDS - Requirements & Process

Students who want to go to Canada, it can be valuable for them to understand the differences between an SDS and Non SDS Visa.

Students who are looking to pursue their higher education consider Canada. It is because the nation is a great choice due to its world-class study infrastructure. Also, Canada is the home of the top universities and the best educators in various fields. Although aspirants make up their minds to go to Canada for higher studies, it can be fruitful for them to have knowledge of the Visa process. When they apply for the application, there is a high chance of getting into confusion due to the SDS and non SDS Visas. In such a situation, it is beneficial for them to know the differences between both.

When exploring going abroad in Canada, it can be valuable for aspirants to have basic knowledge of Visas. Such things help them to make the process effortless and not face challenges. So, for students who want to know "What is SDS and Non SDS Visa?" the upcoming sections will be helpful for them to understand the differences, requirements and application process of both. 

What Is SDS?

The Student Direct Stream is also known as SDS. It is an initiative of the Immigration Services of Canada to help students to make the process faster. Also, it enables aspirants to directly submit applications to pursue higher education in Canada. Do not forget the SDS full form is the Student Direct Program, which is also known as the Students Partner Program (SPP). Apart from this, there are a few requirements students have to fulfil to be eligible. After that, they can apply directly online. The Immigration Refugees Citizenship of Canada has the right to set the rules and regulations under the SDS. 

How Much Time Does SDS Visa Take?

When talking about the SDS, students should have knowledge of how much time does SDS Visa take. Also, many aspirants ask for this. The Students Partner Program Visa processing time varies between 20 days. It is easier for the aspirants to secure a visa when they fulfil all the requirements. 

It is the brief of the Student Direct Program that students should know before applying for a Visa. Now, aspirants can understand Non SDS from the below section after learning "What is SDS Visa?"

What Is Non SDS?

The students who do not fall in the SDS eligibility and are not able to fulfil the requirements can apply for the Non SDS option. It can be valuable for scholars to have knowledge of this Visa as this is a standard Visa application process that allows them to get a temporary residency, work, and study option in Canada. Aspirants can apply for this Visa online and offline with the application and biometric fee. 

How Much Time Does Non SDS Visa Take?

Non-SDS application often requires a minimum of 45 to 90 days in Visa processing. When aspirants ask how much time does non SDS Visa take, it can be valuable for students to apply for this timely and get rid of stress. Scholars who fail to apply for the SDS visa and do not fulfil its requirements often prefer to apply for this application. Also, it is beneficial for students not to waste time applying for non-SDS when they fail to fulfil SDS needs. 

After Understanding "What is Non SDS Visa?", it can be valuable for scholars to know the documents required in the Visa process in Canada from the upcoming section. 

Documents Required for SDS Visa Application

First, we discuss the SDS Visa requirements to ease the journey of aspirants to Canada. Also, it can benefit students to have knowledge of whether they are eligible or not for the SDS application. Doing this assists scholars in a smooth path to pursue higher education. For this, it can be valuable for aspirants to remember the documents required for SDS Visa from the below section.

Language Proficiency Test

Aspirants need to qualify for the required English language proficiency test when applying for SDS. Such scholars can pass IELTS academics or general. Also, it can be valuable for scholars to achieve a minimum 6.0 band score. 

Necessary Travel Document

Aspirants who want to apply for the SDS application should have the necessary travel documents. They must have valid passports, SOP, and medical examination documents.


GIC is the Guaranteed Investment Certificate that students have to make when they apply for the SDS Visa application. For that, they need to deposit CAD 10,000 or more as a GIC. However, this money helps aspirants that they are secured in Canada. Also, it ensures that they have the additional resources for their extra expenses. 

Tuition Fee

Aspirants who want to obtain the SDS application have to submit proof of full payment for the first year. Also, they have to show a receipt from the Designated Learning Institution, confirmation of the fee payment, and a bank varified receipt that has been paid to DLI. 

Letter of Acceptance 

Letter of Acceptance is one of the most vital things that students have to show for SDS Clearance. They have to show the LoR received by the DLI to ensure fulfilling this requirement.

Education Documents

Aspirants have to submit all the necessary academic documents when they apply for a Visa. It can be fruitful for them to have a copy of all the previous degrees and mark sheets for a smooth process. 

These are the list of documents students have to fulfil to acquire the SDS Visa successfully. It can be valuable for scholars to have this knowledge when they apply for the same. Also, having this understanding helps them to ease the pathway to success in the future. After knowing this, the next section is beneficial to read about the documents required to acquire Non-SDS. 

Documents Required for Non SDS Visa Application

Aspirants who fail to apply for the SDS prefer to attend the Non SDS application. It is because this gives them a chance to help in getting one step ahead when having a dream to pursue higher education in Canada. In this case, it can be valuable for scholars to have knowledge of the required documents when they have to apply for Non SDS. 

Language Proficiency Test

For students who want to attain the Non SDS, it can be valuable for them to pass any language test. For that, they can appear in any test, such as IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE. It can be valuable for scholars to prove their language proficiency by passing one. 

Necessary Travel Document

For aspirants who want to successfully achieve the Non-SDS, it can be valuable for them to have all the necessary travel documents. To pass this step, they should have a valid passport, digital picture, and other required ones to clear the path. 


