Sun | Dec 4, 2022

Immigration Corner | Strong study permit application

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2022 | 12:05 AM

Dear Miss Powell,

I’m planning to apply for a study permit as a pathway to getting permanent residence, due to my age. However, I notice that many people have been rejected in the last year or so, and I don’t want the same to happen to me. What are some of the reasons why applications are rejected? How can I put together a strong application? Would it be better to study in Quebec? I hope to see your response in The Gleaner soon.


Dear LM,

If you plan to apply to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada for a study permit, you should first look to the requirements as outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and ensure that you will be able to meet them.


You must first demonstrate that you intend to, and will, leave Canada after the completion of your studies pursuant to Regulation 216 (1) (b). The visa officer will examine several factors to determine if on the balance of probabilities, you will leave Canada.

This means that the officer will be examining the documents you present to assess your social and economic ties to your home country. If you have stronger ties to Canada, such as parents, siblings who are paying for your studies, then this implies that there is a strong possibility that you will not return to your home country on the completion of your studies.

The officer will also examine the current economic, social, or political instability in your country to see if there are high risks that you will not want to return to your home country.

This first requirement confuses many international students, as the government does have programmes which encourage international students to remain in Canada permanently, on the completion of their studies. Nevertheless, you must pay attention to this double-edged policy and ensure that you clearly show that you have strong ties to your home country that would motivate you to return, and that you will not breach the immigration laws.


You started out by saying that you intend to use studying as a pathway to permanent residence. This already shows an intention. Based on your age and prospects of succeeding with your goals via other programmes, such as the express entry, this will not be overlooked.

The regulations require an officer to investigate your true intention in coming to Canada, to see if advancing your education is the main goal. Have you demonstrated a genuine interest in education in the past?

The officer will examine your previous education, the school, and the programme you have chosen. Will this programme truly enhance your career prospects? Is there a more reasonable course of study in your home country that could advance your career? You should provide a statement of intent which clearly outlines your motivation, the reason that you have chosen the programme, and demonstrate how such an investment will improve your life.


You should apply to attend a reputable institution and a programme that lasts more than six months. Since you would like to apply for a postgraduate work permit at the end of your studies, your programme must be a minimum eight months or 900 hours.

Since you will be attending a post-secondary institution, you should ensure that you have an acceptance letter form a designated learning institution pursuant to Regulation 216 (1) (e). There is a list of these schools on the government’s website.

Many individuals are interested in attending school in Quebec because of the opportunity to learn French. However, you should note that if you intend to study in Quebec, you must get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec from the province prior to applying for a study permit.


You must not be a threat to Canadians or people in Canada. Therefore, you may be expected to provide documents to demonstrate that you are not medically and criminally inadmissible to Canada. If you have previously been refused a visa from any country, subject of removal orders, have any case of misrepresentation, or have a failed refugee claim, your application will be subject to greater scrutiny and could be rejected.


This may be my final point, but it is the most important one. Before applying, you must be sure that you are able to afford this venture. Regulation 220 requires that you provide evidence that you can comfortably afford the tuition fee, accommodation, transportation, books, and other costs associated with the completion of your studies in Canada. This means that if your programme lasts longer than a year, you must provide evidence that you will have funds for the other years of study. You cannot say that you will rely of part-time work in Canada to meet those expenses, as this is not guaranteed.

The above are just some of the main items to consider. I recommend that you seek the assistance of an experienced Canadian immigration lawyer to help you with this application.

Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator and notary public in Ottawa, Ontario. Send your questions or comments via . You may request a Zoom/telephone consultation by calling 613-695-8777.