Mon | Jan 24, 2022

Immigration Corner: I can't believe I was rejected!

Published:Monday | October 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I applied under the express entry system and got an invitation to apply. I was very excited and I submitted my application for permanent residence. 

I expected to get my visa to live in Canada in no time. Instead my application was rejected about six weeks later and status moved to cancelled.

I submitted all the documents except one that I didn’t get before my time expired. I can’t believe that my application was rejected like that without them even contacting me. I sent the document via email, but I got an automated response. The system is so frustrating. I get bumped out of the system constantly when I’m trying to upload things and after all that time and effort my application is cancelled.  I can’t even get through to anyone via telephone to get help. What I can I do? 

- AM

Dear AM,
I’m sorry to hear that your application was cancelled.  You are one of the few fortunate persons to have received an invitation to apply (ITA) for permanent residence under the express entry system and that is a wonderful opportunity.

Once you receive an ITA you have 60 days in which to submit all the documents requested. The system is automated and so if you fail to submit the documents required within the specific time, your application will inevitably be cancelled. 

There are no exceptions to the rule. You were selected based on information that you provided to be entered into the pool of applicants. If you are unable to provide the documents to substantiate your application, it will be assumed that you may have provided false or misleading information. 

In your particular case, you stated that you merely did not get the required document before the 60 days expired. Unfortunately, you can’t just send the outstanding document on its own via email; and talking to an agent won’t help.

The document must be submitted via your Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) log-in account, uploaded before you declare that all the information and documents are true and complete. Once your final application for permanent residence has been transmitted, you will not be able to add anything without getting permission to do so.

Your application is automatically deemed incomplete if anything is missing. This is similar to the old system where if one document was missing your file would be automatically returned without being processed. Their policy has not changed.

It is therefore your duty to submit all the documents that are requested, in the way required. This is a CIC standard procedure to allow them to be able to process, not just your application, but the application of thousands of individuals, within a reasonable time.

I know the process can be very frustrating; however, it is your duty to provide the documents required within the time specified.  If you are having difficulties providing the documents, you need to provide clear explanations and possibly alternative documentation to reassure CIC that you were not providing false or misleading statements, but that your inability to provide the document was beyond your control.  However, you cannot simply submit an application without providing everything required.

There is a section at the end which allows you to attach a letter of explanation, if this is necessary.

Unfortunately your only option at this point is to submit a new application and hopefully be admitted into the pool again. You will also need to create a new job bank account. 

I recommend that you try uploading the documents late at night when there should be fewer persons trying to access their account, and the Internet traffic is not so busy.

The good thing is that you now know what is required and have all the documents in hand.  Hopefully your Comprehensive Ranking System score hasn’t changed and is high enough that you will not have to wait too long to receive a new invitation to apply for permanent residence.
Chin up and try again. Better luck next time.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars. She is a CIC- authorised immigration representative. Submit your questions and comments via email: