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), there are two courses of action for addressing the refusal:
What to do if 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 reason(s) 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 for Refusal
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:
How do you address a problem with proof of financial support? If your application is refused because IRCC questions your ability to financially support yourself, you should carefully review the financial documents you submitted with your application. Make sure that you address the concerns raised by the visa officer and submit additional documents to prove that you meet the proof of funds requirement.
How to address a problem of intent? The best way to address this concern is through your personal statement. If the visa officer isn’t convinced of the narrative you’ve provided, you need to rework your statement to try to address their concerns directly. Note: It is possible to actively pursue both permanent and temporary residence in Canada. This is done by claiming dual intent in an application.
How to address a problem with choice of program? If your choice of program seems odd, given your past education or work experience, you need to clearly explain why you want to study it in your personal statement. This is another case where seeing the visa officer’s notes can really help.
How to address a problem with acceptance letter? Review the school documents that you submitted. Make sure that all of the documents are clear and easy to read, and provide any additional supporting documents that you can. In some events, you may want to contact the DLI that issued the document for help addressing the officer’s concerns.
How to address problems with travel or identity documents? If the visa officer thinks there are blank spaces in your travel history, review the documents you submitted and the visa officer’s notes to find which time periods are problematic. When you re-apply, be sure to include additional supporting evidence to cover these periods. If the problem is with your identity documents, review your application to make sure that they were clear and easy to read.
How CVC Can Help
If you are unsure about why your study permit was refused or how to address the refusal please contact us and one of our legal experts will be pleased to discuss your options moving forward.