Visa Crunch

Canada: IRCC Says All Student Visa Applications Are Assessed Equally Amidst High Visa Refusal Rate

After international education advocates pointed out significant refusal rates among applications from Africa, IRCC stated that all study permit applications are examined equally and against the same standards, regardless of country of origin.

In response to questions, a spokeswoman stated that visa applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, with decisions made by highly qualified officials who carefully and systematically assess each application against the requirements outlined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The acceptance rate for study visa applications from candidates residing in French-speaking African countries is equivalent to that of all other African countries.

Stakeholders in the sector have cautioned that high visa denial rates in priority markets, particularly in Francophone Africa, are an “important concern” that Canada must solve. The most prevalent grounds for refusal, according to the IRCC spokesman, are applicants’ inability to establish they can support themselves while in Canada or that they can fund their education. Failure to submit a complete application with application costs, to demonstrate that they are a legitimate student and that they will return to their home country are also common causes.

According to the IRCC, falsified documents are also a common basis for refusal. It is also worth noting that Québec has a larger minimum amount of cash for foreign national students to support themselves than the rest of Canada, according to the organization. The province requires more than $13,000 for a person over the age of 18, whilst other provinces require $10,000. The IRCC has taken substantial initiatives to support Francophone students and Francophone immigration in general, according to the official.

In 2021, the IRCC will open three new immigration channels for French-speaking applicants. Furthermore, 14 Welcoming Francophone Communities were chosen in 2019 to increase their capacity to welcome French-speaking newcomers, and the government promised a target of 4.4 percent Francophone immigrants settling in Welcoming Francophone Communities outside Québec by 2023.

“IRCC’s Meeting Our Objectives: Francophone Immigration Strategy 2018-2023 showcases a suite of initiatives to strengthen Francophone immigration and the vitality of Francophone minority communities,” the spokesperson added.

Throughout the pandemic, Canada has strengthened its Francophone Immigration Strategy by integrating targeted initiatives such as establishing streams for French-speaking permanent residents under the temporary resident to permanent resident pathway, which is focused on the essential workforce and overseas students in Canada.

In response to complaints about a lack of in-country visa processing in Francophone Africa, the IRCC stated that it is “continuing to modernize Canada’s immigration system” by digitizing documents so that applications can be processed remotely by IRCC staff across the worldwide network. The worldwide network ensures that applications are processed as quickly as feasible.

“Regardless of nationality, all decisions are made in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations, and we are committed to ensuring that clients have access to services near to home”, said IRCC.

IRCC also explained the Excel-based Chinook system, which has sparked worries among stakeholders that it may be generating a surge in denials. The system, according to the government, streamlines the administrative processes that would otherwise be required in the application processing process.

Chinook extracts immigration application information from the client’s submitted application and displays it, helping IRCC officers to be more efficient. Chinook does not significantly alter the way applications are processed, and it is always the officer, not the Chinook tool, who makes the decision.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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