In order to study in Canada, the majority of foreign nationals require a study permit. The issuance of study permits is approved at the discretion of Canadian immigration officers. Unfortunately, it is common for a study permit to be refused to a foreign national for a variety of reasons. In the event that a study permit is refused, a visa officer will issue the refusal in a letter outlining the grounds for refusal. If a foreign national is refused a study permit by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Two courses of action for addressing the refusal
1. Appeal the decision
If the applicant believes that their application met all requirements as mandated by IRCC, but the study permit was refused unfairly or incorrectly, the foreign national can appeal the decision and request a reconsideration.
2. Submit a new application
If the applicant believes that the grounds for refusal are valid, then their only course of action is to submit a new application. In the new application they should pay careful attention to address the previous grounds for refusal. As well, if any documents need to be updated start date on acceptance letter, updated bank statements, etc the applicant should be sure to obtain these updates.
What to do if Your Application is Refused
When a study permit application is refused, this refusal will be noted in a letter issued by the visa officer to the unsuccessful applicant. Within this letter, the visa officer will indicate the reasons for refusal from a list of pre determined possibilities. This listing of refusal reasons gives only basic information regarding the grounds for the refusal.
However, when an application is refused, the applicant has the right to request the visa officer’s notes supporting the reason for refusal. It is strongly recommended that these notes are requested as this will inform the applicant as to how best to address the refusal. Once an applicant has obtained the case notes from the visa officer, they can assess whether or not the grounds for the refusal were valid. If the study permit was refused for valid reasons, for example, if the applicant failed to include any of the required documents, then the best option is to submit a new application after ensuring that the errors are addressed.
If the study permit was refused for reasons the applicant believes were invalid then an appeal requesting reconsideration may be submitted. Both the appeal process and the resubmission process may take considerable amounts of time. The applicant should therefore be prepared to contact their school to request amendments to their intended start date in the event that they will not be able to obtain a study permit in time to begin the program on the date originally planned.
Reasons Why a Canadian Study Permit Application May Be Refused
There are many reasons why a Canadian study permit application may be refused. These reasons will be indicated on the refusal letter issued by IRCC. A foreign national may also request case notes from the visa officer who reviewed their file in order to better understand the grounds for refusal. Below are the most common reasons why a study permit may be refused:
1. Proof of Financial Support
When you submit a study permit application, you need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself in Canada. IRCC mandates that all international students prove they have the funds to cover their tuition fees for the first year of study, as well as the cost of living for themselves and any accompanying family members.
2. Your Intention to Leave the Country
A study permit is a temporary visa, which means that it has a validity period and an expiration date. In your study permit application, you need to convince the visa officer that you will leave the country when your study permit expires. That does not mean that you cannot apply to extend your study permit, or stay permanently. In fact, there are many programs designed by the government to help students stay and work in Canada following their studies, or transition to permanent residence. What it does mean is that the visa officer has to trust that you will not stay in the country illegally when you are out of status. Usually, this is a problem if you don’t demonstrate that you have good reasons to want to return home.
3. Choice of Study Program
Study permit applications are sometimes refused if the visa officer doesn’t understand the logic of your choice of program or level of study. Someone with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the Philippines and four years of experience working as a nurse who wants to study hotel management, for example, could be questioned. The chosen program in Canada doesn’t seem to align very well with the applicant’s educational background or employment history.