What to do when your Canadian visa application is rejected.

A step-by-step guide to requesting the visa officer's notes

If you are one of the unfortunate people that has just had their Canadian visa application refused, it can be one of the most frustrating experiences of your life. Travel plans are spoiled and the hopes of being reunited with distant friends and relatives are in serious jeopardy. [UPDATE: January 7, 2017After reading this blog post, I highly recommend that you check out the special podcast episode I recently did with esteemed immigration policy analyst and lawyer, Richard Kurland entitled: “Has Your Canadian Visa Been Refused. Richard shared some unbelievably valuable insight regarding strategies us immigration lawyers use to overcome Canadian visa refusals. If you like this Post, you will love Season 2 Episode 1 of the Canadian Immigration Podcast released on January 6, 2017.]


And to make matters worse, the form rejection letter provides only a vague reference to an officer’s belief that “you would not leave Canada at the end of your stay.”  You know there must be more to it than that. If only there was a way to get a copy of the visa office file materials so that you could learn the “real reasons” your application was rejected.

Well there is a way to get those file materials and I’m going to show you how!

The Canadian Immigration visa rejection letter will almost always have the following statement enclosed at the end:

Should you wish to reapply, I would suggest that you do so only if your situation has changed substantively or you have significant new information to submit.

If you want to have any hope of getting that refusal overturned, or a second application approved, getting your hands on your immigration Physical File is essential. It will be critical that you know what evidence, or lack thereof, influenced the officer in believing you wouldn’t go home if the visa was approved.

It is only by knowing this information that you will then be in a position to provide “significant new information” on your next application in hopes of getting it approved. By satisfying the underlying concerns revealed in the officers hidden notes, you will then be able to reduce the chances of a second refusal.

The best way to get that information is to do an Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request to the Government of Canada. If done properly, this request will give you copies of the actual file materials and a glimpse into the officer’s detailed “internal” reasons for refusing your application. Armed with this knowledge, you are going to be much more likely to have success on your next application.

ATIPs can be used to access government information from a lot of different sources. However, we are going to focus exclusively on requesting a copy of the file materials and officer’s notes related to your rejected Canadian visa.

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Getting Started

In order to submit an ATIP request, you must either be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or an individual or corporation physically present in Canada. If you are a foreign national wanting to make an ATIP request and you are not currently present in Canada, you will need to find a representative to complete this for you. If someone else is submitting an ATIP on your behalf, you must sign a consent form allowing them to do so.

You can download the IMM5477: Consent for an Access to Information and Personal Information Request by clicking on this link. Please also note there is a small processing fee for CIC’s trouble in providing this information. The fee is $5.00 CAD per request.

Step by Step Instructions for Requesting an ATIP

An ATIP can be submitted by mail or online. I recommend filing online as it is much quicker. I have set out below the essential steps needed to file your online ATIP request.

Step 1 – Go to the ATIP homepage at https://atip-aiprp.apps.gc.ca/atip/ and select your preferred language (English or French). You can skip through the “Top questions” section and go straight to the bottom and click the “Next” button.

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Step 2 – This will take you to the “Privacy Notice” where after acknowledging you have read and understood the privacy notice by checking the check box, you will then click “continue”.

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Step 3 – Next, select the Department where you wish to submit an ATIP request. You will want to select “Citizenship and Immigration Canada”.

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Step 4 – On the second line, you must indicate whether you are a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, Individual/corporation currently present in Canada or None of the above. Please choose the correct selection for your situation.

NOTE: If you choose “none of the above”, you will not be able to submit the request.

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Step 5 – Enter in your full legal name, phone number and current address. Please note that a fax number is optional, however we recommend that you fill in this section if you have one.

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Step 6 – On the next line, it asks for an email address. Please be sure to enter a valid email address as this is often how the visa office file notes are delivered. On larger files, they may need to send a CD, which is sent to your mailing address.

If you are requesting information for your own file, select “Yes”, but if you are making the request on behalf someone outside of Canada, then select “No”.

You will also select “No” in the next drop down menu because you are requesting the visa office file notes on behalf of a living person. Obviously, you will then need to provide a copy of the signed consent form when prompted to do so.

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Step 7 – Next you are asked to select the category you fit within. This is not mandatory, so you may skip this section. However, if you want to provide this information to the government for statistical purposes,  I indicate “Business (Private Sector)”; however, you would likely select “Member of the Public”. 

