7 Common Reasons A Student Visa To Canada Is Denied & How To Avoid It

7 Common Reasons A Student Visa To Canada Is Denied, And How To Avoid It | By Tunde Omotoye

Disclaimer: I do not work at the Canadian Embassy and I am not a Visa consultant.

However, based on experience over the years, these are the common reasons that IRCC gives for denying a study visa (Student Visa).

1- You do not meet Canada’s Health Standards:

Canada has one of the most efficient Health Care systems which is also free. However, to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to reduce excessive demand for health and social services, a visa can be denied.

It is best to keep yourself healthy. I am not a doctor or physician, but ensure to live a life free of high-maintenance diseases. Go for check-ups. Don’t just assume, as it is best you know where you stand.

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2- Your Choice of Program:

If the chosen program doesn’t seem to align well with your educational background or employment, the processing officer might question your application. Hence, if there is no logic with the choice of program, then a denial can happen.

Best to keep a consistent track record. If you studied nursing back home and have been working in that line then it is advisable to choose a course related to that field. Don’t apply for a course because it is lucrative or easy to get.

Common Reasons A Student Visa To Canada Is Denied

3- Not enough funds/sufficient assets:

This is used to check for 2 things: financial capability and ties back home. Many students’ sponsors do not have strong ties with them. For instance, your relative is your sponsor and has given you his account statement. This is a no-no for a student visa application.

Thing is, your brother-in-law, sister-in-law, uncle, brother or even sister can abandon you when you arrive in Canada and stop sending you money for studies. But your father or mother won’t. So regardless of worth, as long as it’s not dad/mum it might be difficult and chances low.

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4- Failure to meet security standards:

If you have a pending criminal case or a criminal background, it can jeopardize your chances. How do you avoid this other than staying out of crime?

5- Canada isn’t sure if you’d leave the country after studies:

A study permit is really just a temporary visa. This means it will eventually expire. Hence, you need to convince the visa officer that you will leave the country when your study permit expires.

Again, this questions your tie back home. Do you have a high-paying job that you might likely return to? Does your father have a company he’d like you to head when you are done school? Are you married with kids and will need to come back to them. You need to be able to argue this.

6- Inadequate Travel History:

This often affects those who have just completed sec school and have a limited travel history. Although other relevant factors are taken into account, an example is not having traveled outside the country before.

The best way is to at least have a stamp on your passport. Even if it’s Ghana go in order to have your passport stamped. Although, I have seen folks who have been granted study visas without travelling before. Only that this will clear any doubt that you might have.

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7- Letter of explanation isn’t convincing:

If the processing officer doubts that your letter of explanation isn’t genuine, he or she might deny your study visa application.

The best way is to simply tell your story. Who are you? Why are you leaving to study? Why does the course align with your goals? Why have you chosen school? You need to be as detailed, concise and convincing, ensuring the emphasis on going back to making your country better.


As I always say, what hinders Mister A might not necessarily hinder Mister K. But 30% of submitted student visa applications are usually denied, and it is based on some of the reasons above. Don’t rush. Take your time. Double and triple-check your docs, and be positive.

All the best!

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