Study Permit Refusals

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Why has my study permit been refused?

Receiving a refusal by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada of one’s study permit can be devastating. Typically, refusals are issued for a number of reasons. Often individuals are advised that:

In accordance with Section A11(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), any person wishing to become a temporary resident of Canada must satisfy an officer that he or she is not inadmissible to Canada and meets the requirements of the Act. This includes the requirement to establish to the satisfaction of the officer that the applicant will respect their conditions of admission and will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for his or her stay.

In reaching a decision, an officer considers several factors; these may include the applicant’s travel and identity documents, reason for travel to Canada, contacts in Canada, financial means for the trip; ties to country of residence (including immigration status, employment and family ties) and whether the applicant would be likely to leave Canada at the end of his/her authorized stay.

Following an examination of your application, I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of the Act and the Regulations for the reasons explained below. I am therefore refusing your application.

The reasons for refusal often depend on the applicant’s circumstances. However, generally speaking, refusal letters can be issued for the following reasons:

  • You were not able to demonstrate that you will be able to adequately perform the work you seek.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on the purpose of your visit.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your family ties in Canada and in your country of residence.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your travel history.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your immigration status.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your family ties in Canada and in your country of residence.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on the purpose of your visit.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your current employment situation.
  • The officer is not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1)

Other reasons for refusal can be because your proposed studies are not reasonable in light of one or more of: your qualifications, previous studies, missing marksheets,  academic record, level of establishment, language abilities, or your future prospects and plans.

What are my options if my study permit has been refused?

For study permit refusals issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the applicant can only appeal to the Federal Court of Canada. What this means is that you are requesting that the decision be judicially reviewed. Filing an application for judicial review at the Federal Court can provide you a lot of insight into why your application was refused. This is often received through what is known as a “Rule 9 Letter.” Remember: The refusal letter that was issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is not a detailed explanation of the officer’s reasons. Rather, these are detailed in what are known as the “GCMS/CAIPS notes.” By filing in the Federal Court of Canada you can ask the court to acquire the officer’s reasons and get a clearer understanding of why your file was refused, and how the officer assessed the evidence you submitted in support of your application.

If you win at the Federal Court of Canada, the application is sent back to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada’s visa office where the decision was made to be reviewed by a different officer. You are also typically granted an opportunity to update the file as Federal Court, should leave be granted, can take a number of months to conclude.

Surprisingly, many applicants are unaware of their ability to access the Federal Court of Canada. It is important to understand that if you are an Applicant who resides outside of Canada, you can still retain a lawyer in Canada to represent you and assist you through the process.

Do not forget the following time limits for how long you can wait until you file in the Federal Court of Canada:

Decision rendered outside of Canada: 60 days

Decision rendered inside of Canada: 15 days

The evidence that you can present at the Federal Court of Canada is often limited to the same evidence which was in front of the decision-maker at the time the refusal was made. Remember: You are going to the Federal Court of Canada to make an argument as to whether the decision was unreasonable or incorrect based on the law.

Seeking judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada is a good way to challenge unfair decisions and clear your immigration record. If a refusal stands on your immigration record, there is a likelihood it will be taken into consideration the next time you re-apply or apply for a different kind of application for status in Canada.

*Disclaimer: The blog sets out a variety of materials relating to the law to be used for educational and non-commercial purposes only; the author(s) of the blog do not intend the blog to be a source of legal advice. Please retain and seek the advice of a lawyer and use your own good judgement before choosing to act on any information included in the blog. If you choose to rely on the materials, you do so entirely at your own risk.

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