Reasons For Your Canadian Visa Application Refusal

by | Jan 17, 2021

When your application to be admitted into Canada is refused, often the Canadian immigration authorities provide you with a very generic letter advising you of the refusal. Nonetheless, how do you learn about the real exact reasons for the refusal of your application?

Why Was Your Application Denied?

Oftentimes, when an application is made either for Canadian permanent residency or for temporary residency in the case for a student or worker, the application can be refused. The immigration authorities will send you a letter that informs you that your application has been refused. The letter usually provides very generic reasons as to why your application was refused. 

For instance, it may say that you did not meet the requirements that prove that you have sufficient ties to your home country or something to that effect. It may also provide some other reason. Generally speaking, whatever the reasons that are provided in the communications from immigration authorities, they will be in the form of generic standard template responses that are provided to every applicant whose application is refused. The generic response will be dependent on the broad reason for which your application was refused.

Detailed Notes For Refusal Of An Application

Even though the immigration authorities inform you concerning the refusal, what they fail to provide are the detailed notes as to why the immigration officer would have refused your application. Obtaining the detailed notes is important especially if you decide to reapply. The detailed notes help you understand the specific reasons why your application was originally denied so that you are in a position to address those reasons in your new application. 

Without the specific reasons, your new application is going to be refused just like the original application. This is because best chances are that the real issues can only be resolved in the new application once you have gotten the detailed notes from the immigration authorities.  The immigration officer’s detailed notes providing the exact reasons for refusal of your application are not provided to you at the point when your application is refused. In fact, it was previously impossible to obtain the detailed notes despite asking for them. 

Fortunately, this practice was reversed in a case known as Baker v. Canada, where the Canadian Court ruled that where the immigration authorities have refused an application, they have an obligation and duty to provide an explanation providing reasons for the refusal. It is worth noting that despite the obligation to provide detailed notes, the immigration authorities do not have an obligation to provide you with the detailed notes at the point when they are informing you that your application has been refused.

How To Obtain The Immigration Officer’s Detailed Notes

In order to access the immigration officer’s detailed notes, you or your representative will need to reach out to the immigration authorities and formally request a copy of the officer’s detailed notes. This is done by filing an Access to Information and Privacy request, also known as an ATIP request. You would need to provide authorization to your representative to request that information on your behalf especially if you are outside of Canada. 

It would take the immigration authorities a few weeks, perhaps about four weeks or more in some cases, to get back to you or your representative with the actual detailed notes for your application refusal. The detailed notes are retrieved from the system where the immigration officer would have noted the particular reasons explaining why your application was refused. 

Once you are in possession of the detailed notes, you will then be in a better position to address the underlying issues for your application refusal. It will also enable you to submit a much stronger application should you decide to reapply. 

Let Us Help

Should you need any assistance with filing an ATIP request to obtain detailed notes showing the reasons for refusal of your visa application, we are here to assist you. We are also ready to assist you to put together the necessary documentation to submit a stronger visa application.

Book a call with us today for any professional advice to resolve your visa refusal issues and reapplication queries. 


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