When an individual applies for a visa in Canada and it gets refused, the common misconception is that the rejection is the final answer, and you must start all over again – this is not always the case. If you believe the immigration officer has made a mistake, it’s not the end of the road as there are still a few routes that you can explore depending on the circumstances and the reason(s) for refusal.
A reconsideration request is the main way to seek a possible remedy. Although there is a low likelihood of success, it is still an option that is free of cost, does not have a deadline, and is something you can complete on your own. A reconsideration request is an option for temporary status (i.e., work visa, visitor visa, study visa) or for permanent residency. It is structured as a letter, setting out what you are requesting and why you are requesting it. You may discuss any factual and/or legal errors that were made by the immigration officer and compelling reasons for refusal, if any. It is important to include any additional evidence or new information that may have arose after the application, and to be courteous as the officer will need to read your request and decide whether to re-open the file or not. The request will be submitted by email or by uploading it via IRCC web form.
A reconsideration request can be submitted on its own, or in addition to other legal avenues. You may apply for an appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division if its within 30 days of a decision for a spousal sponsorship and admissibility hearing, and 60 days of decision regarding residency obligation. There is another option of making an application for Judicial Review at the Federal Court of Canada within 15 days if you are inside Canada, and 60 days if you are outside Canada. Keep in mind, these two options do require the assistance of a lawyer.
Two examples of reasons for refusal that will likely allow for a positive reconsideration outcome is lack of funds and failing to provide additional documents requested by IRCC. It can be frustrating when you have provided many bank statements and proof of funds with your application, only for it to be refused due to lack of funds. This may have been overlooked by the immigration officer or not considered at all. For this reason, the application may be reopened and reconsidered. In cases where a refusal is due to IRCC not receiving requested documentation from you, be sure to first confirm that your contact information and address is up to date. If you find that this information is accurate, and the officer erred by never sending the request, it can result in a positive reconsideration outcome.
When it has been established that the refusal was appropriate and there were no errors made by the immigration officer, it may be time to consider resubmitting a brand-new application. It is important while submitting a new application to reference the reasons for refusal, while including additional supporting documents and a letter of explanation. Depending on the reason(s) for refusal, try to gather further documentation that will help support your reasoning. The information you provide will vary based on the reason for refusal, personal circumstances, and visa notes (if they have been obtained).
Even though the reconsideration request is something you can do on your own, our firm is always here to help. Whether it is a simple question, or if you are within the timeframe for an appeal or Judicial Review, contact our firm for quality assistance. We have years of experience with both appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division and with Judicial Reviews to the Federal Court of Canada. If our help and guidance is something you wish to acquire, please reach out to book a consultation to further explore the ways in which we can assist you in reaching a positive outcome.