Student Direct Stream (SDS)

About the Student Direct Stream (SDS)

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is offered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is an expedited study permit processing program for those who are applying to study in Canada at a post-secondary institution. This year, UBC offers pre-payment of tuition by eligible international students entering their first year of studies in September 2021.

The deadline to apply for pre-payment is Friday, September 3, 2021.

Students beginning studies in 2021 Winter Term 2 (January to April 2022) and Diploma in Accounting students are not able to pre-pay tuition - see the ‘if your registration has already opened’ section below for details.

If you are a student from the Okanagan campus, review the UBC Okanagan guide.

On July 9, 2021, SDS was expanded to include 7 new countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible, applicants must present certain documents to IRCC at the time they apply, including full pre-payment of tuition for their first year of studies. Review the specific requirements on the IRCC website.

The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is available to those who are residents of the following countries at the time of application:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • India
  • Morocco
  • Pakistan
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Senegal
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Vietnam

Please refer to information on Paying Tuition for currently accepted methods of payment.

If you have already applied for a study permit

If you submitted a complete regular stream study permit application by May 15, in most cases we do not recommend you submit a second application through SDS. You should receive a decision from IRCC by August 6.

If either of the following apply to you, the visa office recommends you submit as many required SDS documents as possible via the IRCC webform to be added to your existing application.

  • Submitted a complete regular stream study permit application after May 15, or
  • Submitted a regular stream study permit application at any time which is still incomplete.

If your registration has now opened, see the ‘if you have registered in courses’ section below for information on how to get proof of tuition payment. 

If you apply through the regular stream and an officer requests proof of tuition payment or other documents after you’ve applied, see what to do in the  FAQ topic.

About the pre-payment

Pre-payment amount

Eligible students can pre-pay the full amount of their first-year’s tuition.

  • Undergraduate students and post-baccalaureate students, this includes Term 1 and Term 2 tuition.
  • Graduate students, this includes Term 1 and Term 2 plus the following Summer Session.

UBC will not accept pre-payment of student fees, such as special course fees and health insurance. Students will still be responsible to pay student fees after they register and before the standard due date.

When to pre-pay

If your registration has not yet opened

Graduate students, you will need to request to pre-pay tuition for the following Terms: 

  • 2021 Winter Session Term 1 (Sept to Dec 2021)
  • 2021 Winter Session Term 2 (Jan to Apr 2022)
  • 2022 Summer Session (May to Aug 2022)

Undergraduate students, you will need to request to pre-pay tuition for the following Terms:

  • 2021 Winter Session Term 1 (Sept to Dec 2021)
  • 2021 Winter Session Term 2 (Jan to Apr 2022)

If your registration has already opened

You will still need to register for classes after your registration date has opened even if you have made a SDS Prepayment.

Graduate Students: Please register for 2021 Winter Session Term 1 and 2 and pay the fees displayed in your Student Service Centre (SSC) in "Pay Fees" under Finances. You may then request to pre-pay tuition for 2022 Summer Session (May to Aug 2022).

For students accepted into graduate programs starting in Winter Term 1 that do not follow the standard registration date schedule, if you cannot register now, you may request to prepay tuition fees.

Undergraduate Students: Please register for 2021 Winter Session Term 1 and 2 and pay the fees displayed in your Student Service Centre in "Pay Fees" under Finances. You do not need to apply for SDS pre-payment.

Diploma in Accounting Students: Please register for 2021 Winter Session Term 1 and 2 and pay the fees displayed in your Student Service Centre in "Pay Fees" under Finances. You are not eligible to apply for SDS pre-payment.

Students beginning studies in 2021 Winter Term 2 (January-April 2022): You should apply for a study permit through the regular study permit stream as soon as you get your letter of acceptance. Include as many SDS required documents as possible. If your registration has opened, you could include proof of registration and tuition payment for Winter Term 2. You are not able to pre-pay tuition for terms later than this term.

If you have registered in courses

You can get proof of enrollment from your Student Service Centre (SSC) by selecting “Proof of Enrolment Letters” under Grades and Records. 

