8, Jun 2023
IRCC’s new policy benefits international students: An overall IELTS Academic score of 6 bands required for the SDS Programme

New Delhi, 08 June 2023: IDP Education, co-owner of IELTS, is pleased to announce the recent changes made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) regarding the overall requirement of 6.0 bands in IELTS Academic Test for students applying through the Student Direct Stream (SDS) category for their Canadian study permits. The new policy, effective from 10 August 2023, eliminates the need for IELTS Academic test takers for Canada to achieve a minimum score of 6.0 bands in all individual sections of the test.

This significant development by the IRCC aims to facilitate the application process for international students aspiring to pursue their education in Canada.

Piyush Kumar, Regional Director-South Asia and Mauritius IDP Education, said, “In light of the recent changes made by the IRCC, we are delighted by the decision that IELTS Academic test takers applying through the SDS programme will now require only an overall 6 band score. There is no longer any requirement to achieve a minimum score of 6 bands in each individual section. This update represents a positive shift towards recognising the comprehensive abilities of test takers rather than focusing solely on individual band scores. We believe this change will provide greater opportunities for talented students worldwide to pursue their educational goals in Canada and also reflects authorities’ confidence in IELTS.

IELTS is the most popular English Language Proficiency Test in India, and now test takers would find it even more attractive for the SDS programme. IELTS has the biggest network of test centres. It provides the option of paper-based tests in 150+ venues across more than 80 cities in India and computer-delivered tests in 46 centers, making it very convenient for the candidates. We also plan to introduce IELTS One Skill Retake (OSR) in India soon to ensure the candidates have the flexibility to retake any one section of the test.”

The SDS programme has consistently served as a streamlined and expedited pathway for eligible students to study in Canada. It offers faster visa processing time and enables a smoother transition for students to Canadian educational institutions. 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, supporting a wider range of talented individuals in their pursuit of higher education.

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