Study Permit Refusal in 2021: 13 reasons why

Most of the time, Study Permits are refused often when individuals apply on their own, as a strong case was not made to convince the visa officer to approve the visa. This blog will reveal 13 reasons why your study permit gets rejected.

Study Permit Refusal in 2021: 13 reasons why

Most of the time, Study Permits are refused often when individuals apply on their own, as a strong case was not made to convince the visa officer to approve the visa. This blog will reveal 13 reasons why your study permit gets rejected.

Why was my study permit application denied?

Unlike US visas that have an interview, Canada’s screening process is only done by a paper application with no interview.  It is extremely important to prepare a strong application as the visa officer will make a decision solely based on the information provided in the application; they will not request any additional information.

In reality, applying for a study permit can be a complicated process involving confusing rules and regulations and subjective interpretation by immigration officers. Many individuals do not understand the process and there is a high rate of refusal when an individual applies on their own.  After receiving a refusal, the individual has been flagged and any subsequent application must be as strong as possible in order to have any chance of approval.  Canada Admission Hub can help you re-apply.

Study permit denied reasons why

Here are 13 top reasons for study permit refusal:

  • Study Plan: Without a detailed and logical study plan, the officer will not be convinced the main purpose of coming to Canada is to study.  There must be a logical progression of studying if a person already has previous post-graduate education or work experience.  The choice of program in Canada must make sense for the student, or a proper explanation must be given how their diploma in Canada will help them when they return to their home country.  This is the most common reason for refusal.
  • Proof of finance: The Program Delivery Instructions clearly states that the applicant is required to provide proof of adequate finances only for the first year of the course. Yet, applications often get rejected because the immigration officer suspected financial insufficiency. Hence, merely focusing on the first year may not suffice. Ideally, you can minimize chances of rejection by showing proof of adequate finances for more than 1-year, even though this is expressly indicated as not being required for acceptance. 

Tuition in Canada starts at $15,000 CAD per year. The Canadian government wants to ensure a student has the financial support to pay for their tuition and living expenses.  A bank statement with a minimum of $30,000 CAD equivalent needs to be provided as evidence.

  • Lack of Travel History: This reason often impacts those who have just completed high school and have limited travel abroad in the past. While this point is not considered in isolation and authorities must take other relevant factors into account, not having traveled outside the country or never having traveled by air may cause your study permit to be rejected. Canada Admission Hub can help you overcome this reason and get your Study Permit
  • Strong Family Ties to Canada: surprisingly, having family members in Canada can be a reason for refusal, and individuals applying on their own can be refused.  Our firm can overcome this reason by making legal arguments and referencing a Federal Court Case in the application.
  • Insufficient Family Ties to the Home Country: Absence of adequate ties to the home country can impact chances adversely as this may raise doubts on the applicant’s intent to return home after completing his or her studies. Normally, having a family established in the home country with ownership of properties and other assets may be enough to prove family ties. The applicant must take care to avoid financial transactions and other decisions that may raise doubts about ties with the home country.
  • No Job Prospects in the Home Country: A letter from the current employer indicating that the applicant is assured of a job in the home country after completing his or her education ought to be adequate to prove employment prospects. Applicants without a job in hand can submit proof that the study course they intend to join will help them qualify for jobs in their home country. Else, the immigration officer may conclude that the study permit is intended to help the applicant settle permanently in Canada. (especially older students)
  • Dual Intent: A study permit or a work permit is a temporary residence permit that requires the applicant to intend to leave Canada upon the expiry of the permit. Yet, the doctrine of Dual Intent, as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, permits such individuals to intend to eventually become permanent residents.

A cursory reading of the Doctrine clearly shows that temporary residents are permitted to do their utmost to become permanent residents, provided they intend to leave if the permit expires before they succeed in obtaining PR status. Whether working towards PR automatically indicates intent to overstay in Canada is questionable and Dual Intent doctrine, prima facie, does not permit any such automatic inference.

Yet, study permit applications are rejected, even for those with a good record of compliance, because the applicant showed intent to seek permanent residence in the country.

Complying with the financial proof requirement for only the first year of your study, as required by the Instructions, could actually contribute to your application’s refusal.

