On the surface, the process of obtaining a Canadian student visa seems quite simple, but it can sometimes prove to be a challenge. While many students think receiving a letter of acceptance is the hardest part of the pre-study abroad process, it can be even more difficult to land a student visa.
Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon for students to have their application for a Canadian visa rejected. With Canada being such a desirable study destination, many students aspire to pursue an education in this country. However, Canada’s popularity makes it significantly harder to get a visa because of the high volume of applicants.
To ensure your Canadian visa application gets approved and you experience a smooth process, it’s helpful to understand the common reasons behind visa rejections in Canada. Here are five of the most common.
1. Not Including a Letter of Acceptance
Before you apply for a visa, you must obtain a letter of acceptance (LOA) from a Canadian host school on the designated learning institutions list. The visa officer could reject your application if they doubt the validity/authenticity of your LOA, or recognize your failure to meet the program requirements.
2. Financial Reasons
As part of the Canadian visa application process, applicants must submit a bank certificate or bank statement. These documents provide evidence that you can support yourself while studying abroad. Uncertainty in your ability to pay for travel expenses, tuition fees, and day-to-day living while in Canada are all reasons why a visa officer may deny your application.
3. Failure to Leave the Country at the End of Your Studies
It’s important to remember that a student visa is only a temporary visa, which means that it has an expiration date. As such, a visa officer must trust that you will return to your country of residence by the end of your authorized stay. Previous travel history, family ties in Canada and your country of residence, and the purpose of your visit could all potentially cause a visa officer to suspect you may overstay your visa and reject your application. Other grounds for rejection include your immigration status in your country of residence, financial status, or previous history in Canada.
4. Issues With Travel or Identity Documents
Submit all of the appropriate (and correct) documentation, including a valid passport, recent photos, and properly completed forms. The visa officer will use these documents to determine whether you are admissible to Canada. Ensure that you complete all necessary sections and that they’re easy to understand.
5. Academic Performance
Visa officers look for consistency across previous academic performance. But while good grades are a key factor in visa approval, it doesn’t end there. The decision on your visa application also extends to your English language ability, as demonstrated by your IELTS or TOEFL score. With a combination of uneven grades and a low score, a visa officer may question your ability to cope with English-taught courses.
While getting a Canadian visa isn’t as simple and straightforward as it may seem, following these guidelines will help to ensure a smooth application process.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadian visa application centres (VACs) are operating at a reduced capacity with limited services, while some remain closed. Before applying, you should:
- Ensure you are exempt from the current travel restrictions
- Review changes to the application process
- Know what services are available at the VAC where you intend to apply
Applicants must wait to receive a request letter or email from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada before sending their passports to a VAC. At this time, some closed VACs are only receiving passports by mail or courier, so please refer to the VAC’s website for the most up-to-date information.
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