Temporary residents: Refusals overview

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

If the applicant is found ineligible and the application will be refused, the refusal may be decided either

  • after review of a written application with no in-person interview conducted with the applicant; or
  • at the conclusion of an interview with the applicant.

An applicant should never be asked to attend an interview if it is evident through a review of the paper application that the applicant is ineligible and additional information would not alter a refusal decision.

The officer should ensure that case notes in CAIPS/GCMS are complete and accurate. The officer should

  • outline the circumstances of the application;
  • outline the process followed in coming to or making the decision;
  • note the presence and identity of an interpreter, if applicable;
  • take into account any representations made by interested persons (or counsel) and make note of the nature and content of these representations; and
  • detail the reasons for the refusal.

Note: Refused applicants may seek redress from the Federal Court of Canada and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. If applicants choose this recourse, officers will have to provide their notes.

All refusals must be made in writing. A refusal letter must be issued to all temporary resident visa applicants.

The standard refusal letter has opening and closing paragraphs which are to remain unaltered. Visa offices are able to customize the letter for their clientele with the insertion of specific tick-box standardized reasons for refusal.

As the most common reasons for refusal vary from office to office, a menu of reasons has been developed and each visa office is able to customize the standard letter by inserting five to seven of the most commonly used refusal reasons at that visa office.

In addition to checking the applicable boxes, the officer must add the name of the applicant, the file number, date and sign the letter. The letter may be handed to the applicant at the end of the interview or, if the refusal is the result of a paper review of the application and the applicant is not present, the letter may be sent by mail or courier.

Grounds for refusal are as follows:

A11, A20(1)(b), and R179

The foreign national does not meet the obligations of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations.

The officer is not satisfied that the foreign national will leave by the end of the period authorized for their stay.

A34, A35, A36, A37, A38, or A39

Any grounds for inadmissibility according to the Act (i.e., grounds related to security, human or international rights violations, criminality, organized crime, health, or financial reasons).

Note: The standard letter will not be used for refusals for misrepresentation [A40]. For refusals under A40, the IPM will use an A40 refusal letter which must include the information that the applicant is banned from entry into Canada for five years from the date of issuance of the A40 refusal letter (refer to Cancellation of a visa).

See also Refusal at the port of entry.

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