In 2021, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that it had found the denial of a study permit application based on the past academic record. They perceived inconsistencies in the educational goals of an Indian citizen, to be unjustified. The court granted a judicial review of the case.
In 2021, the applicant, an Indian national, received an acceptance letter to enroll in a full-time graduate program in International Business Management at Niagara College in Toronto. Alongside the acceptance letter, the applicant applied for a study permit and temporary residence permit to IRCC.
The applicant received a notification rejecting his study permit application several months later. The rejection was due to his prior academic performance and perceived inconsistencies in his educational objectives.
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Study Permit Denial Decision
The applicant had achieved grades ranging from 40% to 59% in core subjects on his University of Mumbai transcripts. Using this information, the officer concluded that the applicant must demonstrate the necessary academic proficiency to successfully complete the study program in Canada.
The officer observed that the applicant initially applied for Data Analytics for Business. Which was refused, and later applied for International Business Management. The officer argued that the applicant’s educational goals in Canada appeared inconsistent across these two applications. And that the applicant needed to explain this inconsistency.
The court determined that the officer’s findings concerning the applicant’s prior academic performance lacked justification and transparency. In particular, the officer needed to establish a clear connection between the applicant’s past academic history and the likelihood of success in the intended program of study. The court emphasized that it could not assume that low grades in one field indicated an inability to excel in different area of study.
Past Grades Don’t Limit Success in New Programs
The court referred to a similar case, Patel v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), where the judge pointed out that one can successfully complete a program without necessarily excelling. Academic success depends on dynamic, not static, factors.
Niagara College was confident that the applicant had the qualifications to complete the program and contribute significantly to the college.
Besides, regarding the consistency of the applicant’s educational goals, the immigration officer lacked adequate explanation for deeming them “inconsistent.” The applicant provided a letter explaining their decision to opt for the International Business program. Without further justification from the officer, it remains unclear how the officer determined the goals to be “inconsistent.”
This case underscores that prior poor academic performance should not automatically bar an applicant from obtaining a study permit. Furthermore, applicants can pursue various study programs in Canada if they provide a rationale or explanation for their choice.