You can suggest the best method for receiving the information; however, if the file is too large, they will send it in a CD format regardless of the preference you selected.

Once this has been completed, click “Continue”.

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Step 8 – On the next page you will be prompted to answer whether you would like to make a request under the Privacy OR Access to Information Act. When requesting visa office notes, you are doing so under the Access to Information Act, so choose this option.

You will then be asked the type of record you wish to request. Select “Case Files” and then complete the requested file information. In order to ensure complete accuracy, I would take this information from the visa office refusal letter. I have set out below a sample letter which lists the pertinent information you will need to fill in. I have blocked out certain sections for privacy reasons.

Although not mandatory, you will also be asked to provide the person’s Client ID number which is also known as a Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number. I highly recommend that you include this number if known.

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See the sample work permit refusal letter below.

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Step 9 – Once you have completed the basic file tracking information, you will be asked what type of information you would like to request. Although it may take a little longer, I routinely request the “Physical File” so that I am able to obtain the complete picture. At times there is important information related to the refusal that is not contained within the “Notes in the Electronic File”.

Once you have selected “Physical File”, you will then choose the “File Type”. Simply select the option that pertains to your refusal. For any work permit, study permit, or visitor visa application, you would request “Immigration File: temporary residence”. You are then prompted to insert the “File Number”. This is critical, because without it, you can not make the request. 

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The “File Number” or “Application no.” can be found on the top right of most refusal letters.

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Step 10 – You will also note that there is an open fillable field at the end of this page where you can provide any information that may help an officer to know what exactly you are looking for. However, I often don’t worry to much about this because if you are requesting the entire “Physical File”, then you should receive everything anyways.

If you would like to insert a specific request, you could include something like: “Please provide all notes on file pertaining to the application identified above”.

TIP: If this is a sponsorship application, get a consent form signed from every party otherwise CIC may redact critical information from the file for privacy reasons.

Next, click “Continue”.

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Step 11 – We have reached the final stages of the ATIP request. This next page is where you upload your documents and consent form (if applicable). Please note that if you are requesting an ATIP on behalf of someone else, it is mandatory you upload the consent form (IMM5477: Consent for an Access to Information and Personal Information Request).

TIP: If you have multiple consent forms, you can simply click the “Add” button and a new field will open up to upload a second or third consent form.

Make sure that the documents you upload fit within the file format parameters set by CIC. Any additional documents are to be uploaded within the “Other Documents (optional)” section.

TIP: Although other information is not required, we recommend that you also upload a copy of the refusal letter for good measure.

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Step 12 –  You will need to review all of the information you have entered and pay the processing fee. Be sure to review the information you have entered thoroughly as mistakes could result in the refusal of the ATIP or delayed processing times.

You have the option to modify each section. If you find a field you wish to modify, simply click the blue “Modify” button and you will be taken back to the original page in which you entered it. Be sure to save your changes.

TIP: We recommend printing this page for your records. If something goes awry down the line you will have proof of the submitted ATIP and will be able to make a case to CIC if necessary.

If you have reviewed all your answers and are satisfied, check off the “Certification” box at the bottom of the page and click “Continue”.

Step 13 – The last step is to pay the processing fee. The fee for an ATIP is $5.00 CAD. The only accepted method of payment for the online application is credit card. After you have entered in your payment information and have submitted it your transaction will be processed and a receipt will automatically be generated. Be sure to keep a copy of this receipt as well for your records.

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What happens next?

CIC will now process your ATIP application. They will send it to you by your indicated method (E-mail or CD).

Typically, an ATIP request should take no longer than 30 days. However, if you are requesting a Physical File from a consulate abroad, it will often take up to 60 days, or on rare occasions even longer. If 60 days have passed and you have not received your requested information be sure to follow up with CIC and provide copies of your receipts and submitted application.

After you have received your requested file materials you will be able to see exactly why your application was refused. With this information you are now armed with the information you need to refile your application again and give yourself the best chance of success.

Participate in my next Canadian Immigration Podcast

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151 thoughts on “What to do when your Canadian visa application is rejected.

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you for providing such a detailed and useful step by step approach to fill the form.

