Applying for a study permit in Canada can be a complicated and lengthy process. Even following the guidelines on the IRCC website and including every possible document you can think of can still result in a refused application.
Financial issues are frequently cause for refusal. One assumes that the more money you have higher chance of approval. This could not be further from the truth. Having a lump sum of money deposited into your bank account does not necessarily prove to the officer that you have sufficient funds to remain in Canada or that the funds were obtained legitimately or in a sustainable manner.
Often, the reason for refusal is outlined as:
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay, as stipulated in subsection 216(1) of the IRPR, based on your personal assets and financial status.
Here are the answers to many financial questions we get asked about study permit applications at Doherty Fultz Immigration:
- Can I have a friend or family member provide funds for my studies?
Yes. This is perfectly acceptable. However, it is always preferable to have these funds showing in your own account. Accessibility is the key here. If your family or friend shows huge sums in their own bank account the officer will question how you will get access to them if you need them urgently. This is slightly different if you are a dependent that is under the age of 18.
- What if I don’t have a bank account?
If you are a minor or are still supported by your parents it is perfectly understandable that you may not have your own bank account. It is advisable however, that whoever is supporting you assist you to open up a bank account in your name and submit sufficient funds to your personal account. This shows a level of trust and it proves that you will have instant access to the funds when you need them.
- What is the minimum amount of funds I must have access to?
This is the most common question. You must have sufficient funds to pay your first year’s tuition fee in full + CAD$10,000. So, if your tuition fee is CAD$20,000 and you have already paid an upfront deposit of CAD$5,000 then you must have access to a minimum of CAD$25,000, CAD$15,000 for the balance of your tuition fee + CAD$10,000 in addition.
- Does it matter if my funds are not Canadian?
The currency you hold funds in is not an issue at all, however, you must show what those funds are in Canadian dollars, so you must show a currency conversion. Once converted, the funds must cover the amount discussed in point 2. Please be aware, however, that currency fluctuations may result in the converted totals on assessment being different than the converted totals at submission and result in the application being refused.
- Can more than one supporter provide my finances?
Yes. You can have multiple financial supporters, but they must all provide proof of their finances along with ID’s and 6 months of bank statements to support ability to finance the applicant’s studies in Canada. Preferably, this is also accompanied by a bank letter outlining the details of the bank account holder and how long they have held an account with the bank.
- What if my finances only cover the minimum requirement?
Technically, as long as you meet the minimum requirements then you have met the threshold. However, should your application show weakness in other areas then the lack of substantial finances may result in a negative decision when coupled with other issues in the application.
- Do I have to have paid my tuition fees?
No. It is not a mandatory requirement by IRCC to have paid your tuition fees but the college/university may have a deposit requirement so you must check. We always advise that a deposit is paid as this shows intent to study.
- How should I display my finances in my application?
When preparing your financial documents for submission, we always advise you to organize them in descending order. You should have the highest funds and most recent bank statements appear first. Any conversions should be clearly displayed after each financial total.
- How many bank statements should I make available?
We advise that you have a minimum of 6 months, but anything up to a year’s worth of bank statements is good.
- Can I just show my bank statement balance?
No. An IRCC officer is looking not just for an eligible amount. They are looking to see activity. If a large sum has been deposited purely for the purpose of getting a Canadian study permit approval, then it can look suspicious if there is no supporting letter from the financer. Equally so, if nobody else is supporting the application, then they want to see if the applicant has a regular income or savings and is capable of supporting themselves for the duration of their studies.