4 New English Tests For Canada Study Visa Under SDS (Student Direct Scheme)


IRCC will start accepting 4 new English tests for Canada study visa under Student Direct Stream (SDS) beginning August 10, 2023.

Previously, only IELTS general or academic was acceptable English proficiency tests for Canada study visa under SDS.

Remember, in-person testing is required for all the tests. SDS candidates cannot take remote-proctored examinations online.

List of new English tests eligible for Canada Study Permit under Student Direct Stream (SDS)

CELPIP general exams must meet the Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 in each of the 4 modules of this test.

CELPIP score ranges from 0-12 and 7 bands each in listening, reading, speaking, and writing will be acceptable for SDS.

The cost of CELPIP general is $280 + taxes.

The best thing about CELPIP General, it is also acceptable for permanent residency programs such as Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs).

So an international student with CELPIP general having a study permit will be again able to use the same test for their permanent residency.


The Canadian Academic English Language exam is a Canadian English proficiency test. The cost of CAEL is the same as CELPIP at $280 + taxes.

The CAEL score runs from 10 to 90. A score of 60 will be acceptable for a Canada study visa under SDS.

It is offered at over 40 CAEL test locations in Canada, the United States, India, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines, and China.

CAEL takes roughly three and a half hours to complete in order to evaluate the four domains of language competency.

Pearson PTE Academic

In a two-hour exam, PTE Academic assesses the four components of English language ability.

The cost of PTE Academic is $330 plus taxes.

Your performance in writing, speaking, listening, and reading is scored between 10 and 90. A score of 60 will be acceptable to apply for a study visa under SDS.

Speaking and writing are combined, with reading and listening as independent components.


For a Canada study visa under SDS, a score of 83 or above will be required in ETS TOEFL iBT Test.

Each of the four iBT parts is worth 30 points, ranging from 0 to 120. The total duration of the exam is three hours.

This test is priced at $240 USD which will be equivalent to $330 CAD or may cost more due to forex exchange.

A good thing to see in this test is, whether will IRCC accept the overall total score. if yes, then this will be the best option for someone who is just losing 0.5-2 bands in one of the IELTS modules but is able to score more in the rest of the modules.

How many countries are eligible for Canada Study Permit under SDS (Student Direct Stream)?

14 countries are eligible for Canada study permit under SDS as listed below:

1. Antigua and Barbuda
2. Brazil
3. China
4. Colombia
5. Costa Rica
6. India
7. Morocco
8. Pakistan
9. Peru
10. Philippines
11. Senegal
12. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
13. Trinidad and Tobago
14. Vietnam

What are the requirements for Canada Study Visa under SDS (Student Direct Stream)?

1. A valid English or French proficiency test with CLB level 7 or higher.
2. Letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
3. Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD
4. Proof of Advance payment of 1-year tuition fee to the DLI
5. Statement of Purpose (SOP) – recommended

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

How much is the IRCC processing fee for a Canada study visa under SDS?

$150 IRCC processing fee for Canada study permit under SDS + $85 for biometric.

Thank you for reading!


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