What Do I Include in a Study Permit letter?

Use this guide when writing your letter of explanation!

Are you applying for a Study Permit in Canada? Some applicants can, or will need to, submit a letter with their application. This letter can help you better make your case to the processing officer. It may also be necessary to provide an explanation for any issues with your application. Any applicants who have a set of circumstances that may cause concern to the processing officer can use the letter of explanation as an opportunity to address these potential concerns.

What is a Letter of Explanation?

Your letter of explanation is an opportunity to express your plans and goals to the processing officer. You want to show them that there is a specific purpose in traveling to Canada for your education. The letter should be around 1-2 pages, and it does not need to be extended. It only needs to address any questions they may have. The processing officer should also be confident that you intend to comply with your permit requirements.

You should show your understanding of what you will require as a student permit holder. You must have already planned how to support yourself financially or who will support you financially. For example, you may not receive permission to work with your study permit; therefore, you will need enough savings to last through your program of study, or you must be supported by someone else.

Top Study Permit Letter Tips 

Your letter of explanation is an opportunity for you.

Tip #1: Include a Study Plan

This does not need to be long or detailed, but it should answer some very important questions. If applicable, it should include information on the program and the industry it could lead you to. IRCC must see a tangible value in you completing this program of study.

What to address in your Study Plan:

    • Why do you want to study in Canada?

    • Why don’t you do a similar program in your home country?

    • What are your long-term professional goals?

    • What is the program, and how is it useful to your long-term goals?

Tip #2: Address your Ties to your home country

It should be clear to anyone reviewing your application that you plan to take the education you gain in Canada and apply it to a career in your home country. Therefore, mentioning in the letter how this program of study can help you take that knowledge and experience back to your home country is very important.

Although it is possible to apply to change your permit after your studies, it is generally not a good idea to create that impression when applying for short-term reasons, like to study.

Note: Some applicants for temporary residence can apply with dual-intent. Your history, background, and purpose of travel will determine if this is the right path for you. Contact us today to find out more!

Tip #3: Include Your Previous Educational and Professional Experience

Your previous educational and professional experience is very important when applying for a study permit. Of course, you will need to provide documentation in your application to prove that you have already been accepted into the proposed program of study, proof of your previous education, and your professional history. Some applicants may find it helpful to explain in the letter how their previous experience can be relevant to the proposed program of study in Canada. However, it may not always be evident to the processing officer. As a result, a study permit can be rejected because the program does not make any logical sense given the applicant’s previous experience and future goals. It is up to you to make that connection clear.

Tip #4: Keep it Concise and To-the-Point

Do not include information in the letter of explanation that does not need to be there. Adding unnecessary information to make the letter longer will not help your case. Instead, be concise and address the issues as clearly as you can. For example, when mentioning your previous education, there is no need to go into specific detail about each program you have ever completed. If your prior education aligns with the potential program, simply list them. Suppose the connection between your previous education and the program you’re applying for isn’t immediately obvious. In that case, you can add a few sentences that make the connection for the benefit of the processing officer. The letter should be about 1-2 pages but can be much shorter. You will not be penalized for submitting a short letter if it addresses the important points of your specific application. In fact, you do not even need to submit a letter of explanation. It is not a requirement, and you are not advised to submit one if you do not need to.

Tip #5: Remember, the Letter of Explanation does not replace required documents

The letter of explanation is a great way to strengthen your case, but it does not replace holes in your application. Submitting a letter of explanation instead of something like a proof of education or proof of finances will not work. Proof of education is shown through copies of documents from the educational institutions. And finances can only be proven through documents from your financial institution like bank statements or a letter written on the bank’s letterhead. If you do not have any of these required documents, you must at least show proof that you have gone to lengths to try to obtain them. But simply claiming that you have completed a degree program in your letter of explanation with no documents to confirm it in your application isn’t acceptable. 

At the end

Consulting an immigration professional can help you tailor your application, including the letter of explanation, according to what processing officers are looking for. In addition, an RCIC or immigration lawyer can point out the parts of your application that may concern the officer and help you address them properly.

Contact us at Cohen Brosh Law Offices for individualized advice and up-to-date information if you have any questions. 

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