If you’re a temporary resident in one of the following countries (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, or Bahrain) and have submitted a Canadian visa that was refused, you are probably familiar with one of these two sentences, or both:
”I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay based on your immigration status outside your country of nationality or habitual residence.”
”I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident, based on the limited employment prospects in your country of residence.”
After the second refusal, you request the GCMS notes and the officer will usually assert the same statement. And without enough insight, you submit a third application, which also gets refused. You then seek professional help after the third time, and like magic, your application gets approved.
But it is not magic. It is simply the experience gained from working on hundreds of similar applications from similar regions.
Let’s Start With the Basics
What does it even mean that the officer is concerned about your Canadian residency status and employment prospects when you have a valid Iqama, have been living in Dubai or Abqaiq for many years, and have a job with an indefinite contract with your employer?
First, let’s take a look at some numbers.
According to data released by the IRCC, approval rates for Study Permit applications submitted from the UAE rose from 59% in 2019 to 62% in 2021—a modest rise of 3%. Similarly, a slight increase of 1% is seen in applications submitted from Kuwait. However, a downward trend continued between 2019 and 2021 in other Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, where a 5% decrease in approval rate was noted.
To put this into context, the approval rate for Brunei, a country in the same region, rose significantly from 70% to 88% in the same time period. Similarly, Iraq – the seventh Gulf nation – saw an increase of 14% in the approval rate of SPs between 2019 and 2021.
When applicants from this region reach out to immigration consultants for assistance after a flurry of refusals, one of the most common questions they ask is:
- Will my approval chance increase if I apply from my home country?
While this may likely increase the possibility of approval, why spend thousands of dollars travelling back to Pakistan or the Philippines when there is just a chance that the right approach taken by a professional will make your Canadian study dream come true, or simply a chance at gazing at the wonders of the Niagara Falls?
Now that you know that you still stand a chance even if you apply from Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, it is pertinent to understand the basis of your refusal before proceeding to submit a new Canadian application or seeking a judicial review.
Before submitting a new application altogether or making the decision to appeal your refusal, you need to first request what is called the GCMS notes. These notes are a post-mortem of your application, and they give you, [in most cases] a deeper insight into how the decision was made on your application.
An example of what an officer would write in their notes for an application refused by the Gulf is:
“Considering the current economic reforms in the KSA (Saudization), “I am not satisfied that the PA has strong future employment prospects in the KSA…”
What you will quickly notice from this analysis is that the same kind of policy also exists in the UAE, called Emiratisation. Now you understand why your tax-free income and investments worth thousands of dollars will not solely influence the decision on your application, simply because IRCC examines applications holistically.
What Are the Steps I Can Take to Overcome This Barrier?
First, you need to find out why your application was refused. Sometimes, the reasons go beyond what is in the refusal letter you received. Your answer is what you requested from the IRCC.
Then, you can make the decision to either re-submit your application with more extensive documentation that will prove beyond doubt that you will leave after your temporary status expires, or you can seek for a judicial review if you believe that your application already has more than substantial documents to convince a judge.
How Can We Help at Doherty Fultz Immigration?
As immigration consultants with extensive experience in overcoming visa refusals from this region, our representatives will review your previous application(s) [or your situation if you’re a first-time applicant] through a video conference and will use this information to tailor a strategy based on your specific needs.
No two applications are the same; hence, what will work for your colleague who has shared a desk with you since you both arrived in Qatar from the same hometown may not work for your own application.
If you want to know more about how you can successfully cross the barrier to the Land of Maple from your current country of residence, please reach out to our team to book a consultation with one of our expert representatives.