Studying in Canada

Why is Your Canada Study Permit Extension Rejected?

Unpack the reasons behind Canada study permit extension rejections and navigate the appeals process with expert tips for international students seeking resolution.

Having your Canada study permit extension overruled is a stressful and frustrating experience for international students. Knowing what to do and where to turn for help can be challenging to figure out on your own. This article is a must-read for any international student navigating the extension process because we look at the main reasons for rejection and guide you through the appeal options available. 

If you’ve had your permit repudiated, or you’re making sure you’re prepared for every eventuality, this article is for you! We cover:

  • The most common reasons for a declined permit extension
  • What to do next after receiving a rejection
  • How to extend your study permit - a step-by-step guide 
  • Dealing with an expired study permit
  • Frequently asked questions

Common Reasons for Study Permit Extension Refusals

When you apply for a study permit extension, a thorough understanding of the common reasons for rejection is essential. It’s important to understand the typical concerns and priorities that Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may have. This understanding will help you navigate the extension process and, if necessary, streamline the appeals process.

IRCC's Concerns and Questions

IRCC has strict criteria for candidates to meet to qualify for an extension. They look at a range of information, including financial stability and the validity of your letter of acceptance.

Financial Ability to Support Yourself

You’ll need to demonstrate to IRCC that you can financially support yourself while living in Canada. You must prove you can cover your tuition fees, rent, and other living expenses. 

You’ll be required to provide proof of funds, which could include bank statements or evidence of a financial scholarship. It could be that your permit was denied due to financial issues or was refused due to insufficient financial documentation. Make sure you remedy either issue before reapplying. 

Intention to Leave Canada After Studies

A study permit is a temporary visa. As such, Canadian immigration authorities want to ensure that applicants plan to return to their home countries after their studies. 

There are avenues to extend permits and even permanently immigrate to Canada. However, IRCC wants to be convinced that you will not stay in the country illegally once you finish your studies. 

It could be that your application was disallowed on the grounds of insufficient evidence of your intention to leave Canada. If so, ensure you demonstrate your plan to leave after completing your studies. 

Choice of Study Program

When extending your permit, IRCC will compare your choice of study program to your previous studies. 

Opting for a sudden departure from your previous academic record will likely concern IRCC. This change in course could signify to IRCC that you do not intend to continue studying.

Suppose your permit was refused because of your study choices or was vetoed after your course changed. You may need to secure a letter from your institution of study to explain your circumstances. 

Validity of the Letter of Acceptance

To extend your study permit, you must provide IRCC with a valid letter of acceptance from a Canadian institution. The letter must meet IRCC’s criteria to be accepted. It’s up to you to ensure all information is accurate and correct. 

On 31 October 2023, a Federal Court decision ruled that students are held responsible if they submit applications containing inaccuracies. You must even have the correct DLI number on your application, along with all other details. 

If that stresses you out, don’t panic! BorderPass is designed to help you through the process and ensure all your documentation is correct and up to date. 

Correct preparation will help you have the best chance of accepting your application. If your application was disapproved because of any of the issues listed above, BorderPass can help! 

Issues with Travel or Identity Documents

It’s important to go through all your documentation with a fine-toothed comb. Inaccuracies, missing information, or blurred photocopies can lead to rejection and denials. BorderPass can again help you with this, ensuring you haven’t missed anything important before submitting your application. 

Addressing and Overcoming Study Permit Refusals

If your application was refused, don’t panic! It’s not the end of the world, and there are steps you can take to remedy the situation. 

Steps to Take After a Refusal

Once you receive a refusal, ensure you fully understand the reasons provided by IRCC. It could’ve been overruled due to financial issues, insufficient documentation, or dismissed on a technicality. In any case, you need to know exactly why. 

Understanding where you went wrong will inform you of your next steps. These specifics will also dictate whether you must appeal the decision or submit a new application. 

Appeal the Decision

Do you believe all your documentation was correct and your application was repudiated because of a mistake? You can try to appeal the decision. 

While there isn’t an official appeals process, you can file a judicial review. This option is helpful if you believe IRCC didn’t follow due process in reviewing your application. 

Submit a New Application

Usually, the best course of action is submitting a new application once you have remedied the issues in the first. When resubmitting, ensure you address specific refusal points and make sure your documentation is meticulously prepared and up to date. Try to do this as soon as possible after the date of rejection to speed up the process.  

Addressing Specific Refusal Points

To help your new application have the best possible chance of success, ensure you’re clear about the reason for refusal. If your rejection was due to financial reasons, ensure your documents are clear and show you have sufficient funds. 

