Indian students seeking education in Canada face 40% visa rejections, attributed to aggressive recruitment strategies and involvement of subagents
A recent study by the Toronto Star shows that almost half of the international students accepted by Canadian schools are being denied visas. The rejection rate is especially high for students from India, with nearly 40% facing rejection, often due to vague reasons labeled as “other” or “unspecified.” India is a big source of international students in Canada, with about 320,000 active study permits by December.
International students in Canada pay much higher fees than local students, becoming a significant income source for both private and public colleges. However, the dream of getting permanent residency in Canada, promoted by overseas education agents, leads students to keep paying these high fees. To address this, the Canadian Immigration Lawyers Association suggests regulating these agents at the provincial level and holding learning institutions accountable.
Despite recent rules making it harder for international students financially, there are worries that some students and schools might try to bypass these rules for the perceived benefits of getting permanent residency. Faking bank accounts to meet study permit financial requirements is a potential issue that could harm Canada’s reputation as a hub for education.
Analyzing visa data gives insight into how Canada’s international student system works, providing a significant income for post-secondary institutions. Critics, including Immigration Minister Marc Miller, are concerned about the program’s integrity, likening it to a “puppy mill” exploited by both schools and individuals seeking work and permanent residence.
From January 1, 2022, to April 30, 2023, the Immigration Department approved 54.3% of the 866,206 study permit applicants accepted by Canadian schools. Approval rates varied among different institutions, with public colleges generally facing higher visa rejections than public universities, and private institutions having even higher rates. It’s important to note that approval rates don’t necessarily reflect the quality of education.
The growing international student program is under scrutiny due to aggressive recruitment efforts and unregulated foreign agents. Despite contributing significantly to the economy, international students struggle to find jobs and affordable housing, leading to reliance on food banks.
The high rate of study permit application refusals is attributed to aggressive recruitment strategies and the involvement of sub-agents in the application process. Despite the higher refusal rates associated with mass applications, schools continue to favor this approach, highlighting the need for better communication between schools and agents to ensure application quality and maintain the integrity of the international student program.