Canada rejecting growing number of international student applications

Recently released figures show that a growing number of students applying to study in Canada are having their applications rejected.

According to data provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 53 per cent of the study permit applications filed by foreign students hoping to begin a bachelor program in Canada were rejected between January and May 2019.

The overall refusal rate – including study permit applications to attend primary, secondary, post-secondary and language programs – was 39 per cent in the first five months of the year. Last year, the refusal rate (for the full 12 months) was a record 34 per cent, while as recently as 2014 it had been as low as 28 per cent.

This refusal rate is part of a trend that has seen immigration officials refuse a higher proportion of applications every year as international demand for Canadian education has soared.

Officials can refuse a study permit for many reasons. Among the most common reasons are:

– If they suspect the student may not return to their home country after graduation;

– If the student doesn’t have sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs while in Canada;

– If the student poses a health or security threat to Canada;

– If the officer doesn’t think the student’s academic plan makes sense; or

– If the application is incomplete or inaccurate or if there is evidence of fraud in the application.

Refusal rates vary dramatically by country, with students from Africa much less likely to receive a permit than students from many Asian and European countries.

Three of every four African students who applied for a permit to study in Canada were rejected this winter and spring by Canadian immigration officials. The figures show that 81 per cent of applications from Nigeria and 86 per cent of applications from Algeria.

Article published 20th September 2019