  • Lack of evidentiary documents
  • Illegal Status in Country of Residence
  • Current Employment Situation: if a student is older
  • Personal Assets
  • Documents that do not appear authentic
  • History of overstaying status on a previous visit to Canada
  • Other Reasons: 

Criminality (having previously been charged with a crime)

Misrepresentation (having misrepresented information to Canadian immigration previously and received a ban)​

Previous Deportation: for overstaying visit illegally

​Medical Inadmissibility: have a contagious disease that is a threat to Canadians

​Human Rights Violations:  previously served in the military for a country that has been deemed to have participated in war crimes.  Additional documents must be provided to overcome this inadmissibility.


Need help with your study permit refusal?

What happens my study permit is refused?

Usually, there is a refusal letter from the immigration officer that outlines the reasons for refusal and goes deep into the case. You must carefully consult the refusal letter to see the areas that the immigration officer found questionable. Then, review your application in-depth and make changes and improvements. In many cases, what you should do is reapply.

Before you reapply, you must take time to figure out what about your application could be causing ref flags for an immigration officer. For example, let’s say that you wish to bring a spouse or children with you on your study permit. In this case, the immigration officer may think you’re not showing sufficient ties to your home country. In this case, when re-submitting your application you would want to show that you have extended family in your home country and sufficient reason to move back home after the end of your program.

Study permit denied reasons why

Can I appeal against Study Permit Refusal?

A study permit applicant has three options after his/her application has been rejected.

Request a Reconsideration

This involves requesting the immigration officer to reevaluate and reconsider the original decision. The offer is not obligated to entertain such requests, which means there is very little scope for a reversal of the rejection, even if the request is accepted in the first place.

Appeal to the Federal Court of Canada

Although this option offers better scope for impartial assessment of the decision and reversal of a rejection based on the flawed or wrong interpretation of the law, this is a time-consuming and expensive process. It can take up to twelve months for the matter to be finally heard and decided by the judge. Even then, the judge does not have the authority to modify the decision or approve the study permit. The application will be taken up by a different immigration officer who must consider the judge’s views when deciding upon the application. However, there is no assurance that the new officer won’t interpret another rule or requirement in an unfavorable manner. Practically the opportunity to study at a particular institution may have passed.

Apart from the Federal Judge, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration has the authority to send the case to a different officer. Yet, there is very little awareness about this option and it is difficult to access. The decision, ultimately, will be made by the immigration officer, which means the risk of flawed interpretation of the rules remains.

Submit a New Application.

Of the three options, this is probably the least advantageous for the applicant. Reapplication causes the refusal to become a part of the record, which means a wrong rejection can become the basis for rejection of future applications too.The new application must explicitly rectify the reason for which the first application was refused. If the rejection communication does not indicate the reason in detail, then the application can seek the reasons in writing through an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request. Officially, these requests must be processed within 30 days, although it can take much longer than that. Even then, there is no guarantee that the officer’s written reasoning will be detailed enough to assist the re-application process.

Can I re-apply study permit again on my own?

Unfortunately, re-applying again on your own is futile. Individuals will only learn this fact once they have applied two, three, even four times on their own and are refused.  The main issue here is that the foreign visa office will not respect another application submitted by an individual applying on their own. In the majority of cases, working with a knowledgeable immigration firm to prepare and re-submit a much stronger application presenting the case often leads to approval.  

How to overcome study permit rejected?

Rejection becomes a permanent blemish on students’ records and may complicate attempts to obtain any other visa in Canada or even in other countries that attach importance to visa rejection by Canadian authorities. If you have been refused a Study Permit or wish to apply for one, please contact our firm to get Professional Help.  We have helped many clients obtain a visa after a refusal, oftentimes after multiple refusals.  This is our area of expertise. 

Admission Hub is one of the largest International Student Immigration Firms based in Toronto & Vancouver. Currently, it operates in the following markets:

About Canada Admission Hub

Admission Hub is one of the largest International Student Immigration Firm based in Toronto & Vancouver. Currently, it operates in the following markets: Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Europe, Vietnam, and India.

Our parent company CVH Immigration Ltd. Admission Hub is helping and supporting International Students around the world to Study, Work, and Immigrate to Canada. We are proud to partner with over +150 Canadian Institutions.

If you want help with your Study Visa application, the first step is to BOOK A CONSULTATION with Admission Hub’s Consultant, share your background and our consultant will reach out to provide you with as much assistance as possible.

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