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Canada: Study permit rejection rates on the rise

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

    • Nearly four in ten applicants for Canadian study permits (39%) have been rejected in the first five months of this year
  • This compares to an overall rejection rate of roughly 28% in 2014
  • Visa officers may deny a study permit application if there are any issues with the student’s medical exam or finances or if they conclude the student does not have a legitimate study plan for Canada

New data released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) charts a distinct increase in rejection rates for international students applying for a study permit (i.e., a study visa) for Canada.

From 2014 through 2018, total foreign enrolment in Canada grew by just over 73%, making the country the world’s fastest-growing study destination over those five years.

IRCC data supplied to Polestar Student Immigration News for year-to-date May 2019 shows that nearly four in ten applications for study permits (39%) were rejected in the first five months of this year. As the following chart reflects, this compares to a 28% rejection rate in 2014, and a 34% refusal rate in 2018.

As the chart shows, rejection rates vary by education sector, with refusal rates for those accepted to college programmes historically tracking above applicants for other sectors.

Rejection rates for Canadian study permit applications, 2014 (full year)
to 2019 (through May). Source: IRCC, 

This picture changed somewhat in 2018, however, with rejections for bachelor degree studies exceeding those for college applicants that year. As the chart below illustrates, more than half of all applicants for undergraduate studies were refused in the first five months of 2019. This compares to a 31% refusal rate for master’s studies, or 43% for college applicants.

Study permit refusal rates by programme type,
year-to-date May 2019. Source: IRCC, 

A statement on the IRCC website explains that applications for study permits may be refused if the student does not:

  • “show proof that you have enough money to support yourself while studying in Canada
  • pass your medical exam, if you needed to get one
  • convince the visa officer that your main purpose in Canada is to study or
  • convince the visa officer that you’ll leave Canada at the end of your study period”

Speaking recently to, Toronto-based immigration lawyer Andrew Carvajal expanded on the third point above. He explains that an immigration officer may simply conclude that the applicant does not have a legitimate study plan for Canada, and may be using the study permit route as a way to quickly and legally enter the country.

“I’ve found more immigration officers are making that determination,” says Mr Carvajal. “Although an applicant has been accepted to a legitimate program in Canada, officials don’t see those studies as legitimate. Officers have become like career counsellors, whether a programme makes sense or not. That we have seen increase.”

For additional background, please see:

UK Post Study Work News

BREAKING NEWS!!! After completing your studies in the UK, You can now work there for two years, under Post Study Work Visa (UK Graduate Immigration Route).


Students entering the UK for intake in the academic year 2020-2021, will be eligible for this PSW visa. Department will share more details including exact timeline in the near future.

To be eligible for PSW of UK, graduates must have completed a degree at an undergraduate or a higher level from an institution OR University with a track record of compliance with the Home Office’s immigration rules.

With Post Study Work, Students will have an opportunity to stay and work or search for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum two years period. Graduates will also be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job. The official name of PSW is UK Graduate Immigration Route. Please don’t get confused if you hear any either of the name. UK Government announced the creation of a new graduate immigration route on the 11 September 2019. However please remember, students starting course in Jan 2020 OR after will be eligible for the Post Study Work Visa. So don’t rush for earlier intakes. Only Few Overseas Education consultants like us will advise you on such important points to consider.

Other Important Key facts of Post Study Work

  • Those students who graduate and whose leave expires before this Visa is introduced will not be eligible for it. This is very much important to understand.
  • This PSW will be two years long and would be a separate visa, requiring a new visa application (including payment of the visa fee) and payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge. The exact fee will be announced in the future.
  • This PSW is non-extendable and does not count towards settlement period. However, graduates who find an appropriate job and meet the requirements will be able to switch into skilled work, which is a route to settlement.

Important Statistics of Indian students studying in the United Kingdom

  • 96% of Indian students who applied for a Tier 4 student visa in the last year were successful. This is Huge success rate when compared to other study destinations like the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
  • In the year ending June 2019, nearly 22,000 students from india successfully obtained a Tier 4 study visa – 42% higher than the 15,000 who did so in the previous year.
  • This also meant that the number of Indian students in the UK has almost doubled in the last two years – from over 11,700 in the year to June 2017 to almost 22,000 in the year ending June 2019.
  • Overall, over 610,000 Indian nationals were granted a visa last year – over 1 in 5 of all visa that the UK granted.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Is post study work visa coming back in UK?

Yes PSW is back on the 11 September 2019. However Student start study in 2020 OR After will get the benifit of PSW. Previous students OT Students plan to study in 2019 may not get the benifit of PSW.

If I start study in September 2019, will I get benifit of this post study work rule?

It depends onFurther announcement and duration of your course. For eaxmple you are going for 1 year of master course in September 2019, there might be less chance of getting benifit of PSW. In case of opting for bachelor degree of 3-4 years, chances are high.

If you start in 2020 OR After and opting for Bachelor degree OR Higher from eligible institutes, you will get the benifit of Post study work rules.

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