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Common reasons for visa refusal

Canada has many immigration programs, each different set of rules, regulations, and assessment criteria. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) facilitates the arrival of immigrants to Canada and provides clarity with reference to immigration program requirements. Despite the transparency, it is evident that applicants make mistakes which result in application refusal. Here are some common reasons for Canadian visa refusal: 

Inconsistent history

Applicants are required to list a detailed travel history, personal history, employment history, and/or educational history for applications like permanent residency and temporary residency. Depending on your nationality, if a person has not traveled outside of their home country before, chances are their application will be comparatively weaker. 

Tip: The history should not account for any gaps with unexplained details, no matter the length of the gap. You should also include short vacations/travels under the travel history section. For personal history, periods of time when you were unemployed or were applying for higher studies should still be accounted for. You should make sure that dates align properly, with no overlapping. 

Failure to provide proper and accurate supporting documents

All immigration program and visa office have a different list of required documents, in different formats, to be provided with the immigration application. To increase the chance of positive outcome, applicants must include supporting documents. A common mistake many applicants make is providing the wrong format of documents, a simple mistake and unmentioned details in the documents can delay the application process. 

Tip: Make sure that all information you provide in your immigration process to Canada must be accompanied by evidence, which includes income tax, payment receipts, proof of employment, marriage, and birth certificates, passports, school transcripts, and many more. The documents that are not in Canada’s official language (English or French) must be translated by a certified translator before being sent to the IRCC. For paper-based applications, applicants have an option of sending copies of the required documents, but sometimes an original document (e.g. Police Clearance Certificate, IELTS or CELPIP certificate, etc.) and a certified copy is required. 

Insufficient funds

Proof of funds is a letter of documentation that certifies that the applicant has sufficient funds (money) for the respective application. The amount of funds varies based on the number of people accompanying the applicant, type of application, and the length of stay. Lack of funds depicts the inability of the applicant to survive inside Canada. 

Tip: Apart from making sure you have adequate funds; applicant must also pay attention to the source of funds. Canadian government assesses the accumulation of funds, their source, and non-consistent deposits into your bank accounts can raise concerns. 


Presenting incorrect or misleading information to the Canadian government may lead to a delay in the application or even cause it to be rejected. Applicants could also be barred from applying for Canadian immigration for several years. Be extremely careful with providing information and documents. 

Tip: Make sure that the document you submit are authentic as your application may be refused due to and you may face difficulty in reapplying, due to lack of credibility. It is advisable to be honest about the details of your application, including employment history and any medical or criminality issues with the principal applicant or accompanying family members.

Failure to meet standards

Health: Applicants are required to undergo a medical examination for Canadian Immigration. If the medical results reflect serious health conditions that may be transmitted to others or may create a burden on Canadian taxpayer, then it may lead to visa refusal.

Security: If the applicant has a criminal background, then additional documentation and security check will be conducted by Canadian Immigration officers and the chances of application approval is low. The type of crime, and tenure of the sentence along with other factors will be assessed before deciding on the application.

Status: Canada operates on the Global Case Management a system that facilitates information exchange between most countries around the globe. If the applicant has a history of illegal stay, overstay, deportation from Canada or other countries, it may lead to application refusal. Disobeying the conditions (e.g. stay longer than allowed, or work or study without the proper permits) on the permit/status are considered a serious offense in the Canadian Immigration system. 

Tip: Hire a certified professional to represent you in your immigration application. It will help you to optimize your chances of success in the visa application process, by assisting you on your eligibility, reviewing all the necessary supporting documents, and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf.


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