When the pandemic began, student visa refusals in Canada, Australia, the UK, and the US reached an all-time high due to closed borders. By the end of 2021, the rate of approval for study visa to the UK, the US, and Canada rebounded to record levels. The same cannot be said for Australia however, as not much improvement was seen in the number of visas issued.
Pre-COVID, Canada’s visa refusal rate was at 15%. Now, it has climbed to 41% — more than double the previous percentage. A recent report from the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration detailed how 225,402 study visa applications were processed in 2021, but 91,439 of them were rejected.
While the number of student visas issued were improving, that also meant that student visa refusals have increased. IndiaTimes speculated that the reason for these high rejection rates is due to pending applications and COVID-19 backlogs since 2020.
According to IndiaTimes, both Canada and Australia have uncovered hundreds and thousands of cases in which forged documents were used to obtain education visas. In 2020 and 2021, the Australian Department of Home Affairs found upwards of 600 cases of Indian students from Punjab and Haryana submitting alleged fake paperwork.
The Canadian High Commission, on the other hand, reported more than 2,500 similar cases during that particular time period. This is far from being isolated incidents, as shown in this 2022 report of students from two Telugu states desperately forging their papers for a chance at landing a US visa.
Punjab-born students who have submitted applications to study abroad are being rejected left and right, according to IndiaTimes. Dainik Bhaskar’s investigations into these phenomena found that the grounds for these rejections include fraudulent bank statements and birth certificates, fake paperwork regarding the schooling gap, and the mistrust of foreign officials.
What happens if you submit fake documents?
The likelihood of visa officers rejecting your visa application after you have been suspected of submitting fake paperwork is high. The worst case scenario? The visa officer is skeptical about your intentions in regards to a student visa application.
When that happens and a visa officer suspects you are arriving under the pretext of studying, investigation into your application takes off. You will be asked additional questions and a visa will not be issued until satisfactory responses are given.