Reasons Why Canada Student Visas Get Rejected

Canada is a premier destination for international students seeking high-quality education programs. To study in Canada, foreign students must obtain a study permit and a Canadian student visa. This process begins after receiving admission to a Designated Learning Institute (DLI). According to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), approximately 640,000 international students hold Canadian student visas. This number has been steadily increasing annually. However, along with the rise in visa applications, there has been a corresponding increase in visa rejections, with around 30% of applications being denied each year. It is crucial for prospective international students to address the various reasons for these rejections to ensure a successful journey towards studying abroad.


Reasons Why Canada Student Visas Get Rejected
Reasons Why Canada Student Visas Get Rejected


Reasons Why Canada Student Visas Get Rejected

1. Incomplete Documents

When applying for a student visa, it’s crucial to submit the correct documents to avoid rejection. Visa officers carefully review travel documents to identify any gaps or inconsistencies in your travel history and verify your identification. Insufficient or unclear documentation, especially regarding prior travel experiences, can adversely affect your application. Thus, it’s recommended to provide comprehensive documentation detailing your travel history and ensure that your identification documents are clear and straightforward. Organizing your documents chronologically enhances their presentation and credibility.

2. Financial Instability

During the student visa application process, one key aspect scrutinized is your financial situation, specifically your ability to cover at least one year’s tuition fees without compromising your basic needs. Visa officers assess whether you possess sufficient funds to pay for your college expenses, which typically start at around CAD 15,000 in Canadian universities. International students are expected to demonstrate financial stability and provide evidence thereof. It’s advantageous to furnish proof of financial capacity for more than a year and supplement your application with additional financial documents. While studying and working in Canada is feasible, it’s essential to secure the necessary documents showcasing your financial stability before obtaining a student visa.

3. Poor Academic Performance

Visa officers thoroughly review international students’ academic records, emphasizing the importance of good grades. However, academic excellence alone isn’t sufficient; students must also attain high scores on English proficiency exams such as IELTS and TOEFL. Additionally, presenting clear and unambiguous academic records is crucial, as any inconsistencies could raise questions and potentially jeopardize visa approval if not adequately addressed.

4. Intent To Return To Home Country

Student visas always have an expiration date, prompting visa officials to inquire whether international students plan to return to their home country upon completing their studies. However, some students may intend to remain abroad to work and earn income post-graduation, potentially leading to visa rejections if their intention to return home is in doubt. Thus, it’s recommended that international students express genuine enthusiasm about opportunities in their home country and their potential positive contributions rather than viewing studying abroad as merely an escape. This approach can enhance the likelihood of visa approval.

5. Inconsistency in Professional Experience And Proposed Course Of Study 

A student visa application for international students may face rejection if there are discrepancies between their previous educational background, professional experience, and the intended course of study. It’s crucial for the chosen field of study to align with the applicant’s prior qualifications and work history. If there’s a disparity, the applicant must provide a convincing explanation for the career shift. Additionally, all information submitted in the application must be supported by valid evidence or documentation.

6. Acceptance Letter

Every international student admitted to a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) receives a letter of acceptance. It’s mandatory for international students to provide their acceptance letters to visa officials. Failure to do so will result in rejection. Therefore, it’s unnecessary for international students to present their acceptance letters along with proof of meeting the minimum eligibility criteria set by the Canadian government. Alongside the acceptance letter, applicants can include any additional personal documents or statements to support their application.

7. Choice Of Program

The officials at the visa office often pay very close attention to the choice of program international students are applying for. The choice of program, previous educational background, and professional experience must tally. Some of the academic-related reasons for visa rejection in Canada include: 

  1. Career Gap
  2. Applying for PG Diploma after Masters
  3. Applying for PG Diploma with very high GPA in Bachelors
  4. Second Masters (non-MBA)
  5. The program is inconsistent with prior education, such as applying for an engineering program with a nursing degree. 

International students need a strong personal statement and other relevant records aligning with their educational background.


Tips to Avoid Visa Rejection in Canada

Having highlighted some of the reasons why Canada student visas get rejected, below are some of the important tips to help improve your chances:

  1. Research and find the documents you must submit to obtain the visa. You can find helpful information on the Government of Canada website.
  2. Fill out the visa form carefully with accurate information. Also, do not leave any blank spaces. 
  3. After this, students must upload a copy of the offer letter they have received from a recognized university or college in Canada. 
  4. Salary slips or bank statements will be submitted as proof that the applicant has work experience. 
  5. Do not forget to mention all travel histories. Additionally, include any visa rejections if there are any. 
  6. Also, answer the questions you will be asked on the CIC website while you are applying online.
  7. Those applying under SPP (Student Partners Program) should show proof of finances. Also, they should obtain a Guaranteed Investment Certificate by transferring CAD 10,200 to Scotia Bank.
  8. While writing the statement of intent, mentioning your academic achievements and intention to study in Canada is important. Be authentic, truthful, and convincing. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What should you do if a Canada student visa is rejected?

If your first application was rejected due to specific documentation errors or omissions, resolve the reasons for your rejection before reapplying. Or, if your visa application was rejected after your visa interview, ask the border services officer for a reason and correct those issues when you reapply.

Is Canada giving student visas easily?

Information from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) shows they reject around 30% of study visa applications. Even if you get your student visa, there are rules you still need to follow to maintain your status as an international student. Don’t worry, though.

What is the success rate of a Canada student visa?

Last year, SDS applicants had a 63% approval rate, while non-SDS applicants had 19%. In early 2023, the gap further increased, with Indian students applying for a Canadian study permit achieving a 73% approval rate, which is seven times higher than the 10% approval rate for non-SDS applicants during the same period.

How many times can you apply for a Canada visa after rejection?

If we refuse your application to come to Canada, you can apply again at any time unless your decision letter says you can’t. You should only apply again if you can include information you didn’t include before.

What is the fastest way to get a student visa for Canada?

Get your study permit faster through the Student Direct Stream. If you’re a legal resident in certain countries, you may be able to get your study permit faster by applying online through the Student Direct Stream.



Obtaining a Canadian student visa is a pivotal step for international students aspiring to pursue education in Canada, a premier destination renowned for its quality educational programs. However, with the increase in visa applications comes a corresponding rise in rejection rates, emphasizing the importance of addressing common reasons for refusal. From incomplete documentation to inadequate financial stability and inconsistencies in academic and professional backgrounds, each aspect demands meticulous attention to detail. By thoroughly preparing their applications, demonstrating genuine intent to return home, and ensuring alignment between their past experiences and chosen programs, prospective students can enhance their chances of visa approval. Moreover, adhering to essential tips such as accurate form filling, comprehensive documentation, and sincere statements of intent can further bolster their prospects. Overall, proactive measures and careful planning are essential for a successful journey towards studying abroad in Canada.