Canada Study Permits: IRCC Eases IELTS Requirement for SDS Program

IRCC has made significant changes to the IELTS requirement for study permits under the Student Direct Stream program. IDP Education confirms that test takers will no longer need a minimum score of 6.0 bands in each individual section, opening up more possibilities for aspiring students.

Starting from August 10, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have announced a significant change to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement for individuals applying for study permits through Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) program.

As per the recent announcement by IDP Education, test takers will no longer need to achieve a minimum score of 6.0 bands in each individual section.

What is IELTS?

It is the migration test – IELTS has been accepted as a requirement for permanent residency by governments in more countries than any other English language test. IELTS results are accepted by the governments of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The IELTS score required is determined by the requirements of your visa.

Delight over Revised IELTS Requirement

In response to the IRCC’s changes, Piyush Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia and Mauritius, IDP Education, expressed his delight with the revised IELTS requirement. Kumar stated that IELTS Academic test takers applying through the SDS program will now only require an overall 6 band score.


Notably, there is no longer a requirement to achieve a minimum score of 6 bands in each section.

A Shift Towards Comprehensive Evaluation

The adjustment in the IELTS requirement demonstrates a positive shift in the approach to evaluating test takers.

By recognizing the comprehensive abilities of students rather than focusing solely on individual band scores, this change is expected to provide greater opportunities for talented students worldwide to pursue their educational goals in Canada. Kumar emphasized that the decision also reflects the authorities’ confidence in the IELTS examination.

Must Read: IRCC Introduces 4 New Language Tests for Student Direct Stream Applicants


IELTS: A Widely Recognized English Proficiency Test

IELTS is a highly popular English language proficiency test taken by over three million individuals each year for study, migration, and work purposes. The test holds recognition from over 11,000 employers, universities, schools, and immigration bodies worldwide, highlighting its credibility and acceptance in various sectors.

Advantages of the Updated IELTS Requirement

Canada’s Student Direct Stream (SDS) expedites the processing of study permits for individuals who intend to study at designated learning institutions.

The program aims to provide a faster and more efficient application process for eligible students, facilitating their journey towards higher education in Canada. Kumar emphasized the advantages of the revised IELTS requirement for SDS program applicants.

With IELTS boasting the largest network of test centres, candidates can conveniently choose between paper-based tests available in over 150 venues across 80 Indian cities and computer-delivered tests offered at 46 centres.


Furthermore, IDP Education plans to introduce IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) in India soon, allowing candidates the flexibility to retake any one section of the test.

Must Read: Canada Visa: IRCC Approved New Language Test For Immigration

Encouragement for Students Pursuing Education in Canada

IDP Education encourages students interested in pursuing their education in Canada to take advantage of the new English test requirements under the SDS program.

The removal of the minimum score requirement in all individual bands of the IELTS Academic test presents a more inclusive and holistic approach to evaluating students’ language proficiency. This change supports a wider range of talented individuals in their pursuit of higher education opportunities in Canada.


Follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google News for the latest travel news and updates!


Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

Articles: 6340