October 31, 2018

New Instructions for Saudi Arabian Nationals Regarding Study Permits

Posted by Alexandra Goncharova - Bellissimo Law Group PC

As many have heard, on 5 August 2018 the Government of Saudi Arabia announced it was cancelling the funding of its scholarship programs in Canada, effective 31 August 2018, and that all Saudi students in Canada were asked to have their scholarships transferred to other countries to continue their studies and to leave the country by the end of the summer season.

The Saudi Ministry of Education has later announced exceptions to that decision and confirmed that some groups of students will receive new financial scholarships issued by the Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau, in particular:

  • medical trainees, which includes physicians, dentists and nurses
  • graduate (master’s and Ph.D.) students in all academic disciplines
  • undergraduate scholarship students in the final year of their bachelor programs

In light of the above, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced that for applicants who do not fall into any of the categories above, the new instructions are to be followed in the processing of study permits and extensions.

In the new applications for study permits and study permit extensions that include a scholarship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the sole proof of funds, the officers are required to do both of the following:

  • request additional proof of funds from the applicant
  • allow 30 days for the applicant to provide the proof of funds

After 30 days, if additional proof of funds is provided by the applicant, officers will assess the application, taking into consideration the new proof of funds.

If no additional proof of funds is provided, and the officer is not satisfied that the student will be able to pay for tuition, maintain themselves and accompanying family members during their stay and pay for any necessary transportation costs for themselves and their family members, the application will be refused under section 220 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Applications for study permits and study permit extensions from nationals of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that do not include a scholarship from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but include other proof of funds, are to be processed as regular study permit applications.