Individuals wanting to study in Canada should be aware of the eligibility requirements, the discretion of the examining immigration officer, and the following actions available if their application is denied.
Canada is one of the most popular foreign student destinations in the world. With an excellent educational system and globally certified institutions, Canada welcomes a large number of international students each year, with up to 450,000 new international students expected in 2021 alone.
While Canada welcomes many overseas students each year, there are those who have their study visa applications denied. Giving careful thought to the qualifying requirements established by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), as well as the discretion of the IRCC immigration officer considering their application, might be critical to application success.
Make Sure You Are Eligible For Study Permit
Applicants must meet the qualifying conditions in order to get a study visa. Applicants must demonstrate that they:
- Have been approved to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI); a DLI is an institution designated by a province or territory government to accommodate international students;
- Have been approved to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI); a DLI is an institution designated by a province or territory government to accommodate international students; A police clearance certificate(s) may also be required; and
- Are in excellent health and prepared to undergo a medical checkup if necessary.
- A police clearance certificate(s) may also be required; and Are in excellent health and prepared to undergo a medical checkup if necessary.
A police clearance certificate(s) may also be required; and
Understand, however, that the decision to approve or deny a study visa application is also impacted by the discretion of the evaluating immigration officer.
Your Immigration Officer’s Discretion
Giving immigration authorities as much confidence as possible that an applicant will be able to fulfil the requirements of their student visa can be critical to success.
Aside from ineligibility, there are two common themes that explain why petitions are denied (though others exist); both include persons failing to persuade immigration authorities that:
- The true reason for their travel to Canada is to study—between 2019 and 2021, 77% of study visa refusals were due to IRCC not being satisfied that the applicant’s stay was for the purpose of studying; and
- They will depart Canada at the conclusion of their stay—IRCC refused 26% of study visa applications (during the same time period) because they were not confident that applicants would leave Canada based on their personal circumstances.
Individuals applying should check their applications to ensure that they are as clear as possible. Applicants, for example, will have a greater probability of acceptance if they:
- Make certain that they demonstrate a clear, logical flow of courses from past schooling to the Canadian education being pursued.
- Check to see whether they can provide financial evidence via approved papers.
- Check if they fulfil the English/French language criteria for immigration. Explain any significant gaps in their education in their application;
- Make it clear that they intend to depart Canada at the end of their education. If they have filed for permanent residency (PR) at the same time, they must submit a dual intent application. When a foreign citizen who has applied (or may apply) for PR also applies to enter Canada for a brief term as a guest, worker, or student, this is known as dual purpose.
- Include all additional documentation/information they can in their applications to reassure the officer examining their study permission.
Applicants can also check into other types of study permits that they could be qualified for. The Student Direct Stream, for example, is a preferential way to obtaining a Canadian study visa for nationals of selected countries. Because of the stricter qualifying standards, acceptance rates for applications in this stream are normally higher; candidates who are approved will benefit from faster processing timeframes.
What to do if Your Application is Rejected
While obtaining a study permit denial might be discouraging, candidates can still pursue their studies in Canada and even improve their chances of admission when reapplying.
Applicants can review the grounds for their denial (as stated in their refusal letter) and revise their applications appropriately. Unless otherwise noted, there is no waiting period between applications at IRCC, so candidates can reapply as soon as they are ready.
Finally, if an applicant thinks that they have been wrongfully denied (based on the reasons mentioned in the refusal letter), they may petition to the Federal Court of Canada for a review of their decision.