A boy displaying thumbs down sign with his hands - Canadian Ministry denying French-student's permit A boy displaying thumbs down sign with his hands - Canadian Ministry denying French-student's permit


Is the Canadian Ministry of Immigration denying French-speaking African students permits on purpose?

#studentvisa #immigration

While Justin Trudeau’s administration has always tried to make Canada a country where all are welcome, the truth is that there is still a lot of discrimination when it comes to international students.

This problem has become apparent in recent years after reports surfaced that immigrants from certain countries were significantly more likely to be rejected than others.


Are there Discrimination Issues in Canada?

While Canada has been in stories for discrimination against certain races and countries. The disparity is even more obvious when comparing statistics on students from African countries, particularly those who speak French.

A House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration report stated that the country hosts thousands of international students each year, bringing diversity, and fresh talent and as a result a boost to Canada’s economy.

However, several delays by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) make it hard for graduate and postdoctoral students to obtain permits to stay in the country. Around 500,000 students could not obtain a study permit between 2016 and 2020.


How Will Prejudice Against International Students Only Cause Trouble?

The problem is that most of these students have already been accepted into universities and are often provided research grants and scholarships. This means that all these knowledgeable people then turn to other countries or are left stranded and unable to continue their studies.

Discrimination against French-speaking Africans was observed in particular, which only delays the government's goal of reaching 4.4% Francophones outside Quebec by 2023.



The Startling Disparity in African Student Refusal Rates Compared to Others

The issue worsened during the pandemic because the 60-day delay went up to 200. A disparity was observed in the refusal rates of people from different countries.

People from high-income countries like Australia and the USA were much less likely to be rejected. But those belonging to countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria experienced a lot of obstacles in their study permit process.

A report revealed that a staggering 69% of French-speaking African Students were rejected, compared to a 41% refusal rate for those from other countries.

The situation was even worse for students from Ethiopia, Ghana and Rwanda. They had a 88%, 82% and 81% refusal rate, respectively. Over 77,000 applications reached Canada from French-speaking African countries, and over 53,000 were rejected.


What does the Committee on Citizenship and Immigration Think?

The problem got so dire that a federal committee was formed, conducting a month-long inquiry.

They reported that some changes to the system were necessary, with the chair of the standing committee, Salma Zahid asserting that there should be no bias when considering student applications.

The committee presented 35 recommendations for the government to look into. Although the Trudeau administration tried to take steps to eliminate racism, still systematic racism has not been uprooted and plays a part in African students being rejected for study permits.


On What Basis are French-Speaking African Students Being Rejected?

The immigration department of Canada puts forward several illogical reasons. Students say that the most common reply they've gotten is that based on their personal financial status and the availability of jobs in their home country, Immigration believes that they'll stay in Canada even after completing their studies.

The federal committee for citizenship and immigration believes that more transparency is needed to deal with the discrimination embedded in the system.


Final Thoughts

It may be in Canada's best interests to tackle this issue at the root because they are causing harm to students and themselves. They must work to remove anti-African sentiments and discrimination against immigrants from low-income countries.


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