Diploma Studies in Canada

Year of Publication: 2020

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There is a misconception (in some cases its true) about diploma studies in Canada that if you apply for a visa with a diploma program, you will get a rejection. Is this statement true?

NO - No, visa rejections are not high for PGDs. If you search our Hall of Fame or Visa Approval post topics you will see many successful posts from our members. But if you look at their profile, you will see that they have applied by themselves, chosen a program that best fits with their previous background and future career trajectories, their study plan is well-written, have a decent IELTS score, and have shown genuine and legitimate money.

YES - Yes, if you apply to programs that does not match your background, where you are under-qualified or over qualified, or you copy-paste/garbage study plans (no plans for future). These type of applications obviously will see a rejection due to profile mismatch.

PGDs are not at fault. The fault is YOUR program choice.

Most common cause of rejections are:

More details are explained in this NOTE:

Rejected? Why and How to Overcome them?

Link: http://www.pbscu.ca/rejection.html

If you are interested to study Diploma in Canada, follow these steps:

Step-1: Collect Information:

As like an undergraduate or a graduate program, your first task would be to ask yourself “Am I really interested to study diploma programs in Canada? If yes, why?”. Students choose diploma programs for various reasons, e.g., lower tuition fees, flexible eligibility criteria, career, or immigration opportunities. You need to find out your own reasons to study a diploma program in Canada.  For this you need to do a research by yourself: Use Google. Spend 2-3 hours. Write down positives and negatives in a piece of paper and then decide what to do based on your profile.

How to "Google" Information?

Link: http://www.pbscu.ca/google.html

2) Think Like a Bona Fide Student:

You probably have seen lots of students getting rejected from diploma with causes like “purpose of visit” or from GCMS Notes “Not a bona fide student”. This happens when you do NOT think like a student and choose a wrong program. This happens for two reasons: (a) you went to someone or somewhere who based on your poor CGPA or work experience suggested you a program that they get commission from. They may demotivate you that you will not get admission or the visa if you do not “choose” this specific program. As they already demotivated you, you will take any offer that they give you thinking that “something is better than nothing”. (2) you want to immigrate to Canada. You and your spouse’s points are not sufficient. You are looking for any college or program that gives you an offer letter without even checking your profile. In your mind, you are thinking “I do not care what program it is; I just need to enter Canada and then manage something for immigration.” When you think like a potential immigrant, or a worker, or a refugee; you made the first mistake. You are applying for a “student visa”. You need to think like a potential student, does not matter what is your ultimate motive is. As your applied for a “study permit”, a Visa Officer evaluates your profile “as a potential student” who will “contribute to Canadian economy paying tuition fees”, will not “work full time to survive”, and have “strong enough reasons to go back to their own countries” to utilize their skills. Now, how to think like a bona fide student? Read the next point.

3) Choice of The Program:

The most important point that will determine whether you will get your visa or not is “appropriate program choice”. If you make a mistake here as you were not thinking like a student, the chance of you getting a study permit is very slim. Now, you need to consider several factors:

(a) Types of diploma: If you have done your searches, you will see there are different types of diploma, e.g., post-graduate diploma, undergraduate diploma, associate degree, advanced diploma, certificate programs among many. Based on your education, you need to short list the programs that you want to pursue. For this, rather looking at the title of the diploma programs, you should look at the eligibility criteria. Like, if you have a bachelor’s degree, you should NOT go for a diploma where high school students are eligible to apply. Some programs are offered by colleges and some by Universities. Again, google is your savior.

How to "Google" Information?

Link: http://www.pbscu.ca/google.html

(b) Appropriate Program Selection:

Institution and program that you choose for pursuing your diploma are equally important. A wrong choice can lead to the visa rejection or you may need to change the institution or the program after coming to Canada which is frustrating in addition to time consuming and wastage of money. Many institutions now do not refund tuition fees if you want to switch after getting the visa as many students leave their program after getting the visa.

How to select a suitable institute and diploma program?

During choosing a program, several factors must be considered:

[1] Does it match my profile and career progression?