For proof of tuition payment, select ‘Tuition History’ under Finances in your SSC. It may take 1-5 days for tuition payment to appear on your account. 

If you have not applied for a study permit yet, include proof of tuition payment in the ‘proof of means of financial support’ section of your document checklist along with your other financial documents. Be sure to review our initial study permit tutorial to prepare your application and apply as soon as possible. 

If you have already applied for a study permit, you can send IRCC a webform to request that your proof of tuition payment is added to your application, along with as many other SDS required documents as you can provide.  

Requesting SDS pre-payment

The deadline to request for pre-payment is Friday, September 3, 2021.

  1. Review the special requirements for SDS to decide if you will use it to apply for your study permit.
  2. Submit an online request to UBC for pre-payment.
  3. In 2-3 days your payment will be posted on the Student Service Centre (SSC).
  4. Go to your Student Service Centre (SSC) and make your payment towards ‘SDS Prepayment’.

Finding your tuition rate

Tuition varies by program. To find the normal tuition for the first year of your program, see the Vancouver or Okanagan academic calendars.

Please be aware that the amount you can pre-pay for SDS is an estimate only. Your exact balance owing will be available in your Student Service Centre (SSC) in "Pay Fees" under Finances after you register.

If you've already paid an acceptance deposit

Undergraduate students: you must pay an acceptance deposit at the time you accept your offer. This amount will be automatically deducted from your SDS pre-payment request once it appears in your Student Service Centre (SSC) account.

Graduate students: some graduate programs may require an acceptance deposit. If an acceptance deposit applies to your program, you’ll need to pay the deposit following the instructions provided by your program before proceeding with this request. You can deduct the amount of your deposit from your pre-pay request.

If you have a scholarship or award

You will need to deduct this amount from the pre-pay request submitted to UBC. When you apply for your study permit, combine all your tuition proofs (pre-payment plus awards, scholarships or loans plus any large deposits).

If you have a credit balance

If you already have a tuition credit on your account that is equal or greater than your estimated first year of study, you do not need to fill out the request form to have an SDS deposit charge added to your Financial Summary account under your Student Service Centre (SSC). Log in to your Student Service Centre (SSC) account, navigate to "Financial Summary" under Finances, and print out the Financial Summary page, showing that your existing tuition credit is equal or greater than your estimated first year tuition.

If you have a credit balance that is less than your estimated first year of study, you should still request the full estimated first year of study as your existing credit will be deducted from the SDS Tuition Prepayment. You will be prompted to pay the difference.

Proving that you've paid

  1. In your Student Service Centre (SSC), navigate to "Financial Summary" under Finances.
  2. Select "SDS Tuition Prepayment" under Transaction Record.
  3. When the Payment Details window opens, verify that your payment status says “Approved.”
  4. You can take a screenshot or print out that page. To be considered proof of payment, the screenshot or print-out must include the “Approved” status and the payment amount.
  5. Repeat these steps for every prepayment you have made.

If you pay by credit card, you can obtain proof of payment right away from your Student Service Centre (SSC)

If you pay by International Funds Transfer (Western Union Business Solutions), you will have to follow the steps to make the payment then wait a minimum of 3 business days before your payment is recorded on your SSC account. 

When you apply for your study permit, combine all your tuition proofs (pre-payment plus awards, scholarships or loans, plus any large deposits).

If you overpay

It is strongly recommended that you do not overpay in excess of your first year of tuition. If you overpay, funds will remain on your student account for future session fees.

You must pay your acceptance deposit before you can pre-pay tuition. In the request to pre-pay tuition, indicate the amount of your deposit. If you have written proof that you are getting awards, scholarships or loans, include the total amount in the request to pre-pay tuition. You can deduct the total from your tuition amount and pre-pay the remainder. Include the proof of awards, scholarships or loans and the UBC proof of pre-payment in your study permit application.

If you expect additional awards, scholarships or loans but do not have written proof, you cannot count those toward full tuition pre-payment.

If you need help