A study permit ‘Statement of Purpose’, otherwise known as a Study Plan, is a letter that is drafted by the applicant of a study permit. The letter outlines the purpose of study and explains to the officer what the applicant’s plans are for their future and why they have chosen to study at that particular school, college, or university.
There are many do’s and don’ts about a study plan. They should never be overlooked, as they can be the cause of many reasons for refusal. Refusal letters often appear with the following:
- 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 the purpose of your visit.
This generally means that they are not convinced that you are a genuine student and are not entirely happy with your SOP.
SOP best practices:
- Make sure your study plan is not an example of your final thesis! 2–3 pages should be enough to put forth your plans and future endeavours.
- Write it yourself.
- Use a spell checker
- Be concise
- It should preferably be typed, but if handwritten, make it neat and sign.
- Use the study permit questionnaire provided in the document checklist
- Outline the research you carried that caused you to arrive at the decision to choose your college or university and to choose Canada as your study destination
- Include all family you have in your country of residence. Family ties are extremely important
- Be sure to include all your educational history. Even that 2-month night school course is important and shows your intent on education and learning
- Finish with a summary. This gives you the opportunity to thank the reader for their time.
- Use a question-and-answer format
- Try to be too clever. Stick to the facts
- Employ a professional to write it for you. This is misrepresentation and can result in a refusal
- Include information that you cannot verify
- Lie or embellish the truth
- Show outbursts of emotions, including: anger or annoyance if you have been refused before, rudeness, wittiness, etc.
Finally, here are a few tips to get started with your Canadian Study Plan:
- Understand your program and how it aligns with your future goals
- Show your understanding of a study permit as a type of temporary residency by letting the officer know that you intend on going back to your country of residency after your studies
- Don’t copy and paste the SOP you submitted to your school, college, or university for admission. They serve different purposes.
- Be prepared to compare your program in Canada with its equivalent in your country of residence (or home country, if they are different)
- Avoid mentioning that you want to stay back in Canada after your studies! While this is allowed (per the law regarding Dual Intent), avoid it
Canada is renowned for its world-class education, multicultural environment, and post-graduation opportunities. Whether you’re eyeing a degree, diploma, or certificate, a Canadian study permit is your gateway to a transformative learning experience.