Common Reasons for Application Refusal in Canada

Common Reasons for Application Refusal in Canada

Recently, there has been an increase in Canadian application refusals for various reasons. This includes both permanent residence applications and temporary residence applications such as work permits, study permits, and visitor visas. If you have received a refusal from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), reviewing the reason for the refusal and considering your options is essential. You may also consider working with an experienced immigration consultant to navigate the application process, increase your chances of approval, and reduce the risks of refusal.

Incomplete applications

Providing incomplete or inaccurate information in the application is one of the most common reasons for refusal. It is essential to ensure that all required information is provided and accurate. IRCC provides a detailed list of required documents to ensure they get all the required information about the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to collect these documents and submit them. Failure to do so may result in the application being returned or refused.


Another common reason for application refusal is failing to meet the eligibility criteria. Every type of application, whether a permanent residence application, citizenship application, or any type of work permit, study permit or visitor visa, has its own eligibility criteria. Every federal, provincial or regional immigration program has a clear set of requirements the applicants must meet. Naturally, if your application does not meet even one of the requirements, the application will be refused. Rarely, IRCC may request additional or missing documents. Yet, it is the applicant’s responsibility to verify their eligibility before applying.

Medical reasons

Applicants must undergo a medical examination to ensure they do not pose a risk to public health in Canada. If an applicant is found to have a medical condition that is dangerous or contagious or could cause excessive demand on Canada’s health services, the application may be refused. All applicants and their dependents must undergo a medical exam with an IRCC-recognized physician. However, there are ways to overcome inadmissibility, such as providing a specialist’s report on the condition. This can help avoid further medical exams, delays, or refusal.

Common Reasons for Application Refusal in Canada

Inadmissibility on security grounds

Applicants found to be a security risk to Canada may not be admissible. This includes individuals who have engaged in espionage, terrorism, or other activities that threaten Canada’s security. Canada requires criminal background checks from every country where the applicant has resided for six months or longer since turning 18 to ensure safety and security. If the applicant has no criminal record, it is just paperwork. But, if there is a past criminal offence, it could affect the application. Serious criminality could make a foreign national inadmissible to Canada. Applicants with past convictions should learn about criminal inadmissibility and the difference between deemed and individual rehabilitation. It is recommended that such applicants consult an immigration consultant with experience in criminal inadmissibility.

Read also: Why is the passing score in Express Entry so high, and what do you do with that?


To avoid misrepresentation, it is essential to be honest and transparent during the application process. Providing false information or withholding information in the visa application is a serious offence that can result in a ban from reapplying or entering Canada. However, misrepresentation does not always imply deliberate concealment or distortion of information. Misrepresentation can also happen when applicants misunderstand instructions, omit information on a form, or misread a question.


IRCC sets deadlines for submitting forms and documents to speed up the immigration process. Failing to meet these deadlines may lead to application refusal. Therefore, knowing when and how to obtain the necessary documents and complete the required forms is crucial. Being prepared and organized can prevent missed deadlines and increase the chances of a successful immigration application. While extensions are sometimes granted, providing clear reasons and supporting documents for the request is also important.

What can you do if your application is refused?

It is important to note that while these are common reasons for refusal, each application is unique, and other factors may contribute to visa refusal. Seeking the assistance of an immigration consultant can help ensure that the application is complete, accurate, and meets all requirements.

Applying for reconsideration

IRCC has a set of procedures and rules that they consistently follow. However, sometimes, visa offices may make errors or misinterpret the law, causing unjust refusal of an application. In such cases, it is essential to seek the guidance of an immigration expert to build a claim based on precedents and reapply for reconsideration.

Ordering GCMS notes under the ATIP

In order to understand the full reasons for your application refusal, you can obtain the Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes the officer made while assessing your application. In accordance with the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP), it is possible to order those notes. Yet, if you are outside Canada, you must ask someone to order them.

Appeal the Refusal

If your application is refused, a few different options are available to you. You can appeal the refusal to the Federal Court of Canada or the Immigration Adjudication Division within a certain period. Furthermore, you may also request restoration to the Case Processing Centre after being notified of the refusal (applicable to sponsorship and PR applications). To do so, you need to hire a lawyer to file your appeal.

We can help you!

If you are struggling with your application or have been refused, Schindler Visa Services can help. Our team of experienced immigration consultants can provide guidance and support throughout the application process, including helping you prepare your application, addressing any issues that led to a refusal, and exploring alternative options. Book a consultation to learn how we can assist you with your immigration needs.

Oleg Schindler, RCIC R706744

President of Schindler Visa Services

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