If it was due to the study program or course, include additional university information to explain your course relevance. If there were previous permit violations (if any), ensure these are no longer an issue. 

If unsure, try contacting the authority issuing the rejection to clarify. 

How BorderPass Can Assist

Navigating immigration and study permits is stressful and complex, which is why many international students and their families use BorderPass. The platform simplifies the application process and ensures all the documentation meets IRCC’s stringent criteria. If your spouse’s visa depends on your study permit, BorderPass can help them, too! 

The Process of Extending Your Study Permit

Extending your study permit is crucial for continuing your education in Canada outside your initial student visa restrictions. Knowing when, why, and how to apply for an extension is essential. In addition, knowing how to ensure your extension application is successful can make all the difference! 

When and Why to Extend Your Study Permit

You must apply for a study permit extension at least 30 days before your permit ends. This time frame prevents any gaps in your legal status. It ensures you retain the legal right to live and work in Canada and access Canadian services. 

Although 30 days is the minimum, applying for an extension earlier is ideal, particularly as delays or rejections are possible. 

How to Apply for a Study Permit Extension

Applying for a study permit extension has multiple steps, each requiring close attention to detail. Getting it right the first time will save you time and stress, so triple-check everything!

Before Submitting Your Application

Before submitting your application, take the following steps:

  • List all the essential documents you’ll need and gather them together. Documents include your passport, letter of acceptance, financial documents, and other documents pertinent to your case. 
  • Ensure all your documents are up to date and meet IRCC requirements.
  • Carefully review the online application process on the IRCC website to ensure you understand and meet all requirements. 

Actions to Take if Traveling After Applying

If you’re waiting for a permit extension to be processed, ideally, you shouldn’t travel outside Canada during this time. If travelling is unavoidable, carry all your documentation, including a copy of the submission confirmation from IRCC. Carrying your documentation will prevent any issues at the border when you try to re-enter Canada. 

Steps if Your Permit Expires Post-Application

If your current permit expires while waiting for an answer on your extension, don’t panic! You can stay in Canada as a temporary citizen under ‘implied status’ while waiting for your new permit.

However, this implied status is only available if you applied for the extension before your old permit expired. If your permit is expired, it’s best not to leave Canada, as this can cause issues upon reentry. 

What to Do if Your Permit is Out of Status

An expired study permit is stressful, but it’s not the end of the world. There are options available for students who are out of status. You can take steps to deal with an expired study permit and achieve restoration of status. 

Addressing an Expired Study Permit

If your study permit expires, avenues are open to allow you to restore your permit and continue your studies. 

The permit might’ve expired before you applied for a new permit or an extension. If so, you’ve lost your status as a student in Canada. You’ll need to stop studying and working in Canada and quickly take steps to restore your status as a student. 

Restoration of Status and Next Steps

Canada does provide an option for students whose permits have lapsed. If you find yourself in this situation, follow these steps:

  • Apply for a new study permit: You’ll need to fill out a new application for a study permit or permit extension. Ensure you have all the necessary documents
  • Apply to restore your temporary resident status in Canada: As well as the study permit, you’ll need to apply to restore your resident status in Canada. 
  • Pay your fees: Pay all associated fees with the application and restoration.

Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can stay in Canada while you await IRCC’s decision. 

Key Takeaways

In this guide, we’ve taken an in-depth look at:

  • The most common reasons for a study permit to be refused
  • How to deal with a study permit rejection
  • Extending your study permit - what to do and when
  • What to do if your study permit expires

Common reasons for a permit to be dismissed include issues with financial stability and incomplete or insufficient documentation. If your extension is disallowed due to one of these issues, it’s possible to appeal through a judicial review. However, it’s often possible to resubmit the application with updated documentation. 

BorderPass is available to help international students with problems with their applications. BorderPass can also help students who want to ensure their applications have the best possible chances of success. 

If your permit expires while waiting for an extension or before applying, you have options. These options will allow you to remain in Canada while you wait for a decision. Again, BorderPass can help guide you through this process and ensure all your documentation is correct. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does the Study Permit Extension Process Typically Take?

There’s no strict timeline on how long your extension will take to process. IRCC recommends applying for an extension at least 30 days before your permit expires. However, it could take longer if IRCC has a high workload or an issue with your application. 

What Happens if I Leave Canada While My Study Permit Extension is Being Processed?

As long as your original study permit hasn’t expired, leaving Canada while your study permit extension is processing is fine. When you return to Canada, you won't be able to resume your studies until the permit extension has been issued. 

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