    Warm regards,


    • Azim,

      Thank you so much for your kind feedback. It took me a whole lot longer to put this little step-by-step guide together than I anticipated. Because of this, I am now trying to decide whether or not I should create these step-by-step guides in video format or continue creating them in the fashion I have done here. What do you recommend? Would you rather have this information in written form, or in video form?

      I would love to receive your thoughts. Thanks once again for your comment. It is very appreciated.

      • Hi Mark,

        Good surprize to read your response.
        1-I have applied for information to better understand the Visa officer reasons and may need to talk to you to re-apply temp visa for my father.
        2-It would be great to have video ‘how to apply’ ATIP form for getting information.

        Warm regards,

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for this wonderful opportunity given to people like me I just received my refusal letter based on they are not sure I will leave after my stay after my medicals I don’t have anybody that can help me with this.

      • Abimbola,

        I am going to produce a Podcast on this issue. Subscribe to the Canadian Immigration Podcast on iTunes and join my mailing list to be notified when it is released.

    • Amit,

      Welcome to the site. Its great to hear you are helping students to explore new opportunities in countries around the world. There is no better way of becoming cultured and develop tolerance and appreciation for other cultures than to study abroad. I wish you all the best.


  2. i need tourist visa or 10 year multyple visa along with my wife ,, i am punjabi artist singer / music director,,, have great profile ,,, can u plz guide me,, i pay proper tax, have good property, registrd firm, good bank balance,
    can u tell how much is the success rate,,,,,

    • Gurvin,

      Thanks so much for your inquiry. It sounds like you are a very accomplished artist. If you would like direct assistance with your immigration needs, I would recommend that you go to my law firm website to set up a formal paid consultation. We can discuss all of your specific immigration needs in private.

      Please go to http://www.ht-llp.com to set up a consult. I look forward to speaking with you. Have a great day.


  3. Hi,i am denied for the application of a tourist visa for the second time the reason is just a payable of $200 but i already paid for that in exact amount and time. And now i am planning to getting married with my fiancee.

    • This is very unfortunate. However, it has become increasingly common all across CIC Visa offices and in land offices. There are becoming fewer and fewer officers with experience and errors like this are happening with increasing frequency.

      If the only reason your visa application was refused was because of an error made with a processing fee, then it is possible to reach out to The Visa office program manager or case management branch at NHQ to request that the application being readjudicated.

      If you would like to explore this option, I would recommend that you seek representation to do so. I am happy to help; however, you may also have other counsel that can assist you. The process is a little more complicated than I can describe in a blog.

  4. i can not even thank you enough for this information,i was denied a student visa 2 times and was given the same reason “i am not convinced you will leave Canada ” but with this information reapplying will be easier than it was.

    • Ritso,

      Thanks so much for your very kind feedback. I know the information I provide is not always a perfect fit for the individual circumstances of people. However, I am delighted that it has been of some assistance to you. It makes it all worth while.

  5. *Edited post: Please ignore y previous post.
    Thanks for your nice writing Mr. Mark. Actually, huge amount of TRV/Family visa application get rejected in spite of having a good profile. Recently, I (a PhD Student at McGill, awarded a prestigious scholarship) have been rejected two times of my wife TRV application who is working at hospital as a registered physician in Bangladesh. The reason is very surprising. (travel history, country tie). I requested for visa note at ATP web by attaching her consent letter. However, I have been informed from CIC that since my wife is not living in Canada, ATP request will not be applicable. Please based on present law, share your experience regarding this.

    • Ahmed, do you have a friend or family member in Canada (CDN Citizen) that can make the request on her behalf? We can do this request for her; however, the purpose of me providing this information is not to solicit work for my office unless people feel they would benefit from it.

      However, we would be happy to help.

      • Good day,

        I have just been refused visa to Canada. Please, what will it take for you to help me in applying for the ATIP.

        I do not have anybody in Canada who can do this.

        Thank you in anticipation for your prompt response.

        • Joseph,

          I would be happy to help you. Please send me a direct e-mail to consult@ht-llp.com and we can set up a paid consult to discuss the options that may be available to you.

          Talk to you soon.


      • Hey Mark, i have a friend who has long been searching for help on this case! she got refused twice on Student Visa. base on Financial and home ties error.However she felt that reason is not justify. there maybe more to it and she is willing to know before going ahead for any application.
        Please can u help with the ATIP and what will be the cost. kindly let me know soon as u can.

