IRCC announces new instructions for Saudi Arabian student study permit processing.

Saudi Arabian nationals applying for a new study permit or study permit extension may require additional proof of funds, the Government of Canada has announced. 

In an update issued October 18, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said visa officers must request additional proof of funds from applicants with a scholarship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who are not medical trainees, graduate students or undergraduate scholarship students in the final year of their bachelor programs.

Officers must allow 30 days for affected applicants to provide the proof of funds before they decide on a new Canada study permit application or study permit extension.

IRCC says if no additional proof of funds is provided and the visa officer is not satisfied that the applicant will be able to pay for tuition, financially support themselves and accompanying family members during their stay and any necessary transportation costs, officers must refuse the application.

Saudi medical trainees, graduate students or undergraduate scholarship students in the final year of their bachelor programs are exempt from the requirement of providing additional proof of funds. For these applicants and their dependents, IRCC will only require financial sponsorship certificates from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau as valid proof of funds. 

Saudi Arabian nationals who apply for a study permit or extension without a scholarship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but include other proof of funds, are to be processed as usual.

Scholarships remain in place for select students

During the summer, Canada's criticism of Saudi Arabia's human rights record led the Kingdom to cancel funding for its scholarship programs in Canada, effective August 31, 2018. All Saudi Arabian students were required to transfer their scholarship to other countries, where they would complete the remainder of their study programs.

The Saudi Ministry of Education later announced exceptions to its edict, which allowed for new financial scholarships from the Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau to medical trainees, graduate students, and undergraduate students in their final year of studies.

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