Immigration Corner | I want a visa
Dear Ms Powell,
I have been working up courage to apply for a visitor's visa. The problem is that everyone in my family who has applied has been turned down. I have a job, but I am not sure what they are looking for. My cousin says that she didn't show enough ties. Not sure what that means. Can you tell me how I can prepare to make sure my application is successful?
A visitor's visa/temporary resident visa to Canada is usually issued to individuals who are able to satisfy a visa officer that they will respect the terms of the visa. It is usually granted when the applicant is able to prove that he will return to his home country at the end of the period of time allowed, has the economic resources to afford the trip, and that he is not a risk to the Canadian society.
When your family members were refused, they would have a received a letter outlining the reason for the refusal. Examine that letter to ensure that you are not found lacking in those areas, too.
Another important factor is that you will need to provide evidence that you will not work while visiting Canada, and provide a detailed explanation for the reason that you would like to visit Canada.
If you are visiting a family member, who is a permanent resident or citizen, that person would need to send an invitation letter that has been signed in the presence of a Canadian notary public. The invitation must outline the reason for the visit and who will be financially responsible for your visit. It should also contain details of where you will be staying and the activities in which you will be involved in.
Most people are told that they do not have enough 'ties' to their home country. This means that it will be your responsibility is to establish social and economic ties to Jamaica - things that will motivate you to return to your home country at the end of the time granted. You will need to show that there are other people who are dependent on you in your home country.
Some of the documents you may submit to prove this are:
- Letter from your employer that outlines your position, your salary, and the period of time that you have worked there. It should also state the vacation time that you are entitled to.
- If you are a business owner, proof of registration of business and your most recent tax returns would be helpful. You may also submit copies of ongoing contracts with other companies/ individuals if you are self-employed.
- You may also submit a letter from a justice of the peace or minister in your community who can attest to your character and involvement in your community.
- Your bank statement from your bankers to show your savings and investments. This amount needs to exceed the cost of your travelling and living expense during the time that you intend to be away without causing financial hardship on you and your family.
- Proof of ownership of property such as land, house, motor vehicle.
- Membership to professional organisations.
- You must also have a valid passport that will not expire within the next six months, preferably valid for a minimum of one year.
- Your previous travelling experience is sometimes examined to see if you have visited other countries and not exceeded the time that you were granted.
- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, commercial, real estate, family, and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject line: Immigration Twitter: deidrespowell Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.