        • Olayemi,

          Sorry for the delays in responding. Let me know if you still require assistance.

  6. Hi i have applied for visa multiple times and got rejected the last time i applied was in Nov 2014 and got rejected. Is it possible for me to apply for this ATIP form now or is there any particular time frame or window period in which i can apply? Or do i have to reapply and see again?

    • Neelam,

      I am sorry to hear that you have had so much difficulty obtaining your visa. You can apply for the visa officer notes at any time. You do not need to file a new application. I recommend that you request the notes from each of your previous applications. Make sure to ask for them by file number. I wish you all the best.


  7. This is very informative, thanks for the detailed procedure.

    In response to my application I got this reply:

    “We regret to inform you that we are unable to process your request for the following reason:
    Your request contained contradicting information; you selected physical file (application and supporting documents submitted to CIC by you or your client and all correspondence sent by CIC) although the text entered may imply you wish to receive the electronic notes (status update, officer’s notes and/or reason for refusal). Please specify whether you wish to receive the electronic notes or the physical file.”

    Wouldn’t the physical file include all notes? Should I change request to electronic notes then?

    • The physical file does include all electronic notes. I would contact the ATIP office that sent you the letter for further clarification.

      • I contacted ATIP office and this is the reply from them:

        “We confirm that your assessment is incorrect.

        The physical file contains only the correspondence and the documents submitted by you and sent out to you. The electronic file contains only the notes.

        As per your last request, your file is now complete and will be processed for the electronic notes.”

  8. Hi Mark, Thank you so much for the wonderful, detailed instruction. This is great help for people like us. I already have submitted the request as per your instruction. Today, I got an e-mail from CIC mentioning that, my request has contradictory information. They said, I asked for physical file but the text entered implies that I wish to get electronic notes. I don’t why they feel like this, I did the same thing what you suggested. As you mentioned, physical file contains everything compared to electronic notes. So, I really want to receive the physical file. Now, I am just wondering, is it unlikely that physical file can’t not be sent through e-mail? Because I indicated that I want to get the response in the form of e-mail rather than CD. Please advice me accordingly. What should be the best reply to them mentioning I expect the physical file. Thank you very much for your time and effort.

  9. Greetings!

    Thank you for your post.

    I can’t seem to find the option for ‘Citizenship & Immigration Canada’ on the list of departments one can make requests from. I will like to know is CIC is the same as IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada), or if I can submit the request to the latter in the absence of the former.

    Please clarify.
    Thank you.

  10. Hi Mark, that you so much for posting this information. I’m going to send it along to my sister because I just found out I was refused a TRV for lack of family ties (even though all of my family lives in Colombia except my sister) and travel. Perhaps I will need your assistance in the future, depends on the information I receive after making the ATIP request.

    I think BOTH written information and a video with the same information would be really useful for those who have been denied visas. I know many people look up visa information on youtube so in this case you should publish this information via both mediums.

      • i had rejected twice as i put my host is my boyfriend.im not sure if they purposely rejected me because of boyfriend issues.
        as i already given my 1.length of stay is 2 months
        2. of my property documents and my bank statement(5 digit) maybe not enough for them.
        and they still ask my financial and assets status
        3.current emplyment status,i also gave them my employment letter.

        • Yenyen,

          Yes, having a boyfriend as your host can be a problem on a TRV application. However, it is worse to misrepresent the nature of your relationship with your host. Especially when you then decide to get married and have to explain further details about your relationship including when your relationship started.

          As I have told others, I am going to be releasing a new podcast shortly on what to do when your visa application is refused. Stay tuned to the Canadian Immigration Podcast and be notified of new Episodes the moment they are released by subscribing to the Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/canadian-immigration-podcast/id898520702?mt=2

      • hi i have applied for canad student visa islamabad. i have got refusal on 15 april 2016. iam very worry.what can i do next. thanx regard abid ullah.

  11. Hi Mark
    I am Sharan,my visitor visa got rejected in January,my husband is in Canada on work permit .He is a long haul driver.Visa officer rejected my son’s and mine visa.plz guide me.

    • I am sorry this happened to you. This is not uncommon for “low skill” TFWs. Often IRCC will reject the temporary resident applications of accompanying family members as IRCC may have concerns that an entire family could be supported on the wages of a low skill position – regardless of the fact truck drivers tend to earn a decent wage in Canada.

