The Canadian immigration agency will accept language test results from four new tests for applicants in the popular Student Direct Stream (SDS), breaking the monopoly of the International English Language Test System (IELTS). The new academic tests which will now be accepted by the IRCC as proof of English proficiency for SDS include the Pearson PTE Academic, CELPIP General, CAEL, and TOEFL iBT Test. The IRCC has said the results of the four language tests will be accepted from August 10 onward. Students must take the tests in person at regulated centers. This is good news for Indian and Punjabi students seeking to study in Canada, among whom SDS is very popular. SDS is an expedited study permit processing program for applicants to a post-secondary designated learning institution (DLI), who are legal residents of a clutch of countries including India. The Canadian government says the IRCC processes most SDS applications within 20 calendar days if the applicant meets all eligibility requirements (including letter of acceptance from a DLI and proof of payment of tuition fees for the first year).

According to IRCC, candidates’ CELPIP general test scores must be equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) of at least 7 in each of the four language speaking abilities; in CAEL and PTE Academic tests the score must be at least 60; and in TOEFL iBT, a minimum score of 83 is needed.