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  • Writer's pictureUzoma Ogbonna

How to Handle A Visitor Visa Refusal

You submitted an application for a visitor visa to Canada and the application was denied. In fact, you've submitted more than one application and the request for a visitor visa keeps getting rejected. To obtain a visitor visa at this point, you need to know why the application was rejected, and what you can do about it.

Why was my Visitor Visa Application Rejected?

Your visitor visa application can be rejected for a many different reasons but it all centers on the immigration officer's belief that you won't go back home if allowed to visit. The main thing you need to understand here is that immigration officers are given a lot of discretion to determine whether they believe a visitor visa applicant will only temporarily be in Canada, in accordance with the requirements of a visitor visa. If they think the applicant will not go back to the home country for any reason, they'll deny the application.

Can I just Reapply for Another Visitor Visa?

Yes, you can. Keep in mind that when you interact with the immigration process in Canada, you are assigned a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) Number. Every application or interaction you have with the Canadian immigration process is attached to your UCI number. This means that all your visitor visa applications are placed in the same file under the UCI number for the next immigration officer who is going to review your application. If nothing has changed in your application, they will likely reject it again. When you reapply for a visitor visa, be strategic in your application and take the steps discussed below:

1. Address the List of Reasons Provided by the Immigration Officer

Your rejected application includes a list of reasons for why your application was rejected. Make sure you respond to these reasons to emphasize why you should be allowed to visit Canada. If you don't know or don't have the List of Reasons, you'll need to file an Access To Information Request.

2. Include New Information in the New Application

Most times you'll need to submit more than the required information for the new application to be given proper consideration, or to show that your situation has changed such that your new application should be approved. To submit a successful visitor visa application, consider submitting evidence of the following:

  • Financial proof that you can maintain yourself while in Canada;

  • Proof that you'll return home at the end of your stay (such as a return ticket or a letter from your employer);

  • Proof that you do not pose a health risk;

  • Proof that you have no criminal record;

  • Proof of a long term connection to your home country, showing that you'll return home;

If all of this is daunting, contact Always Law to help you prepare a successful visitor visa application.

If I Don't Submit Another Visitor Visa, What Else Can I Do?

You can appeal the rejection of your visitor visa. It's important to note though that few are successful on appeal of a rejected visitor visa and you should definitely get a lawyer to take your appeal to the Federal Court. Since the immigration officers are given a lot of discretion to decide which visitor visas to accept or reject, to be successful your lawyer has to show that the immigration officer acted against the law or outside their jurisdiction (their area of power) in deciding against your visitor visa. You have a limited time to appeal, so if you do decide to take this step, contact us at Always Law and we can help you appeal the visa.

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