      Request the visa office notes and then you can see if there is anything you can do differently on a second application to satisfy the concerns of the visa officer.

  12. hi Mark:

    Do you know what kind of rejections/comments are usually made in the Visa Officer’s notes in order to refuse visitor visas?

    Thank you.

    • I guess I should probably provide everyone with a copy of a sample refusal letter in the show notes of my upcoming Podcast. Subscribe to the Canadian Immigration Podcast on iTunes and subscribe to my newsletter to be informed when the Podcast is released.

  13. Hi there,
    Excellently written and this is exactly what I needed!
    Thank you.
    One question,is it okay if someone else pays for it other than me or the person who’s residing in Canada I’m asking to get the information on my behalf?
    For example,my brother’s residing in Canada and he can retrieve this information for me but we don’t want to use his credit card since it’s troublesome to send money from my country.Rather my grandfather will let him use his credit card and pay for it(we’ll send him the credit card details and pin,etc)

    Thanks again.

  14. Thank you for the information. My work permit extension has been refused with unclear reasons. My question is can I use somebody else credit card to pay the fee for access to information. My bank told me that someone was attempting to use my card that’s why they need to block my card.

    Thank You,

  15. Hi Mark,
    Last month i applied Tourist visa of canada but canadian govt refuse me for the following reason
    1. Insufficent funds
    2. Purpose of visit
    Even though i am already visited england & austriala. on both visited time i had minimum amount.

    • Yes, this happens at times. I would request the visa office notes and then try to address the officer’s specific concerns in a subsequent application. Good luck!

  16. Thank you for your explanation on retrieving notes from refused application it was a big help.

    I have a permanent visa application in and was a approve in Canada and now my application is sent to my home country for further processing. During this long wait i apply for a TRV and was refused the two reason was Travel history and financial lacking. I read the notes and for the past 8 months i do everything to address these concerns, i have travel to 4 different countries, develop countries like Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad and Antigua, plus now i sent in my bank statement with more than enough money for my stay. What do you think?

    • this is very common. If you have a PR application in the queue, the burden of showing “temporary intent” on the TRV application becomes much higher than normal. You may have to wait it out until PR is obtained. There are other mechanisms that you could pursue; however, these take a lot of time and you would likely obtain PR by that time.

  17. Hello Mark,
    I am from Hong Kong. I have applied some master and diploma program in Canada. While still waiting for the results from public colleges, other private colleges said once I signed the contract with them, they will give me the conditional offer for applying the study permit. However, I have two minor children I would like to take with me. Friends later told me that it’s almost zero chance to get a study permit when CIC see I have dependent children. Is that true? How difficult is that to get a study permit for my case. Thanks

    • Tina,

      I disagree with the fact you would have “Zero” chance. Obviously it is more difficult. However, I just had someone contact our office with a refusal “because” he left his wife and child behind. If you are a single parent, the obvious question is how you will care for the child and support two people financially while in Canada. In order to increase your chances, you need to present your “plan” to the officer so that they can see exactly how you are going to make this work.

  18. Hi. I have just applied for an eTa to Canada. I am a British citizen but have permanent residency in Australia. I paid the required $7 and a day later received my eTa approval number.

    A day after that I received another e-mail that said my application was rejected, and I must address the issue/s listed before I apply for another eTa.

    There were no issues to be addressed. The area was blank!

    This eTa system is seriously fu@ked up. I have sent a request off to the embassy in Australia to find out what the problem is. Luckily I still have a fair bit of time before my planned bike trip to try and get it sorted.

    If I had been travelling in the next few days, I’d be in real mess. The other galling thing is that I need not have applied for this eTa in any case, because Canada is operating a leniency period for travellers who haven’t got one.

    But now, I’m supposedly going to be refused entry if I arrive without the eTa.

    At the same time I got the ESTA for entry into the States – no issues there at all.

    I’m sure it’s some kind of glitch they have in their system, but it is very worrying and very frustrating.

    • Simon,

      It is a gong show. I can’t really say anything more than this. Each time IRCC released a new online portal, it never seems to be properly bata tested. They tend to rely on the users to give feedback on the glitches. I recommend you share your frustrations at every opportunity. With clear errors like this, the CBSA will deal with it when you arrive at the POE. Take screen shots of the messages you get and then present them to the officers at the POE in case you get flagged on entry.I don’t anticipate this being a problem….just a major hassle.

