Canada Immigration and Visa
May 23, 2023
New Study Permit Rules in Canada: What Students Need to Know on the basis of Barot V Canada
A recent judgement by the Federal Court of Canada has brought about considerable changes for foreign students aspiring to study in Canada. The court decided that a visa officer from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the authority to reject a study permit application if the student's grades in their previous "core courses" or "core subjects" are low and these subjects are relevant to the course they intend to pursue in Canada. This article will explore the nuances of this ruling and equip students with the vital knowledge necessary to understand and adapt to the new study permit scenario.
The Case That Sparked the Change: Barot v. Canada
The ruling was delivered in response to the case of Barot v. Canada. The applicant in this case was a 23-year-old Indian citizen who had completed a Bachelor of Management Studies at the University of Mumbai in 2020. He applied for a study permit to pursue a postgraduate certificate in business management at Canadore College in Canada. Despite Canadore College accepting his application, the visa officer rejected his study permit application, stating that the applicant failed to demonstrate the academic competency necessary to complete his studies in Canada. The transcripts provided by the applicant indicated low GPAs, especially in core subjects. The officer concluded that the applicant was not a bona fide student and that the selected program of study was unreasonable.
The court upheld the visa officer's decision and ruled that the officer did not need to provide a reason for deeming someone's grades too low, even if a Canadian post-secondary institution admitted the student. The implications of this ruling are substantial. It grants visa officers broad discretion to reject applications, raising concerns for students with lower grades.
What This Means for Students
Students planning to study in Canada should be aware of the implications of this ruling. It means that even if a Canadian institution accepts a student, the IRCC can still reject the student's study permit application if their grades in core subjects are deemed too low.
Here are a few points students should take into consideration:
Academic Performance: Students should strive for strong academic performance, especially in core subjects related to their intended program of study in Canada. Low grades in these areas could potentially result in a rejected study permit application.
Application Material: Students should ensure that all application materials accurately reflect their academic abilities and potential to succeed in their chosen program. This could include letters of recommendation, personal statements, and evidence of extra-curricular activities or experiences that demonstrate a commitment to their field of study.
Addressing Concerns: If a student's grades are lower in certain areas, it may be beneficial to proactively address these issues in the application. This could involve explaining the reasons for the low grades and outlining steps taken to improve academic performance.
Barot v Canada Case Analysis
To better understand the implications of this ruling, let's examine the case of Barot in more detail:
Barot, a 23-year-old Indian citizen, completed his Bachelor of Management Studies at the University of Mumbai in 2020. He applied for a study permit to pursue a postgraduate certificate in business management at Canadore College in Canada. His application included an acceptance letter from Canadore College, his transcripts, and a letter of support from his current employer.
Despite being accepted by Canadore College, the visa officer denied his study permit application. The reason provided was that Barot failed to demonstrate the academic competency necessary to complete his studies in Canada. The officer pointed out that Barot's transcripts indicated low GPAs, particularly in core subjects.
The officer concluded that Barot was not a bona fide student and that the selected program of study was unreasonable. TheFederal Court upheld this decision, ruling that the officer was not required to explain why he deemed Barot's grades too low, despite Canadore College admitting him.
This case illustrates the broad discretion visa officers have when evaluating study permit applications. Even if a Canadian institution accepts a student, the IRCC can still deny the student's study permit application if their grades in core subjects are deemed too low. This means that students must not only secure acceptance from a Canadian institution but also demonstrate academic competency in their previous studies, especially in core subjects related to their intended program of study in Canada.
The verdict will serve as a guideline to emphasize the importance of maintaining strong academic performance, especially in core courses. International students interested in studying in Canada should take this verdict into account when preparing their study permit applications. Adequate preparation, including maintaining good grades and providing comprehensive and well-considered application materials, will be key to navigating this new landscape.
Students should also remember that the decision to grant a study permit is ultimately at the discretion of the visa officer reviewing their application. Therefore, it is crucial to present a compelling case for their academic competency and their commitment to their chosen field of study.
Here's a refresher on how to apply for a study permit in Canada:
It's essential to understand the process of applying for a study permit in Canada. The process involves several steps, including preparing the necessary documents, submitting the application, and, if applicable, using the Student Direct Stream.
Applying for a Study Permit in Canada
Step 1: Obtain an Acceptance Letter
Before applying for a study permit, you need an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada. This letter is an official document showing that you've been accepted to study at the institution.
Step 2: Prepare Necessary Documents
You will need to gather several documents to apply for your study permit:
Proof of acceptance: The acceptance letter from the DLI.
Proof of identity: A valid passport or travel document for you and each family member accompanying you.
Proof of financial support: You must prove that you can support yourself, and any family members who come with you, while you are in Canada.
Letter of explanation: This is an opportunity to explain why you want to study in Canada and that you understand your responsibilities as a student.
Depending on your situation, you may need to provide additional documents.
Step 3: Apply for the Study Permit
You can apply for your study permit online through the Government of Canada's website. Follow the instructions provided to submit your application.
Step 4: Wait for Processing and Decision
Processing times can vary based on the country you're applying from and the completeness of your application. Be sure to check processing times and plan accordingly. If your application is approved, you'll receive a letter of introduction and a temporary resident visa (if required) to enter Canada.
Student Direct Stream
The Student Direct Stream (SDS) is a program designed for students from certain countries who want to come to Canada to study. The SDS provides faster processing times for study permit applications. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, eligible countries included China, India, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, Senegal, and Vietnam.
To apply through the SDS, you need to meet additional requirements, including:
Being a legal resident in one of the eligible countries.
Having an acceptance letter from a post-secondary DLI.
Paying your first year of tuition upfront.
Having a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) of $10,000 CAD.
Completing an upfront medical exam.
Obtaining a score of at least 6 for English (IELTS), or a score of at least 7 for French (TEF), or graduating from a Canadian-curriculum high school.
If you meet these requirements, you can apply online just like other study permit applicants. However, your application may be processed more quickly.
Remember, whether you're applying through the regular study permit process or the SDS, the new study permit rules regarding grades in core subjects apply. It's essential to keep these new rules in mind as you prepare your application and plan your studies in Canada.