Canada Student Visa Rejection: Common Mistakes to Avoid

Canada is definitely one of the most popular study-abroad destinations. However, Canada is also very strict when it comes to visa approvals. In 2019, visa applications of more than 1 in 3 international students got rejected. Till May 2019, Canada rejected 36% of student visas for Indian applicants. So, what are the common reasons for Canada student visa rejection, and how to avoid them? Let’s find out.

Canada Student Visa Rejection

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Co-authored by Parinita Gupta

With world-class education, friendly visa and immigration rules, and better life prospects make it one of the most sought-after study destinations globally.

You have most probably worked extremely hard to get into your dream college in Canada. Being an international student, maybe you have worked even harder and now it’s finally time for the Visa and it for some god-forsaken reason gets rejected. We’re pretty sure you wouldn’t want that to happen to you ever, even in your worst nightmares where all your dreams come crashing down on you.

With a constant rise in visa applications each year a lot of visas gets cancelled. As per the reports, more than 30% of Canadian student’s visas are cancelled each year.

Common Reasons for Canada Student Visa Rejection

For every international student, getting their visa rejected is their worst nightmare and you of course wouldn’t want that to ever come true. To help you keep away from your ugliest nightmare, we are going to list some common mistakes that you must avoid while applying for your student visa in Canada.

Choosing a shady immigration agency or overseas education consultancy firm

If you are applying through an agency/firm make sure that you don’t end up choosing the one that has probable chances of being a fraudulent organization. If things seem shady or unregulated, get to the next best agency ASAP.

Quite often, dodgy agents lure innocent students (and parents) by selling the dreams of jobs and PR. They take significant amount of money from families and place the students in dodgy colleges and/or irrelevant programs.

The agency you choose to associate yourself with makes a whole lot of difference. You can take our word for it.

Lack of proof of funds (inadequate financial statements)

Before giving away the Canadian study visa, the officers do not only ensure the fact that you are financially independent enough to survive there but also that you can cover at least 1 year’s tuition fees of the college you’re getting into without starving yourself.

Most of the time students successfully have financial records that prove that they can live in Canada without working for a given period of time. However, they fail to show the financial records that ensure that they can at least cover 1 year’s tuition fees of the college they are getting into.

Choice of program

This is probably the trickiest one out there. The visa officers pay grave attention to the fact that your choice of study program aligns with the future career goals you have, or that they align with your earlier educational history (and work experience, if applicable). If they see that you’re suddenly changing streams or your field of interest, they will cause a snag about that.

Common academic-related reasons for Canada Student Visa Rejection:

  • Applying for PG Diploma with very high GPA in Bachelors
  • Applying for PG Diploma after Masters
  • Career Gap
  • Second Masters (non-MBA)
  • Program not aligned with previous education (e.g. applying for Teaching or Nursing program with an Engineering Degree; or applying for Logistics & Supply Chain Management after working in HR, Accounts, Teaching or Law sector)

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Given that anyone can have this problem of switching fields, there is no other way to get around it except convincing the visa officials that it at least means of some value to you. To do this you must attach a detailed personal statement and other documents relevant to your education history. Remember that if you are in a problem like this, detailing is the key.

“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.”

– Toronto-based immigration lawyer Andrew Carvajal (Source: ICEF Monitor)

Related Articles:

Top Subjects to Study in Canada for Jobs and Immigration

MS in Canada: Costs, Eligibility, Top Universities, Scholarships, and Job Prospects

PG Diploma in Canada: Top Courses and Colleges

Eligibility / Letter of Acceptance

To ensure that if you do get the visa, you are indeed going to go to the college you enrolled in and that there’s little to no possibility in the change of your plans, they are going to analyze every aspect of your college enrollment.

They’ll ensure that you are eligible for the course that you applied for in every possible aspect and they also may want to see your letter of acceptance from an authentic source. They’ll verify every possible detail over this so you must make sure that you are prepared.

Lack of English language proficiency

This is pretty obvious. If you are a non-native English speaker, they will see your standardized English test scores. Many visas get rejected because applicants take this very lightly however to make sure that you can properly socially function in an English-speaking country, they will want to see your scores.

Unclear Intentions to Come Back

Whatever your future plans maybe, if you even remotely suggest that you might stay in the country, your visa will stand rejected. To ensure this doesn’t happen you have to solely rely on your convincing skills.  Some tips that you can take away is

1. Have proof of job offers from your native country

2. Convince that you will work in your native country after your studies

3. Convince that your field of study has many job opportunities in your country

The bottom line is that you have to show the intent of returning back your home country before the expiration date of your visa.

However, this does not suggest that the applicant cannot extend their study visa or obtain a PR. It is mandatory to provide documents suggesting the intent of return to ensure that the applicant will not stay in Canada after the expiration of the study permit.

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What to do after Canada Student Visa Rejection?

More often than not, if you get accepted to a top-tier institute and provide all the required documents, the chances of student visa approval are pretty high. But, sometimes, even after all the sincere efforts, a student visa might get rejected. Read the story of Srivallabh, who had got accepted to Schulich School of Business (York University) and HEC Montreal; but his student visa got rejected twice.

In case your student visa gets rejected, what should you do? Watch the following video:


About Parinita Gupta

Parinita is a full-time banking professional. Additionally, she is also a passionate blogger and digital marketer.

She mostly writes about the Banking & Finance, Technology, and FinTech sector. But, she also enjoys writing on other topics as well.  You can follow her on Twitter.


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References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

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