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Nearly half of international students denied Canadian visas post university offers

Nearly half the international students are not granted Canadian visas after receiving offers from universities in the North American country, according to data analysed by the newspaper Toronto Star.

The report said that between January 1, 2022, and April 30, 2023, the Immigration Department approved 54.3 percent (more than 4.70 lakh) of over 8.66 lakh study permit applicants, who had been accepted by designated learning institutions (DLIs).

A DLI is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. All primary and secondary schools in Canada are DLIs.

In another report published in June 2023 by Investigative Journalism Foundation, it was found that nearly 40 percent of student visa applications from India were rejected citing “other” and “unspecified” reasons since 2011.

Canada hosts over 2.20 lakh Indian students, who make up 41 percent of its total international intake. Indian students have an estimated total expenditure of $11.7 billion, encompassing $6 billion on academic fees, $3 billion for accommodation, and $2.7 billion on other living necessities, according to the report titled ‘Beyond Beds & Boundaries: Indian Student Mobility Report, 2023’.

The Toronto Star's report emphasised that some study permit applications face rejection due to the inability of applicants to fulfil financial requirements for their studies. Additional grounds for denial include concerns about an applicant's likelihood to leave the country upon the expiration of their status in Canada, incomplete applications, missing payments, or the submission of fraudulent documents.

Public colleges generally had higher rejection rates than public universities whereas private institutions had higher rejection rates, though students destined for private institutions made up less than 10 percent of the overall applications, it said.

“The fast-growing international student program has been in the spotlight amid aggressive recruiting campaigns by the post-secondary education sector, and by unregulated foreign agents. Migrants increasingly look at studying in Canada as a backdoor to work and earn permanent residence here,” the report said.

In recent months, Canada’s Immigration Department has implemented several measures to scrutinise student applications to prevent fraud. For instance, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in December 2023, announced that DLIs will be required to confirm every applicant’s letter of acceptance directly with IRCC.

In time for the fall 2024 semester, IRCC said it will adopt a “recognised institution” framework to benefit post-secondary DLIs that set a higher standard for services, support and outcomes for international students.

Read More: Moneycontrol

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