Sun | Oct 22, 2017

What am I doing wrong?

Published:Tuesday | October 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I submitted my application under the federal skilled worker programme. I submitted everything they asked for and the forms came back twice. I'm confused and time is running out. What could I be doing wrong?

- TP

Dear TP,

I'm sorry to hear that your application form was returned. It is not uncommon for persons who do not have the required experience with dealing with applications to the various immigration authorities to have their application rejected because of various errors or omissions. I am not able to say the particular problem with your application without first reviewing the documents. However, I will outline below some of the common mistakes made by applicants.

1. Incomplete or inconsistent forms

A major problem with most visa applications is that individuals provide incomplete or inconsistent information in their application. CIC will not overlook that. You have a duty to ensure that basic personal information such as your name, address, age, occupation, and other personal details are complete and consistent. This information should be the same as your supporting documents. So, for example, if they call you 'Tony Powell', but the name on your birth certificate is 'Anthony Powell', you must put that your given name is Anthony and your nickname, or alias, is 'Tony Powell'.

2. Not signing the forms

Another common mistake is not signing the forms or not signing in the designated areas. Some sections on the form are reserved for signing in the presence of a visa officer or an official government representative. You must not sign that area beforehand. This mistake, as innocuous as it seems, will result in your visa application being rejected or returned.

3. Incomplete or missing documents

You must COMPLETE the application and submit all the required documents. Applications that do not have all the necessary information and accompanying documents are usually returned. So if the application calls for ORIGINALS, you must submit originals and not copies. You must answer every question. If a section does not apply to you, you must put N/A, or 'not applicable', or the word 'NONE', depending on the form you are completing.

4. Failing to attach the requisite fees

There is a fee for processing all applications. You must ensure that you submit the correct application fee, which is usually based on the type of visa and the number of persons included in the application. You must use the currency and payment method stipulated. If you chose the option of certified cheque or money order, you must ensure that it is payable to the correct entity as stated in the instruction guide.

5. Picking the wrong visa office

Another major problem is submission of the application to the wrong visa office. You must send your application to the visa office that is responsible for processing your particular application. If you fail to do so, your application may spend months in the wrong office before it is returned to you.

6. Using outdated forms

I sympathise with applicants who are not in the business of ensuring that they get the updated forms or who do not keep abreast of changing rules and regulations as immigration professionals routinely do. However, if you choose to submit your application without the help of a professional, you have a duty to yourself to check to ensure that you are using the latest/the most updated forms. Submitting an application with the wrong form will result in the application being returned.

7. Other common mistakes

The other common mistakes are sending application packages with the wrong photo specifications; providing misleading answers to questions; or failing to provide explanations where they are required. Completing the forms online is a good way to safeguard against errors and omissions.

As stated earlier, the list above is not exhaustive. I am not able to advise on your particular case, but as you indicated, time is running out and, therefore, you must be extremely careful. Mistakes, errors, and omissions have very grave consequences and will result in delays, unnecessary expenses, and possibly outright rejection or cancellation of the application.

My concern is that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been receiving applications from around the world on a daily basis and there is a limit on the number of applications that they will accept under the federal skilled worker programme this year. Therefore, to prevent further delay and stress, I think it is best to consult with an immigration lawyer immediately to provide you with personal legal advice.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, commercial, family, and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Tel: 613-695-8777. Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer