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6 reasons why your visitor visa was refused and how to reapply

If you submitted a visitor visa application to Canada and it was refused, it is important to know that this refusal may have an impact on future applications you make to Canada.

While Canada is a welcoming country for permanent and temporary resident permits such as work and study permits, we have found that a significant number of applicants have seen their visitor visa applications refused. There is certainly no right formula to guarantee the success of a visitor visa application as the final decision has to be made by the immigration officer, but there are ways to reduce your chances of refusal.

1. You did not show intention that you will leave Canada after your stay.

This is the most common and most important factor in a visitor visa application. The essence of the visitor visa is to allow you to visit Canada, you must show that this is your real and only intention.

The information and documents you provide in your application should convince the immigration officer that you are returning to your home country after your visit in Canada. Whether it is family ties or a job back home, a hobby that you take part of weekly, a community that you are a part of, you must demonstrate your ties to your home country.

2. You provided documents in the wrong format

If you provided documents that are not translated to English or French, you might as well have not provided them as they will likely not be considered.

Another example is in order to prove your financial self-sufficiency, you might have given a bank statement which shows a recent donation of 5000$ from a friend. This doesn't show your proof of funds/financial support for travel as the money was gifted to you.

3. You copied off someone else's application

It is very common for applicants to ask their friends who have received successful applications for their advice. However, we know that everyone applying for a visitor visa in Canada is in a different situation and you should analyze your application subjectively.

4. You only provided the bare minimum (information and documents)

Immigration Canada provides a list of documents which differ depending on your country of origin. This list represents the minimum documents required in order for the immigration officer to consider reviewing your application. If you have additional proof that can convince the officer of your situation or intentions, you should absolutely provide more than the minimum requirements.

5. You did not think outside the box

It is very common for applicants to have missing documents or information that is not convincing enough in their application. Instead of submitting a weak application, you should think outside the box. For example, you can give examples of your hobbies and involvements in your local community to show your intention to return home after your visit. If you aren't able to provide a document to prove your financial self-sufficiency, provide other proof that shows you have enough money to travel to Canada.

6. You did not address previous refusals

This situation does not apply to first-time applicants but rather to those who have previous application refusals. You must absolutely address your previous applications that we were refused and explain how the situation has changed, even if it was simply a missing document. Immigration Canada keeps a record of all previous applications you submitted through your Unique Client Identifier (UCI).

Are you eligible to reapply?

If your application for a visitor visa to Canada was refused, you can reapply immediately unless your decision letter explicitly says that you cannot. However, since there is already a refusal on your file, it may be wise to reapply at later time when you have gathered sufficient additional proof or when your circumstances have changed.

How to reapply

If you make the decision to reapply, we would first suggest you to apply for an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) online request. This application will only cost you 5$ in processing fees and will give you the complete notes and comments from the immigration officers that made a decision on your file. This will help you understand the reason for your refusal and which information to provide in order to get your next application approved.

Furthermore, if you decide to submit another visitor visa application, we suggest to have your application reviewed or completed by a different person than yourself. This is because you have already received a refusal from the application you provided and a new set of eyes can bring in ideas or information that you may not have thought of yourself.

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