Facing a refusal of your visitor visa, study permit, or work permit application can be devastating and it may be unclear as to why or how to move forward. Shory Law will clarify any information and help prepare either a reconsideration, new application, or file for judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada.

Understanding why your Visa Application Was Rejected or Refused

Typically, when a study permit, work permit, or visitor visa is refused the applicant received a letter stating the reasons why. However, although this letter may provide some indication of the deciding officer’s concerns, a true understanding of what went wrong requires a review of the Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes. These notes can be provided either through an Access to Information and Privacy Request (ATIP) or through a Rule 9 letter at the Federal Court of Canada.

When a study permit, work permit, or visitor visa is rejected there are often three options available to the individual to resolve the matter:

  1. Submit a reconsideration request
  2. Re-apply for the application (after you have received the GCMS notes)
  3. File for judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada

Common Reasons for why Study Permits, Work Permits, and Visitor Visas are Refused

  1. Insufficient Family Ties to the Home Country
    Absence of adequate ties to the home country can impact chances adversely as this may raise doubts on the applicant’s intent to return home after completing his or her studies. Normally, having a family established in the home country with ownership of properties and other assets may be enough to prove family ties. The applicant must take care to avoid financial transactions and other decisions that may raise doubts about ties with the home country.
  2. Does the job make sense for the applicant?
    Among other requirements, officers may refuse a work permit because they do not believe that the individual can reasonably partake in and complete the job that they are applying for. It is important to demonstrate how and why this job makes sense for this applicant.
  3. Inadequate Travel History
    This reason often impacts those who have just completed high school and have limited traveled abroad in the past. While this point is not considered in isolation and authorities must take other relevant factors into account, not having travelled outside the country or never having travelled by air may cause your study permit, work permit, or visitor visa application to be rejected.Interestingly, the Federal Court of Canada has made it clear in Dhanoa v. Canada (MCI), 2009 FC 729 that a lack of previous travel history can only at most be a neutral factor and should not prejudice an application for temporary residence.
  4. Financial Insufficiency
    The Program Delivery Instructions clearly states that the applicant is required to provide proof of adequate finances only for the first year of the course. Yet, applications often get rejected because the immigration officer suspected financial insufficiency. Hence, merely focusing on the first year may not suffice. Ideally, you can minimize chances of rejection by showing proof of adequate finances for more than 1-year, even though this is expressly indicated as not being required for acceptance.
  5. Dual Intent
    A study permit or a work permit is a temporary residence permit that requires the applicant to intend to leave Canada upon expiry of the permit. Yet, the doctrine of Dual Intent, as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, permits such individuals to intend to eventually become permanent residents. As outlined in the Operation Manuals available online:A person’s desire to apply for temporary resident status and permanent resident status in Canada is legitimate. An officer should distinguish between a temporary residence applicant whose intentions are bona fide and an applicant who has no intention of leaving Canada at the end of their authorized stay if the application for permanent residence is refused.

Reapplying for a Visa

Besides filing an application for judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada, reapplying is another alternative for a refused study permit, work permit, or visitor visa. Note multiple refusals for the same visa may hurt any future applications.

Shory Law will work diligently and guide you on whether judicial review or re-applying is the best option.

Our legal team is equipped with the tools and knowledge to ensure that you take the right steps to gather as much information as possible to understand why your application was refused. If you choose to file for judicial review at the Federal Court of Canada, Shory Law can fight for a reconsideration of the initial decision by a new visa officer.

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Do not delay. Contact us for a consultation regarding your immigration refusal. We will work with you every step of the way as we pursue your desired outcome. Call us today at: +1 (403) 216-1199 or click the button below to fill out an online form and our office will reach out to you directly!


What should I do if my study permit is refused?

If your study permit is refused we recommend taking the file to the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review. However, you also have the option to re-apply or request a reconsideration from the deciding visa officer.

What if my work permit extension is refused?

If your work permit extension is refused, depending on the timing of the refusal, you may be out of status in Canada. If you are out of status in Canada, you typically have 90 days to restore that status. Typically, we recommend taking the file to the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review. However, you also have the option to request restoration of your status back to a work permit holder if you qualify.

Can you appeal a visitor visa refusal?

If your visitor visa is refused, you can request the decision be review at the Federal Court of Canada. If you win your application, the visitor visa will be returned to the deciding visa office for reconsideration by a new decision-maker.

My study permit application was refused due to insufficient evidence of financial support. What are my options?

If your study permit application is refused due to insufficient evidence of financial support, you can review the refusal reasons and gather additional documentation to demonstrate your ability to cover your tuition fees and living expenses in Canada. This may include providing bank statements, scholarship letters, or sponsorship letters. Consulting with an immigration lawyer can help you assess the requirements and present a stronger case in your reapplication.

My work permit application was refused because of a mismatch between my qualifications and the job requirements. What can I do?

If your work permit application was refused due to a qualification mismatch, you could consider addressing the issue by providing additional evidence of your skills, training, or relevant experience that aligns with the job requirements. You may need to provide detailed job descriptions, reference letters, or educational credentials to demonstrate your suitability for the position.

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