Google information about the program that you want to pursue (e.g., a PGD in IT) and make a list of universities or colleges that offer the program. Make an excel file and compare your qualification against their admission criteria. Remember, admission to diploma programs follows different styles. For example, some are extremely competitive and after application, you must wait for some time to get offer letter. For example, a PGD in Regulatory Affairs at Seneca College is extremely competitive. For some others, the admission is straightforward and easier. You need to apply online and they will give you an offer (more details in the next step).

"Profile Mismatch" is one of the major reasons of diploma visa rejection. You should make sure your previous education background or job experience matches to the new program so that it looks like a rational career progression. If you choose a completely new program, make sure you write strong reasons of changing track. A well-written individualized study plan can help you convince a visa officer.

Some cases of “program mismatch” and “wrong program choice”:

(a) You have an MBA and then you want to pursue a 3-year diploma program which high school students are also eligible to apply.

(b) You have a degree in IT and 10 years experience as an IT officer at bank. Now, you have applied to study supply chain management.


As mentioned in point 2, if you do not think like a bona fide student, you will not get the study permit. Remember, admission criteria for most of the diploma programs are flexible and they do send out offer letter to lots of students and they know not all students will get the visa. Therefore, do not be happy to get an offer letter, you should target to get an offer letter to an “appropriate program”.

[2] What do students say about this institution and the program?

Check reviews of the program and the University or College. Search like this in Google, different higher study groups, and canadavisa forum/Quora:

"Institution Name" Student Reviews

"Program Name" in "Institution Name" Reviews

"Program Name" Visa Rejection

"Institution Name" Visa Rejection

You should also look for current students studying in that program/institution. Ask them about the quality of education, do they recommend the program, do they pursue the program or typically leave the program after moving to Canada, tuition fees or any other fees, quality of faculty members and student life in the city, post-degree job opportunities.

Why these matters? These matters because if you choose a lower quality program with a good profile (overqualified), this will signal you may not be a bona fide student.

Web resources:

1. https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2020

2. https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2020/world-ranking

3. https://www.macleans.ca/education/canadas-top-school-by-reputation-2020

4. http://www.aucc.ca/canadian-universities/our-universities

5. http://www.somewhereinblog.net/blog/ragibhasanblog/29237266


[3] What do you know about the program and the institution? 

- World or Canada ranking of the university/college and the program?

- Tuition fees of the program and how it compares with other programs/institutions.

- Geographical location and possible cost of living

[4] Is the program PGWP-eligible and the length of PGWP?

From this websites, you can find out these information: 

Eligibility: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/study-permit/prepare/designated-learning-institutions-list.html

Length: www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/study-permits/post-graduation-work-permit-program/permit.html#validity



[5] What are the post-degree job opportunities?

Check reviews of the program and the University or College. Search like this in Google, different higher study groups, reedit, canadavisa forum:

"Program Name" in "Institution Name" Post-Degree Job Opportunities.

You should also look for current students studying in that program/institution. Ask them about the quality of education, do they recommend the program, do they pursue the program or typically leave the program after moving to Canada, tuition fees or any other fees, quality of faculty members and student life in the city, post-degree job opportunities.

If a program has co-op option, choose that program. That's a highly sought program and will help you to secure a secure after the diploma.

[6] Immigration Opportunities:

Some students tend to select an institute where a degree leads to immigration in that province. That gives them a limited scope of choosing an appropriate program. For example, you applied for a visa in the Atlantic province to a completely wrong program just to be eligible for Atlantic Pilot. This way you are just giving away all the clue that your main is not “study” there. It’s not impossible to get visa in that province, but you need to make sure your profile matches to the program and you have written a believable Study Plan.


4) Application to The Institute:

After you shortlist 5-10 programs that matches your previous education or job experience considering all the factors mentioned above, you next task is to apply to the program. As said in the last point, some programs are extremely competitive, and some are very flexible. Do these: E-Mail to the program coordinator with your CV and ask them to evaluate your profile and how to apply to the program. Based on their response, directly apply to the program. If they do not reply, directly submit an application.


5) Visa Application:

If your program choice is appropriate, getting a study permit is not difficult. You need to apply properly without getting biased and fraudulent information.

Follow the PBSCU guideline on this: http://www.pbscu.ca/study-permit.html

In addition, read these two documents carefully:




Some tips:


Think like a bona fide student. That's the key.