Canada processes thousands of Study Permit applications each year from students looking to enrol in the country’s top institutions. The Canadian education system is a major attraction for students worldwide and accounts for many new temporary or permanent residents each year. Canadian degrees and qualifications are well-recognized and can broaden the holder’s prospect of being accepted at other renowned institutions or joining the Canadian workforce.
All of this would be impossible without a stellar immigration system. In 2021 itself, the IRCC finalized over 560,000 study permit applications. This record number is set to be eclipsed in 2022, with 524,000 study permit applications finalized between January 1 and September 30.
Along with the promise of a bright future and quality education in Canada is the grim reality of Study permit refusals. Canada refuses thousands of students each year due to conditions that are not met or prevailing circumstances beyond any applicant’s control. In 2021, the refusal rate was 40% -almost half of all Study permit applications.
To better understand what goes on behind the scenes, we look at the Study permit, its requirements and finally, the Rejection rates and the reasons behind it.
What is a Study Permit?
A Study Permit is a legal document that allows foreign nationals to study in Canada.
It is not a Visa, and the holder of a Study permit will still be required to have a Visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visa-exempted countries.
Can you study in Canada without applying for a Study permit?
No, Foreign Nationals need a Study permit to pursue their education in Canada.
Who can apply for a Canadian Study Permit?
To be eligible for a Study permit, an applicant must:
- Enroll at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)- A DLI is a school that the government approves to host international students. A list of all DLIs is available on the IRCC website. The IRCC requires all candidates to apply with an acceptance letter from the DLI.
- Prove that they have the finances to support themselves or any family members in Canada. This entails the responsibility of:
- Paying tuition fees for the course or program of studies
- Maintaining themself and any family members during the period
- covering transportation costs for themself and any family members to and from Canada.
- Obey laws and have no criminal record.
- Be in good health
- Leave Canada when the Study permit expires- All applicants must convince the visa officers of their intention to return to a home country after the expiration of their study permit. This is to prevent any individual from illegally immigrating to Canada.
What documents are needed for a Canadian Study permit?
Students have to submit a copy of the following documents along with their Study permit application:
- Proof of acceptance
- Proof of identity: This includes:
- A Passport or travel document
- Two recent passport-sized photos
- Proof of financial support. This includes:
- A Canadian bank account in your name
- A Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC)
- Proof of a student or education loan
- Bank statements
- A bank draft that can be converted to Canadian dollars
- Proof of payment for tuition and housing fees
- A confirmation letter from the person/ school giving you money, or
- proof of funding if you have a scholarship or are in a Canadian-funded educational program
- A Letter explaining why you want to study in Canada
How much does a Study permit application cost?
A Study permit has a fee of $150 per person
The IRCC portal also mentions that your application fees will not be refunded if your application is refused.
What are the processing times for a Canadian Study permit application?
According to the IRCC, the processing time for a study permit at the end of March 2022 was 94 days
How many applications are currently in the IRCC’s backlog?
As of September 22, 2022, the IRCC’s backlog is at 31% of all applications (the target backlog is 20% for study permits), Meaning that these applications have been in the inventory beyond their stipulated service standards.
Can the IRCC refuse a Study permit?
Yes, the IRCC can refuse a Study permit application on the grounds listed on the following grounds:
- Not having proof of your financial ability to support yourself in Canada
- Failing to pass a medical exam
- Failing to convince a visa officer that your purpose is to study in Canada
- Failing to convince the visa officer that you will leave at the expiration of your study permit
What is the Rejection rate for Study permit applications?
A Report of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration titled, ‘Differential Treatment in Recruitment and acceptance rates of Foreign students in Quebec and the rest of Canada’ placed the Refusal Rates at 40% for 2021, this was following a peak of 49% in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report also had India (170,210 permits), China (56,340) and France (20,205) as the largest source of study permit holders in 2021. India had a refusal rate of 35%, and China 17%
What are the reasons for the Refusal of Study permits?
The Standing Committee of Citizenship and Immigration’s report linked most of the Study permit refusals to one of two main reasons:
- A student’s inability to convince visa officers that they will return to a home country on the expiration of their permit.
- Lack of sufficient proof of financial resources to support oneself during their stay in Canada.
What are the next steps if your application is refused?
If your application for a Canadian Study permit is refused, the office will send you a letter explaining the reasons for the rejection.
At this point, you have recourse to two methods:
- If the grounds for the refusal are legitimate, you can accept the decision and reapply with a stronger case.
- If you feel your application has been denied on unfair terms, you can request the visa officer’s notes and appeal for reconsideration.
Circumstances may not always be in your favour. Even the strongest applications can sometimes fall through to events that are beyond your control. Your best bet as an applicant is to ensure you have all your bases covered when applying. Take extra precautions when submitting your documents and work on your shortcomings from any previous applications.
Feel free to contribute your knowledge or experiences with the Canadian Study permits. Your insight and opinions are valuable to thousands of students who dream of studying in Canada.