Study Permit Application Refusals

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) endeavours to allow as many international students as possible to enter Canada. However, from time to time the Ministry declines study permit applications, generally for one of the following reasons:

  • The applicant is unable to demonstrate that he or she is able to pay for a year of tuition and living expenses, as well as a return fare home
  • A police clearance certificate indicates that the applicant has a criminal record in his or her country of origin
  • The immigration officer is of the opinion that the applicant will attempt to remain illegally in Canada upon expiry of the study permit
  • The immigration officer believes that the applicant is traveling to Canada for a primary purpose other than to study
  • The applicant failed to meet the health requirements in a medical examination

What can I do if my study permit application was declined?

Study permit applications will generally not be declined unless the applicant has failed to produce one of the following:

  • A letter of acceptance from a recognized financial institution
  • Proof of financial ability to pay for tuition, living expenses and a return fare home for themselves and any accompanying family members
  • A police clearance certificate showing that there is no criminal record
  • Willingness to undergo a medical examination
  • Evidence that their primary reason for being in Canada is to study, and that they intend to leave Canada upon completion of their studies

In some cases, applicants are able to rectify the problem that led to the application being declined. For example, they can provide proof that they have paid for their tuition and accommodation up-front, or they can obtain the required police clearance certificate.

In such cases, the applicant has two possible courses of action:

  • Prepare and submit a fresh application, taking care to ensure that all eligibility criteria have been met
  • Engage a lawyer, who will apply for a judicial review on the applicant’s behalf

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