Sun | Jan 17, 2021

Immigration Corner | Reasons for denial of visa

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I have applied for a Canadian visitor's visa several times and I can't seem to be able to get one. I just want to visit my grandmother who is very ill and I'm worried that she will pass away before I get a chance to see her. I have a USA visa and still Canada keeps rejecting me. Can you tell me why they won't give me a visa?

- A.R.

Dear AR

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the Canadian department of immigration and border protection through their embassies worldwide, which evaluates whether or not an individual should be granted a visitor's visa, tourist visa or temporary resident visa. They have very strict criteria that each individual must satisfy before a visa is granted. There are a number of reasons that an individual may be denied a visa and I will outline some of the reasons below.


Previous Rejection


When you are denied a visa, you are usually provided with a letter from IRCC that outlines the reason for the rejection. Usually, it states the condition that you failed to meet. It is very important that before you reapply, you check all the previous rejection letters and ensure that you are able to meet the required conditions. IRCC will take into consideration your past visa history when processing your application. Furthermore, they will review the previous applications to check for consistency and to ensure that you have documents to prove that you are now able to satisfy those requirements.

If you have received a visa in either Canada or the USA before and you breached the terms of those visas, then the chance of refusal is very high. Conditions of a visa may include that you must leave by a certain date, not work or not study without the requisite permits during the period of time that you are granted. You must not have overstayed on any of your visits outside of your home country.


Inconsistency in your application


Many individuals think that the visa application process is simple and that they can complete the application without the help of a professional. While this may appear so, it is extremely important to ensure that there are no inconsistencies, errors or misrepresentation in your application. Should any inconsistency or misrepresentation be found in your application, not only will your visa be refused, but you will not be given the opportunity to appeal the decision.

It is also against the law to provide false legal documents. In fact, misrepresentation could result in a five-year ban. If you provide a false or misleading document, your visa will be refused and you will be banned. Furthermore, any future applications will run a very high risk of refusal due to the history of providing false and misleading information.


Lack of evidence


When applying for a temporary resident or visitor's visa, you must be able to provide proof of some basic requirements. For example, you must be able to financially support your planned holiday, or if you are sponsored or paid for by someone else, your sponsor must be able to support you financially. This means that you or your sponsor must provide a letter from a recognised financial institution that shows that you can afford the expenses associated with your trip, without experiencing economic hardship. That means that you should be able to afford your trip and continue with your usual everyday expenses such as your mortgage/rent, car payment, utilities and so on.

When applying for a Canadian visa, there must be evidence to support all your claims. If you do not show evidence, your visa is guaranteed to be refused. The most common reason for Canadian visa refusal is lack of evidence of incentive to return home to one's own country.

You will also need to provide supporting documents to show that you have stronger ties to your home country than in Canada.


Proof of


You must provide proof that you are a genuine tourist who plans to return home within the time that was granted to you.

You indicated that your grandmother is in Canada; you should provide proof of other relatives in home your country. For example, spouse, parents and children. They are looking for evidence that you have responsibilities and commitment that will motivate you to return to your home country.

IRCC will need proof that you are visiting for genuine purposes and not planning to arrive on a visitor's visa and stay indefinitely. Evidence of incentive to return home can include employment, strong family ties and responsibilities to others, along with valuable assets in your home country. It is best to consult with an immigration lawyer to guide you with the type of evidence that would be acceptable and advise you on what documents you will require.


Other conditions


When you apply for a visa to Canada, IRCC considers many other things before granting a visa, and it is your duty to find out these requirements before resubmitting the application. The rejection letters should be used as a guide.

One of those things that IRCC examines is your character and whether or not you are a law-abiding citizen. They may investigate any criminal convictions you may have, not just in Canada, but any country you have resided or visited. It is a matter of public interest and safety that those permitted to visit, stay or live in Canada will not pose a danger or threat to other Canadians or visitors to Canada.

Failure to meet the character test or to provide the truth about any convictions you may have, had in the past, will result in refusal of your visa.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada Bars. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, administration of estate, commercial law. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: or call 613-695-8777.