Canadian Permanent ResidenceCanadian temporary visaRefused Visa

What to Do If Your Canadian Visa Is Rejected

Published on: July 28th, 2015
Last updated: May 16th, 2022

If your Canadian visa is rejected by Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), starting a life in Canada can seem hopeless. However, depending on the visa you applied for, and the reason for its rejection, you may still have options.

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My application to Canada has not been accepted

Your options on how to proceed following a rejection largely depend on two things:

  1. What type of Canadian status you applied for; and
  2. The reason you were not granted your visa

Were you refused a temporary resident visa like a visitor or student permit? Or was it an application for Canadian permanent residence? The type of visa you applied for makes all the difference when determining the best way to proceed.

There is also the important matter of determining if your file was actually “refused” or simply just “returned”.  This is a distinction that might not be clear to you now, but understanding the difference between the two terms is critically important before any attempt to reapply is made.

Refused vs. returned:

If the visa officer assigned to your case determines that your application does not meet the minimum requirements for the visa you are applying for, they will refuse the application. They can also refuse your application for medical or criminal reasons; however, this is a rare occurrence. Typically, any government processing fees paid will not be refunded to you if your application is refused.

Conversely, if your application package is returned to you, it means that you did not provide sufficient documentation to prove your eligibility. You can also have your application package returned to you if the quota for the program you applied under was full at the time your file was received by the immigration authorities. If your application is returned to you, you should be entitled to a refund of the government processing fees that you have paid.

Refused visa:

If you are refused, things can get a bit more complicated than if your application was simply returned. If your visa was refused for medical or criminal inadmissibility, you should contact a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer to advise you further.

If your application was refused for insufficient documents, depending on what they were, you can still come to Canada but you need to reevaluate your documentation. It is advisable to retain a Canadian Immigration lawyer who can help correct any mistakes that were made in your initial application.

It should be mentioned that being refused a temporary visa (student, work or visitor) does not mean you can’t apply for Canadian Permanent Residence. In fact, many refusals for temporary visas are because the visa officer has concerns that you will not leave Canada at the end of your Canadian status. A permanent residence application is just that, permanent. They want you to stay in Canada. As you can see, a refusal does not have to spell disaster for your plans to live in Canada.

Returned file:

If the file is returned, and you miss the quota for the program you are applying for, unfortunately, you are out of luck (unless you are qualified for another immigration category that is still accepting applications).

But if your application was returned because you were missing documents or you incorrectly filled out paperwork, this can easily be overcome by providing the corrected documents and simply reapplying.

Remember, a visa officer will almost never ask you to provide additional documentation to clarify your case. They will either return or refuse your application. With quotas and caps and changes to Canadian Immigration, it is always best to carefully review the requirements of the visa you are applying for and ensure that your application meets, or, exceeds them.

Why risk losing your chance for a better life in Canada over something as minor as a missing document or an unchecked box on your forms. Do it right the first time with some help from your friends at Canadim. Whether you are working overseas or in your home country, let Canadim handle the A-Z of your application so you can have peace of mind knowing that your file is in good hands.

Fill out our free online assessment and let us help you achieve your Canadian Immigration goals!

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