Non-SDS Visa Rejection Rate in Canada: What You Need to Know

Canada attracts a lot of visitors every year due to its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and opportunities it offers. The country has a thriving tourism industry, and many visitors come to Canada for study, work, or to settle permanently. However, not everyone who applies for a visa gets approved. In this article, we will discuss the non-SDS visa rejection rate in Canada, the reasons behind it, and tips to improve your chances of approval.

Key Takeaways

  • The non-SDS visa rejection rate is higher compared to the SDS visa category.
  • The main reasons for rejection include incomplete documentation, insufficient funds or income, criminal background, and medical inadmissibility.
  • Applicants need to ensure they meet all the necessary requirements and provide all the necessary documentation to show their eligibility.
  • Applicants can also consider hiring a licensed immigration consultant to assist them with their application process.

Understanding Non-SDS Visa Category

Non-SDS (Student Direct Stream) category is for international students who want to study in Canada in institutions that are not part of the SDS program. The SDS program streamlines the process for international students applying for a study permit. Therefore, non-SDS applicants have to provide additional documentation and fulfil more requirements to get a study permit.

Non-SDS Visa Rejection Rate

The non-SDS visa rejection rate is higher compared to the SDS visa category. According to the Canadian Immigration department, the non-SDS visa approval rate in 2019 was 84.7%. This means that around 1 in 6 applicants were rejected. The approval rate for SDS visas increased from 81.6% in 2018 to 84.9% in 2019. The higher approval rate is due to the additional requirements that SDS applicants need to fulfil.

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Reasons for Visa Rejection

  1. Incomplete Documentation: One of the most common reasons for rejection is incomplete documentation. Applicants need to provide all the necessary documents, such as their passport, educational qualifications, English language proficiency test scores, and more. Missing out on any of these documents can result in rejection.

  2. Insufficient Funds or Income: Applicants need to show proof that they have enough funds to cover their tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs. They need to provide bank statements, financial documents, and other evidence to show their financial stability.

  3. Criminal Background: Applicants with a criminal record or who have committed an offense in the past may be deemed inadmissible to Canada. The Canadian government takes a strong stance against crime and considers these factors when assessing an application.

  4. Medical Inadmissibility: Applicants with a medical condition that can pose a risk to public health or safety may not be eligible for a visa. They need to undergo medical examinations, and their medical history is assessed before determining whether they are admissible.

Tips to Improve Your Chances

  1. Apply in Advance: Applying for a visa well in advance can help you avoid delays and increase your chances of approval. You can also avoid the peak season when the number of visa applications is high.

  2. Seek Professional Help: Hiring a licensed immigration consultant can help you navigate the application process more effectively. They can guide you on the requirements, documentation, and other factors that can affect your application.

  3. Double-check All Documentation: Ensure you provide all the necessary documents and cross-check them to confirm their accuracy. Submitting incomplete or inaccurate documentation can lead to rejection.

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The non-SDS visa rejection rate in Canada is higher compared to the SDS visa category. It is crucial for applicants to meet all the eligibility criteria and provide complete documentation to avoid rejection. Hiring a licensed immigration consultant can help you streamline the application process and increase your chances of approval.


Q: What is the difference between SDS and non-SDS visa categories?

A: SDS is a program designed to streamline the process for international students applying for a study permit. The non-SDS category is for students who want to study in institutions that are not part of the SDS program.

Q: How long does it take to process a non-SDS visa application?

A: The processing time for non-SDS visa applications varies depending on several factors, such as the volume of applications and the time of year. Generally, it takes around 8 to 12 weeks to process a non-SDS visa application.

Q: Can I appeal if my non-SDS visa application is rejected?

A: Yes, you can appeal the decision. You need to review the rejection letter and identify the reason for rejection. You can then provide additional information or documentation to support your case. It is advisable to seek professional assistance when appealing the decision.

About the Author

Latasha W. Bolt

Latasha is a travel writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has a degree in journalism and has been traveling the world since she was a teenager. Latasha is experienced in navigating the visa and passport application process and shares her knowledge and experiences on the blog. Her articles are personal and engaging, providing readers with a unique perspective on the joys and challenges of international travel.

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