Individuals who have applied for, but been refused, a Canadian Study Permit may be able to appeal.

Prospective students in Canada who have been refused a Canadian Study Permit may find themselves in a frustrating position. Having already been accepted into a Canadian school (university, college, or other designated institution) and prepared an application for a Study Permit, these individuals may face the prospect of missing the beginning of their study program in Canada.

There may, however, be a solution.

Depending on the context and reasoning behind the decision for the refusal, applicants may be able to:

  • appeal the decision; or
  • take into account the stated reasons for the refusal and prepare a new application.

Are you eligible?

To find out if you are eligible for a Canadian Study Permit, fill out a free assessment form.

Study Assessment Form

Study Permit Eligibility Criteria

If and when an application for a Study Permit is refused, the first thing to review should be the eligibility criteria. In order to be eligible to study in Canada on a study permit, prospective international students must:

  • have been accepted by a designated learning institution in Canada;
  • prove that they have enough money to pay for:
    • tuition fees,
    • living expenses for themselves and any family members who come with them to Canada, and
    • return transportation for themselves and any family members who come with them to Canada;
  • be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada. A police certificate (or certificates) may be required;
  • be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary; and
  • satisfy an immigration officer that they will leave Canada at the end of the authorized stay.

Exceptions to the above criteria may be made for foreign representatives to Canada and their family members, members of foreign armed forces from certain countries, foreign nationals with Registered Indian status, and individuals who wish to undertake a short-term study program in Canada (less than six months).

Reasons for Refusal

There are several common reasons why an immigration officer may refuse a study permit application. Common reasons include, but are not limited to: 

  • Failure to show proof of sufficient financial support;
  • Failure to pass a medical exam, if one was required;
  • Failure to satisfy the immigration officer that the applicant's primary intention in Canada is to study;
  • Failure to satisfy the immigration officer that the applicant intends to leave Canada at the end of the period of study

While there are many options for remaining in Canada after a study program, it is important at the time of application that the applicant maintains the intention to return to his or her home country. This may be done by demonstrating ties with the home country — for example, family, financial assets, employment. Or, an applicant could emphasize how the Canadian program of study would give the experience and qualification required to excel in his or her home country.

A strong study permit application demonstrates that the applicant has strong ties to his or her home country, sufficient financial support, and a clear idea of his or her study objective. Study permit applications are often refused because the applicant fails to satisfy the immigration officer that the chosen study program will further the applicant's career. If an applicant chooses a study program that is unconnected to his or her education and work history, or a study program at a lower level than his or her previous study, this may result in a refusal. 

Appealing a decision to refuse an application for a Canadian Study Permit

Refusals for a Study Permit are typically a result of the applicant failing to satisfy one or more of the eligibility criteria. If an applicant can prove that he or she in fact does satisfy the criteria, he or she may have grounds for appeal.

If the applicant is not in a position to satisfy the Visa Officer that he or she fulfills the eligibility criteria, he or she may be able to get an extension from the destination institution and start the study program later. This may give the applicant sufficient time to make arrangements to meet the eligibility criteria.

Get assistance with your Study Permit application

Please contact us and provide as much information about your application for a Canadian Study Permit. We will respond with an evaluation of your needs.

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