When an immigration officer makes a decision on an application, they are required by law to document the reasons for the decision. You can submit an application to get the detailed officer’s notes for why the application was refused. Having the GCMS notes for your refused visa application will help you change what you include in your new application to increase your chances for approval.
Our office submits this request for the officer’s notes on behalf of any applicant who wants to know the detailed grounds for the refusal of their immigration application. We are also happy to review your notes with you to explain what the immigration officer’s notes mean.
You can also obtain the application notes for a visa application that is still in process with IRCC to see what is going on with the application.
Canadian Visitor Visa (TRV) Application Refusals
Failure to meet Section 179(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) is the most frequently cited reason for refusal of a visitor visa application to Canada. Most visitor visa refusals stem from failure to meet this requirement in different ways.
Section 179(b) of IRPR states,
- Issuance – An officer shall issue a temporary resident visa to a foreign national if, following an examination, it is established that the foreign national
(b) will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay under Division 2 [Conditions on Temporary Residents]
Visa Refusal Based on Travel History
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR based on your Travel History
Refusals based on travel history are difficult, but can be overcome with a new application. IRCC refuses applications based on travel history when an applicant has not been outside their home country previously, or has traveled outside their home country but not very often. Sometimes this is even grounds for refusal when an applicant has extensive travel history. “Lack of travel history” can be overcome in a new application with travel to other countries or other means.
Visa Refusal Based on Purpose of Visit
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR based on the purpose of your visit
A visitor visa refusal based on the purpose of the visit is tricky, because it is such a highly discretionary reason for refusal. Sometimes this reason for refusal is given because not enough detail was provided on the application regarding why specifically the applicant was coming to Canada. For example, if the applicant said they were coming to visit their friend, this is vague and the officer could have doubts about the reason. Whereas, if the applicant said that they were coming to visit their friend because the friend was getting married in Niagara Falls and included a copy of the wedding invitation, this would be a much better way to explain why the visa is needed.
Visa Refusal Based on Family Ties
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your family ties in Canada and country of residence
A refusal based on family ties of the applicant, whether in Canada or in the country of residence or both, are extremely common grounds for refusal of a visitor visa. If the applicant has family in Canada, then this can work against the applicant as it is one reason that they may not wish to return home at the end of their stay in Canada. For example, if the applicant is applying to visit his wife in Canada and all of his family resides in his home country, then this requires detailed explanation regarding the nature of the applicant’s ties both in Canada and at home.
Visa Refusal Based on Immigration Status
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your immigration status in your country of residence
In order to submit an application for a visa to come to Canada, the applicant is required by law to have legal status in the country where they are located when they submit the application. Besides having legal status there, the applicant also must have been admitted to that country for a minimum amount of time or their visa application will be refused. Sufficient proof of the applicant’s legal status in their country of residence at the time they make the application has to be included when they apply for a visa to Canada, otherwise the application will be refused.
Visa Refusal Based on Personal Assets and Financial Status
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your personal assets and financial status
As an applicant for a visitor visa to Canada, it is extremely important to prove to the immigration officer that you have the money to finance your trip to Canada. In a visa application, you have to prove that you:
- Have sufficient funds to pay for your ticket and travel to Canada
- Have sufficient funds to pay for the costs during your visit such as tourism, meals, lodging, gifts, etc.
- Have sufficient funds to pay for your ticket and travel back to your country of residence
If IRCC does not believe that you have sufficient money to pay for your trip and then some, they will refuse your application based on personal assets and financial status. Also, be aware that “personal assets and financial status” refers to the funds held by and accessible to the applicant for the visa, not the Canadian inviter. An application for a Canadian visa should include financial information and documents belonging to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has invited the foreign national for a visit, however the applicant for the visa must also show funds of their own.
Visa Refusal Based on Current Employment Situation
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your current employment situation
Because it is so important for applicants for a Canadian visa to show that they have enough money to finance their trip to Canada, it is also important that they show where this money has come from. The absolute best way to show the source of their funds is to prove that they are employed. Applicants for a Canadian visa are considered at higher risk to break the conditions of their entry and overstay in Canada if they are unemployed at the time of their application. A job in the visa applicant’s home country is one of the strongest ties that they can show to their country of residence as proof that they will return when their trip to Canada is over.
Being self-employed or enrolled full-time in school is also a strong tie to the visa applicant’s home country. However, if the applicant is out of school and is not working in any way, this is a significant challenge to overcome on a Canadian visa application.
Visa Refusal Based on Length of Proposed Stay
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your length of proposed stay in Canada
Because visitors who enter Canada can stay up to a maximum of 6 months, unless they are advised otherwise by Canada Border Services Agency when they arrive, many people believe that they should state “6 months” as their proposed length of stay on the visitor visa application. However, “length of proposed stay” is a very common ground for refusal. Asking for the maximum amount of time allowable to visitors in Canada is not usually viewed as reasonable by officers, and makes it look more likely that the applicant will not leave on time.
Visa Refusal Based on Employment Prospects in Country of Residence
- I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR because of your employment prospects in country of residence
As described above, the financial documentation of the applicant is the most important part of a Canadian visa application. Applicants for a visa need to show not only that they have the money to pay for their trip to Canada, but also that they are employed as proof of where their funds come from. If the unemployment rate is high in the country of residence of the visa applicant, then this can negatively impact the Canadian visa application. If an immigration officer believes that an applicant is likely to lose their job as a result of traveling to Canada, or that they are unlikely to be able to get a job if they are not currently working, “employment prospects in country of residence” can be used as grounds for refusal of the visa application.
Visa Refusal Based on Insufficient Funds, Income, or Assets
- I am not satisfied that you have sufficient funds, including income or assets, to carry out your stated purpose in going to Canada or to maintain yourself while in Canada and to effect your departure.
An immigration officer cannot issue a visa to Canada if they believe that the applicant does not have enough money to pay for their trip to Canada for the purpose that they have stated on the application. They also cannot issue a visa if they do not believe the applicant has enough money to pay for their trip back to their home country. If the purpose for their visit would reasonably cost more money than the applicant has demonstrated that they have, then this is a likely reason for refusal of the visa application.
Visa Refusal Based on Insufficient Documentation of Income and Assets
- You have not provided sufficient documentation to support your / your host’s income and assets.
If it is not already clear, an applicant for a visa to Canada is required to prove that they meet all the requirements for issuance of the visa – the burden of proof is on the visa applicant, not on Canadian immigration. If the applicant has stated that they have access to a certain amount of money, or that their Canadian host has access to a certain amount of money to support the visa application, then they must demonstrate this with documentation. If the applicant does not provide documentation to show what they are saying is true, then this can be grounds for refusal of the visa.
Visa Refusal Based on Misrepresentation
- You have submitted documentation which lacks authenticity as part of your application. This has diminished the overall credibility of your submission
In the event that IRCC does not believe that the documents or information you have submitted are genuine, this alone is grounds for refusal of the application under section 40 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for Misrepresentation. If an applicant for any visa or type of immigration to Canada has been determined by IRCC to have misrepresented, then they will be the subject of a bar from entering Canada for a certain period of time and any future immigration applications will be viewed with skepticism.