Study Permit Applications Do Not require Tuition Payments

During the trial of Tehrani v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), the Federal Court ruled that students are not required to pay all or part of the tuition fees as part of the application process for a study permit.

A citizen of Iran, Tehrani, applied for a study permit as soon as he was accepted to a program in Project Management at a university in Toronto.

A study permit application submitted by Tehrani was rejected by the immigration officer as he was not satisfied that he would leave Canada at the end of his authorized stay. A decision was made based on Tehrani’s marital status, his family ties in Canada, and the fact that he had only paid a portion of his tuition to ensure his spot in the program.

The court explained that the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) only require applicants to prove that they have been accepted into a program of study before they can proceed to pay for their tuition. As far as the IRPR is concerned, the applicant does not have to prove that any or all tuition has been paid. Rather, they simply need to be able to prove that they have the financial ability to pay tuition and other expenses.

As Tehrani did not pay his full tuition, the officer erred by refusing his study permit application without verifying Tehrani’s financial capacity.

Ultimately, the court ruled that Tehrani’s ability to pay tuition was unrelated to his departure from Canada. According to the court, Tehrani’s study permit refusal was unreasonable because it lacked justification and did not take Tehrani’s evidence into account.

Impact on Student Permits

Students looking to study in Canada should have access to affordable education and accommodations.

Foreign nationals seeking to study in Canada who cannot pay all or part of their tuition when applying for a study permit will no longer be able to do so. In the case that an applicant is able to demonstrate that they have the financial resources to pay tuition and other expenses when required, they can apply for a study permit without being penalized for unpaid tuition.

The country’s high quality of education and affordability make it a popular destination for international students. Furthermore, Canada offers job and immigration opportunities after graduation.

In the past few years, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been issuing a greater number of study permits than ever before. As of 2022, Canada welcomed 551,405 international students from 184 countries, setting a record for this year. As of the end of 2022, there were 807,750 international students holding valid study permits in Canada.

Study Permit Application Process

Upon receiving a letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), you should apply for a study permit. International students must meet the following requirements after receiving an acceptance letter:

  • Demonstrate sufficient financial support to cover first-year tuition, living expenses, and return transportation home
  • For Quebec study, he or she must obtain a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ)
  • An applicant with a criminal record may be denied. Police clearance certificates may be requested by IRCC
  • A medical examination may be requested by IRCC
  • Ensure that the study permit holder will leave Canada at the end of the stay.

The Best Way to Apply for a Study Permit

Study permit applications can be rejected by immigration officers if they do not believe the applicant will meet the conditions of their stay.

It is important to convince officers of the real purpose of your study visit. Seventy-seven percent of study permit refusals between 2019 and 2021 were due to IRCC not being satisfied. Another common reason for refusing study permit applications is stating clearly that you will leave at the end of your authorized stay.

Here are some recommendations to increase approval:

  • From previous education to Canadian education, provide a clear, logical progression;
  • Provide proper documentation to prove finances;
  • Explain gaps in your studies;
  • You should make it clear that you intend to leave Canada once you graduate;

Your eligibility should be supported by any other documentation.

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