Has Your Study Permit Application Been Refused?

After having spent months to obtain an acceptance from a Canadian educational institute and preparing all the documents for your study permit, you are shocked to learn that your study permit application has been refused. You believe that you met the requirements to receive a study permit and provided all the documents to prove your eligibility. What can you do now? 

We Can Assist You With An Application for Leave & Judicial Review in Federal Court

As soon as you receive a refusal decision, you should contact our MyVisa.Law team to evaluate your case and ability to make an application for leave and judicial review (JR). There are a number of factors that we will assess to advise you if a judicial review application is the best course of action, and it starts by reviewing the study permit application that you submitted. 

How Do I Get Started?

You have a limited time from the date of your refusal letter to start your application for leave and judicial review in Federal Court. In order to assist you, we require a copy of your refusal letter and a copy of your submitted application. Our lawyers will provide you with an assessment of whether the refusal is appropriate for JR or whether it is advisable to reapply with additional documents and information. 

Complete our information form and we will be in touch with you immediately to determine how we can assist you with your situation. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Study Permit Refusals

Why was my application refused?
There are a number of different reasons why an application for study permit can be refused. In order for your study permit application to be successful, you must convince the visa officer that you are a genuine student, have the financial resources to cover the cost of your studies and living expenses, and that you will leave Canada at the end of your studies. The most common reasons for refusals is that applicants do not contain sufficient proof regarding these factors. Unfortunately, the guidance provided on the government website only covers the minimum information and does not include details of how you can prove these factors and what explanations an officer is looking for.
If you believe that you have provided evidence regarding these factors in your study permit application but received a refusal decision, you may have a good chance to have your application reopened by pursuing an application in Federal Court. Each case is unique based on the documents and information provided in your application. Before you decide how to proceed, you will need to have your full application reviewed by an immigration lawyer to determine the suitability of your application for Federal Court.

Why has the refusal rate for study permits increased?
The rate of refusals for study permit applications has increased dramatically in 2020 and 2021 across the globe. In some countries, the acceptance rate has fallen from over 70% to lower than 40%. The global pandemic has impacted acceptance rates but there are also other reasons driving up higher refusal rates including use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software to analyze study permit applications, country conditions, the rate at which students from each country have studied in Canada, and so on.

Another important reason for the higher refusal rates is the increase in the number of total applications for study permits. The number of new study permit applications in 2016 just over 230,000 and 69% of these were accepted whereas this number increased to over 420,000 in 2019 with an acceptance rate of 60%. That means the number of new students coming to Canada increased from approximately 160,000 in 2016 to almost 260,000 in 2019. We know that the approval rates have gone done in 2020 due to the pandemic and the global acceptance rate for from January to November 2020 was down to 47% with less than 90,000 study permit applications approved. 

Will a prior visa refusal impact my study permit application?
Your prior visa application history is one of the factors that is considered in your study permit application. It is possible that a study permit application is accepted after being refused one or two times because it is theoretically possible to identify the missing information or documents that led to the refusal and ensure that the new application is more complete and addresses any prior concerns raised by the prior refusals. However, with the increased adoption of AI software to review and analyze visa applications, the prior visa refusals weigh more heavily against a positive decision, making it less likely that your application will be accepted. 

What is an Application for Leave & Judicial Review in Federal Court?

An application for leave and judicial review is a process in Federal Court to review a decision made by a visa or immigration officer.  Our goal in a JR application is to show that the refusal decision should be overturned either because it is unreasonable or because it was procedurally unfair.

How long does the Judicial Review process take?

Each application in court is unique. An application can settle early upon receiving consent from the government or it may need to go through the full process in court for a judge to determine whether leave will be granted and if yes, the outcome will be determined after a hearing takes place. The average processing time for our study permit applications to reach settlement is currently 2-4 months.

What are the possible outcomes of the Judicial Review process? Will I receive a visa approval at the end of a successful Judicial Review in Federal Court?

An application for Judicial Review can be successful either by receiving consent from the government to settle the matter or by receiving a decision after a hearing has been held and the judge determines that the refusal decision must be set aside.

If the government does not consent to settle the matter, a judge will determine if leave is to be granted to hear the case argued. The judge at the leave stage may decide that a decision does not need to be heard and therefore dismiss the Judicial Review application. If they determine that a hearing is required, then a hearing date will be set and a decision will be issued after the hearing has concluded.

When a Judicial Review application is successful in receiving a positive result from a hearing, the judge will set aside the refusal and send the application back to be redetermined by a different officer. It is extremely difficult to receive a directed verdict where the judge orders that a visa should be issued. Therefore, applications that are either settled or receive a positive decision will be reopened at the visa office and redetermined by a different officer.

What happens after my Judicial Review application in Court is successful?
The successful outcome of a JR will allow your refusal to be set aside and your application reviewed again by a different officer. As part of the redetermination of you will normally be given a chance to provide updated documents. 

You will be contacted by the visa office through the online account used to submit the application to provide an update. This will be an opportunity for you to demonstrate ongoing ties to your country and provide updated LOA, financial documents, and any other documents that can assist in showing your ongoing ties and opportunities once you complete your studies. This update process is critical and you should prepare and provide your update documents to cover any issues in your initial refusal and reassure the officer that you still meet the requirements of the study permit you have applied for.