Study in Canada

Key Elements of a Successful Study Permit Application

The key elements of a successful study permit application include the following:

  • School Acceptance: An acceptance letter from a Canadian school which holds designated learning institution (DLI) status.

  • Funding: Proof of funds equivalent to your first-year of school tuition plus an additional $20,635 for living expenses.

  • Establishing that You Will Leave Canada: Proof that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay. The government provides study permit applicants with a standard document checklist which outlines the mandatory forms and documents. However, the task of actually convincing the Visa Officer to issue a study permit remains your responsibility.

Anatomy of a Refused Study Permit

About 40% of study permit applications are refused each year.
Here are some common reasons for study permit refusals:

Incomplete Applications:

If a study permit application is missing mandatory documents, forms or signatures then it will be refused for incompleteness. A Visa Officer will rarely request missing materials or an interview during processing; they simply don't have the time or resources to do so.

Funding Issues:

An obvious concern for a Visa Officer is an Applicant who has failed to prove enough funds for their study plans in Canada. Other common funding issues include the credibility and/or sufficiency of financial documents.

Failure to Establish that You
Will Leave Canada:

Under the regulations a study permit applicant must prove that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay. Officers consider a wide variety of risk factors in this evaluation including your overall profile and your individual circumstances.

Look at the chart below to see how your profile – age, level of study and country of citizenship – can impact your chances of approval:

Countries that
Submit the Most
Study Permits
Approval Rate Approval Rate
by Age
Approval Rate by Level of Study Bonus from Student
Direct Stream
  India 47% 20–25Years Old48%25–30Years Old37%Over 30 Years Old32% College Diploma62%Bachelors63%Masters79% +31%
  China 80% 20–25Years Old81%25–30Years Old72%Over 30 Years Old50% College Diploma56%Bachelors87%Masters85% +10%
  Nigeria 17% 20–25Years Old19%25–30Years Old9%Over 30 Years Old4% College Diploma10%Bachelors12%Masters43% N/A
  Philippines 53% 20–25Years Old68%25–30Years Old58%Over 30 Years Old36% College Diploma49%Bachelors66%Masters71% +3%
  Iran 46% 20–25Years Old60%25–30Years Old53%Over 30 Years Old38% College Diploma30%Bachelors45%Masters86% N/A
  Vietnam 61% 20–25Years Old61%25–30Years Old59%Over 30 Years Old49% College Diploma49%Bachelors84%Masters76% +19%

Solutions from Jakabek Immigration Law


The goal of a study permit consultation is to discuss the basics of your study plans in Canada and to start flagging weak points and strong points in your study permit application.

A Custom Plan that Works:

Our process starts with a 2-hour information collection interview - the collected information will then be used to develop a strategy tailored to your circumstances along with a custom checklist of documents and forms for your application. Once the documents and forms are collected a lawyer will review the materials for mistakes and will work with you to make any necessary corrections.

Supporting Arguments from a Lawyer:

A lawyer will then draft a custom representative’s letter that uses laws, regulations and government policies to argue in favour of approval; the letter will also proactively address weak points and highlight the strong points of your study permit application. The application will also include a study purpose explanation letter, in the form of an affidavit, which will outline your reasons for studying in Canada and your reasons for choosing your school, program of study and level of study.