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Factors affecting Canadian study permit approval

Canada is one of the most coveted study abroad destinations in the world. As of December 2023, the country is home to over 1 million active study permit holders. The odds of an international student getting a Canadian study permit depend on a number of factors. The approval odds vary based on factors such as the location of your application, your English proficiency scores, and even the location of your intended school in Canada.

We went through thousands of Global Case Management Notes (GCMS) to curate a list of all the factors which affect your Canadian study permit approval probability. Below is a comprehensive list of factors affecting your Canadian study permit application, based on real world data:

1. Applicant’s country of residence and citizenship
Immigration officers are required to assess if you have strong home ties and if you will go back after your studies. It helps a lot if you live in or come from a developed country.
You are more likely to get your Canadian study permit approved if you are an EU citizen compared to a south asian country. This is considering all other factors equal.

2. English language scores
English language scores are arguably one of the biggest deciding factors in your Canadian study visa application. If you have an IELTS or PTE score of 6 overall or better, the chances of your visa getting approved significantly goes up.

3. Destination city
The location of your school is another factor. Students applying to schools in New Brunswick have a higher likelihood of visa approval compared to those in Toronto. Canada wants to ensure that the population is not entirely concentrated in just a few hubs and remote schools help with this.

4. Intended level of education
Are you planning to study a Certificate course or Masters or something else? Your intended level of education is a key contributor to your visa success. The course that you are applying for should showcase a progression in your education journey. For example, if you have already finished your Bachelors, you are more likely to get approval for a Masters program or a Graduate certificate course rather than a basic diploma.

6. Destination school
International students in Canada go to different types of schools. Universities and community colleges are amongst the most popular. Out of all of the different types of schools, universities tend to have the highest percentage of study permit approvals followed by community colleges.

7. Educational background
The reputation of your past university as well as your past grades is a strong indicator of how likely you are to perform as a student in Canada. The Canadian government wants to ensure that you will be successful as a student in Canada. Having studied from a reputable university in the past adds credibility to your case.

8. Work history
Depending on the program you are applying for, it helps in a lot of cases if you have professional work experience. Work experience is proof that you can sustain yourself and you are not trying to get into Canada just because you cannot get a job where you currently live.

9. Financial standing
IRCC aims to ensure that you can pay for your expenses during your stay in Canada and have career prospects upon returning to your home country after graduation. A good financial standing helps your case. Simply put, the more money you have in your bank account the better it is for your visa application.

10. Family composition
You are more likely to get your visa approved if you have family members and dependents. Having dependents demonstrate strong home ties, increasing the likelihood of the student returning to their home country after graduation.

11. Age
Most Canadian study permits are issued to students between the ages of 21 and 30. This is due to the fact that most genuine students lie between this age group. If you fall outside this range, you might need to work harder to convince Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of your genuinity as a future student.

12. Medical history
Canada has a universal health care system funded through taxes. If you have a disease that might require extensive healthcare then IRCC may reject your application. The Canadian government wants to ensure that no temporary resident is a burden to the Canadian healthcare system. Diseases such as Tuberculosis are the biggest contributor to medical inadmissibility.

13. Travel history
If you have a strong international travel history, it is an indicator that you understand your responsibilities as a temporary resident in another country. An applicant with an extensive international travel record is likely to have an edge over a candidate with a similar profile who doesn’t.

14. Criminal history
All Canadian study permit applicants undergo a criminality check. The list of factors that might lead to applicants failing admissibility checks is exhaustive. Reasons such as a history of violence, impaired driving, or financial fraud can lead you to become inadmissible in Canada. Here is a list of inadmissibility reasons.

While the factors mentioned above are crucial in evaluating your Canadian study permit application, it’s essential to recognize that each factor carries a distinct weight. For example, if you are found criminally inadmissible, it does not matter which country you live in or what IELTS score you have. Your application will be rejected.

Our Canadian study permit approval probability calculator is finely tuned to provide you with the most accurate result possible. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that each new study permit application involves an element of subjectivity.