Individuals applying to study in Canada should consider the eligibility criteria, the discretion of the screening immigration officer, and the next steps available if their application is denied.
Canada remains one of the world’s most popular travel destinations for international students. With excellent standards of education and internationally accredited schools, Canada hosts a large number of international students each year, welcoming nearly 450,000 new international students in 2021 alone.
While Canada accepts many international students annually, there are also those who are denied their study permit applications. Careful review of the eligibility criteria set by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and the discretion of the IRCC immigration officer reviewing your application can be critical to the success of your application.
Make sure you are eligible
In order to receive a study permit, applicants must in particular meet the admission requirements. This includes applicants who demonstrate that they have:
- been admitted to study at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI); a DLI is an institution authorized by a provincial or territorial government to accept international students;
- a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not a risk to the security of Canada. A police clearance certificate may also be required;
- Are in good health and willing to undergo a medical examination if necessary.
Discretion of your immigration officer
Providing immigration officials with as much assurance as possible that an applicant can meet the conditions of their stay as a student can be critical to success. Aside from ineligibility, there are two recurring themes as to why applications are rejected (although there are others); Involving people who failed to convince immigration officials:
- The real purpose of their visit to Canada is to study. and you will leave Canada at the end of your stay. 26% of study permit denials (over the same period) were due to IRCC not being satisfied that applicants would leave Canada because of their personal wealth and financial situation.
With this in mind, individuals applicants should check that their resumes appear as clearly as possible. For example, applicants are likely to have a better chance of approval if they:
- Make sure they show a clear, logical progression in study from the previous education to the intended Canadian education;
- Make sure they have authorized documentation to prove the finances;
- Make sure they meet English/French requirements for immigration;
- Explain any long gaps in your studies in their application;
- Express their intention to leave Canada at the end of their studies;
- Ensure they complete a dual intent application if they have simultaneously applied for permanent residence (PR). Dual intent occurs when a foreign national who has applied (or may apply) for PR also applies to enter Canada for a temporary period as a visitor, worker or student; and
- Include any other documentation/information they can with their applications to give confidence to the officer verifying their study permits.
In addition, applicants can view the streams of study permits they may be eligible for. For example, the Student Direct Stream is a preferred way to obtain a Canadian study permit for citizens of certain countries. Acceptance rates for applications under this stream are generally higher due to the higher eligibility criteria; Approved applicants benefit from accelerated processing times.
Next steps if your application is denied
While a study permit denial can be frustrating, applicants can still take steps to continue studying in Canada and even increase their chances of being admitted if they reapply (the rejection letter) and adjust their applications accordingly. Unless specifically stated, IRCC does not have a grace period between applications, allowing applicants to reapply when they are ready.
Finally, if (based on the reasons given in the rejection letter) an applicant suspects that they were wrongly rejected (and that they meet the eligibility criteria), they may request a review of their decision by the Federal Court of Canada.
To discover more about your possibilities, Speak with our consultants.
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