In the recently published "IRCC Anti-Racism Employee Focus Groups" Final Report, IRCC was accused of being biased against applications from African countries.
Immigration officials denied this claim, indicating that the approval rates for study permit applications from African countries, especially from French-speaking applicants are relatively high.
According to the officials, “there cannot be any bias in the process, and there are many other factors at play.” However, universities in Canada agree that the high refusal rates for applications from francophone African countries need to be addressed immediately.
Some participants expressed concern that overt and subtle racism displayed by both employees and decision makers could and probably would affect case processing. According to some of them, differences in refusal rates by country indicate some kind of bias.
Also, they suggest that established practices for the sake of expediency or performance can also take on discriminatory overtones. These include:
Discriminatory rules for processing immigration applications from some countries or regions that are different than for others (e.g., additional financial document requirements for applications from Nigeria)
Concern that increased automation of processing will embed racially discriminatory practices in a way that will be harder to see over time