The GIC is the same for Non-SDS as the SDS type of Visa. So, students have to deposit 10,000 CAD to clear this step smoothly. It can be valuable for scholars to ease their path with the help of when they face problems in any situation. 

Tuition Fee

It can be valuable for students to submit proof that they have deposited the fees for the first six months to acquire an SDS application. Also, they ensure to show financial stability documents for the proof.

Letter of Acceptance 

Another thing students have to submit when they apply for Non SDS is the Letter of Acceptance document. Also, they should ensure they have a letter from DLI to get this Visa.

Education Documents 

When applying for the Non SDS application, it can be valuable for scholars to have copies of all past academic documents. Following this can help aspirants apply for a Visa and achieve the desire to study in Canada. 

These are the required documents for the SDS and Non SDS Visa that students need to apply for the same. It can be valuable for aspirants to ease the path by completing the journey after successfully achieving admission to a university in Canada. After this, they can learn the application process to get the Visa smoothly without facing the challenges. For that, reading the below section is helpful. 

Application Process of SDS and Non SDS Visa 

When students think about pursuing their higher education in Canada, they should have knowledge of the application process for SDS and Non SDS Visa as per their requirements. Having such learning can be useful for aspirants to fill out the application without facing issues. However, most students do not have such knowledge. Thus, it can be valuable for them to read the given below process for both. 

Facing Issues in the Application Process of SDS and Non SDS?

Taking help from is helpful for students to ease the complex Visa application process to secure a seat in their desired university in Canada. Get Help Now!

Application Process of SDS Visa

Candidates have to fill out an application online when they are applying for the SDS. It is a fast study permit process in comparison with the Non SDS. Although, there is no proper process that students have to follow. However, they can organize all their documents and have the below checklist pointers:

  • Read out the instruction guide for the application form as per the chosen university. 
  • Aspirants must have a Debit and Credit Card to make online payments.
  • Students should have a Camera and Scanner to create digital copies of all the required documents. 
  • Most importantly, students have to submit their biometrics by visiting the official website online and paying the fees for the same. 

It is the process students must have knowledge of to easily apply for SDS application. Now, read the below section to know the process of non SDS. 

Application Process of Non SDS Visa

The application process for the Non SDS Visa is different from the SDS one. Thus, it can be helpful for aspirants to understand the process and not to face issues in this step. Also, they can rely on filling out the application by following the below pointers. 

  • Applying students have to create an online account on the CIC Canada official website and get the user ID and password. 
  • After that, aspirants have to fill out the identity validation. 
  • Students have to submit the personal reference code after starting the online application form. ( If one does not have the same, they have to determine their eligibility by answering the questions.) 
  • After answering the questions, the page will pop up with whether you are eligible or not. 
  • The candidates have to review all the given answers. 
  • After all of this, the candidate has to check the required documents from the checklist.
  • Last but not least, you are all set to apply. 

These are the steps of the Non SDS Visa application form. Knowing this will be helpful for scholars to earn this and not face issues after that. After having knowledge of all this, it can be valuable to learn the major differences from the below section. Doing this helps scholars to ease the path for the further process. 

Differences Between SDS and Non SDS Visa 

When students decide to go to Canada to pursue their higher education, having knowledge of the different Visas is a plus point for them. It is because they can get stuck in the process without learning. In order to do that, they should clear their mind by knowing the difference between SDS and Non SDS Visa. For this, aspirants can read the below list to ease their process and make up their minds about the further process. 



Non- SDS

Processing Time

Approx 20 Days

45- 90 Days


Brief and Simple



Streamlined and Simple

Lengthy and Confusing



Online and Offline


For Study Only

For Work and Study



Not Mandatory

Success Rate



Proficiency Test

IELTS Mandatory


This table can be valuable for aspirants who desire to study in Canada. Also, it can be fruitful to ease the journey and clear all the doubts which come to their mind. Apart from this, it is more likely to be necessary for such scholars to clear their minds before going abroad about the difference between SDS and Non SDS Visa. 

After understanding the section, it is beneficial for scholars to have knowledge of which one is better. They can resolve their query from the below section and ensure they apply at the right time.

Is SDS Better than Non SDS?

When applying for overseas education, it is the question of most students. They ask which is better, the SDS and Non SDS Visa. Aspirants think this is due to the lack of information about this. Also, such knowledge can help them to secure a Visa which is suitable and matches their needs. 

No doubt, SDS is better than Non SDS due to various reasons. In all of these, the primary cause is aspirants do not have to show much proof and documentation to secure the SDS. On the other hand, the Non SDS application requires an extensive and lot of documents from individuals. Apart from this, the SDS Visa success rate (75%-85%) is much higher than the SDS (65%). So, it can be valuable for scholars to choose which one they fall for and fulfil their eligibility. 

These are the helpful write-ups that students can take help from when they are going abroad and choose Canada for their learning. Also, it can be valuable for scholars to understand the differences between SDS and Non SDS visas from the above sections. Having such knowledge can be fruitful for aspirants to decide the type which they can choose. Also, it is beneficial for them to clear their doubts and ease the path abroad.

process for both


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