New English Language Tests Accepted for Canada's Student Direct Stream (SDS) Program

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has announced that starting August 10, 2023, the Student Direct Stream (SDS) will accept results from Prometric's Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) and Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) - General tests for expedited study permits. International students can now choose Canadian-made English language proficiency tests to apply for study permits through SDS.

CAEL and CELPIP Tests Accepted for SDS

Effective August 10, 2023, applicants can use their CELPIP results to expedite their study permit applications. Accepting CAEL and CELPIP tests aligns with IRCC's objective of facilitating a streamlined process for international students seeking to study in Canada.

Prometric, the provider of the CAEL and CELPIP tests, expressed their enthusiasm for the changes.

Michael Holaday, Vice President of Business Development at Prometric, stated, "We welcome the changes to the Student Direct Stream and look forward to supporting more students who wish to live, work, and study in Canada with our CAEL and CELPIP – General tests. These products were developed here in Canada and have already been integral to many people’s immigration and study plans."

The CELPIP-General test, recognized as an approved English proficiency test for Canadian permanent resident status applications since 2009, has been successfully administered to thousands of test takers each year. Its approval for SDS study permits expands its usefulness to a wider range of applicants. Additionally, CAEL, already accepted by over 180 Canadian academic institutions, provides an alternative choice for prospective SDS applicants.

Developed in 1987 by language assessment and testing experts at Carleton University, CAEL is a comprehensive exam that assesses reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills through computer-based language tasks. It is designed to reflect the Canadian academic context, replicating the first-year classroom experience and demonstrating the abilities required for success in the Canadian post-secondary environment.

Prometric, a leading technology-enabled testing and assessment solutions provider, supports over 7 million test takers annually in more than 180 countries. With their global reach and extensive expertise, Prometric is well-positioned to deliver the CAEL and CELPIP tests to international students and leverage their industry-leading experience.

The CAEL and CELPIP tests are available at various test centers across Canada and internationally, including SDS countries such as India, China, and the Philippines. This expansion allows international students aspiring to study at Canadian post-secondary institutions to choose a Canadian-made English language proficiency test while applying for study permits through the Student Direct Stream (SDS).

Canada’s SDS Program

Canada's Student Direct Stream (SDS) program is designed to streamline obtaining study permits for international students from eligible countries. Launched in 2018, the SDS program offers expedited processing of study permits, allowing students to receive faster decisions on their applications. By adhering to specific requirements and providing the necessary documents, eligible students can benefit from accelerated processing times, ensuring a smooth transition to studying in Canada.

Through the SDS program, international students can enjoy a simplified application process that focuses on specific eligibility criteria, such as proof of acceptance from a designated Canadian post-secondary institution and upfront medical examinations. By meeting these requirements upfront, applicants can expect quicker processing times and reduced paperwork. The SDS program provides a more efficient pathway for study permit applications and enhances Canada's appeal as a destination for international students seeking high-quality education opportunities.

Canada's Student Direct Stream (SDS) Expands Eligibility

The Student Direct Stream (SDS), launched in 2018, now offers expedited processing of study permits for students from additional eligible countries:

Countries Eligible for the SDS
China Antigua and Barbuda
India Brazil
Morocco Colombia
Pakistan Costa Rica
The Philippines Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Senegal Peru
Vietnam Trinidad and Tobago

This expanded acceptance of the CAEL, CELPIP, and IELTS language exams by Canada's Student Direct Stream program brings greater flexibility and convenience for international students. By providing a wider range of language assessment options, students can now choose the exam that best suits their strengths and preferences, ultimately facilitating their journey toward studying in Canada.

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How to Take Your Language Exam: CAEL, CELPIP, IELTS

Preparing for a language exam is an essential step for international students planning to study in Canada. Whether you choose the Canadian Academic English Language (CAEL) test, Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP), or International English Language Testing System (IELTS), here is a step-by-step guide on how to take your language exam:

  1. Step 1: Research and Select the Appropriate Exam
    • Familiarize yourself with the requirements of your desired institution and determine which language exam is accepted. Evaluate the format, content, and scoring system of CAEL, CELPIP, and IELTS to make an informed decision.
  2. Step 2: Register for the Exam
    • Visit the official websites of the respective exams (CAEL, CELPIP, or IELTS) and follow the registration process. Provide the necessary personal information, select a suitable test date, and pay the registration fee.
  3. Step 3: Prepare for the Exam
    • Utilize available study materials, practice tests, and resources provided by the exam organizers. Consider enrolling in preparatory courses or engaging in self-study to enhance your language skills and familiarize yourself with the exam structure.
  4. Step 4: Attend the Exam
    • On the scheduled date, arrive at the designated test center with your identification documents and any other required materials. Follow the instructions provided by the exam administrators and maintain focus throughout the exam.
  5. Step 5: Receive Your Exam Results
    • After completing the exam, your results will be available within a specified timeframe. The exam organizers will provide instructions on accessing and interpreting your scores. Keep your results for future reference, as they are often required during the study permit application process.

Familiarize yourself with the specific requirements and guidelines provided by the exam organizers for a successful and smooth exam experience. Following these steps will help you navigate the process of taking your language exam and take you one step closer to pursuing your educational goals in Canada.