  19. Thanks for this pieces of information.

    Please i have a few question. I want to apply as a student to Canadian universities/colleges. But i am little confused.

    1. I graduated from high school in 2011 and i had a year and few months work experience. Later i went for a 3 years diploma(first diploma) course in computer science.

    2. I want to apply to schools in canada with the same course but on an advanced level diploma or Degree.

    3. Whats is my chances of been accepted and given study permit since most schools in canada preferred Higher diploma or Degrees or even High school diploma.

    4. Do you think applying with High school diploma is cool or i should apply with my first(ordinary diploma).


    • Victor, this will largely depend on the individual school you are applying to. I wish you all the best in your desire to study in Canada.

  20. Hello, I sponsored my husband almost 9 months from Algiers, he had his interview two months ago we still didn’t have a reply. I want him to visit me for the summer because I cant get holidays this year. I have stayed in Algiers for a while with him, what can I do to get him to visit? what are our options?

    • Celine,

      It is going to be very difficult to get a TRV approved for your husband while your spousal application is being processed. There is no harm in making the request; however, it would be very unlikely that it would be approved. In my upcoming Podcast Episode, we are going to discuss some of the reasons TRV applications get refused. You should be able to get some ideas from this Podcast.

  21. Dear sir,

    I hope this email finds you well.

    Could you please let me know that I and my daughter applied for canada visit visa but unfortunately it was refused. Can I know that till how much time after refusal I can appeal and ask for ATIP request?

    What is the time frame for ATIP request after refusal ?

    Also can I appeal for same application or would I have to re-apply again by submitting fees again?

    Please tell me.

    • Amir,

      It can take up to 60 days at times to get the ATIP report back. However, they are coming back quicker now and we have seen some come back within 30 days or less.

      I am going to be releasing a new podcast shortly on what to do when your visa application is refused. Stay tuned to the Canadian Immigration Podcast and be notified of new Episodes the moment they are released by subscribing to the Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/canadian-immigration-podcast/id898520702?mt=2

  22. Hello Mark,
    First of all, thank you so much for guiding the needful in this procedure.

    My father had applied in 2005 AND 2008 through his brother sponsorship as he is a canadian citizen but he was refused a visa. In 2015, i came to canada as a student and i am graduating in june 2016.
    I wanted to invite him for my convocation ceremony but he is denied visa the 3rd time. lack of funds and travel history are the reasons given but he showed ample funds and i dont think for a father to meet a son, you need to first create a travel history. he is working hard and saving money for my education and how can he be denied to come for my convocation.
    we are very upset about the same. Is there a way, anything can be done. 3rd time rejection is really disappointing.

    Please help, i want to meet my father from India.

  23. Hi Mark,

    My student visa was rejected on 19 April 16 based on I have not satisfied the officer that i would leave Canada at the end of my stay. Factors considered were travel history and immigration status in country of residence.

    I am a citizen of Malaysia which was clearly stated in the application form hence, I am confused why one of reasons for rejection was immigration status in country of residence.

    The other rejection reason was travel history. I had travelled to Israel in 2013 as Christians in Malaysia are now permitted to make pilgrimage visit to Israel. Do you think going to Israel was the reason for the rejection?

    Please advise if I were to reapply … do I have to use the same UCI number and application number from the rejection letter? Or a new application number will be given to me when I reapply?

    Really appreciate your kind advise and assistance.


  24. Hi Mark, Hope you doing fine at your desk. My study permit is refused once with few grounds like- Travel history, purpose of visit, employment prospect etc. Now with few changes I want to resubmit my application. eg: I paid full Tuition fees, recently visited a country, My company issued a letter mentioning that they will accomodate me after successful completion of study at Canada. So pls suggest me, along with main application form and SOP , do I need to write any covering letter regarding these changed condition.

  25. I applied for multiple visa 2013, but was refused. I later applied for student visa last two years and was given. Last month I applied for Permanent residence under Nominee Program. But i didn’t remember to mention in my application that i was denied visa in 2013. I am worried if this could be a problem of “misrepresentation” of facts even though i am here on post graduate work permit. Please i need your answer.

    • Any misrepresentation within an immigration application can cause problems. I always recommend complete honesty within the application.If you have discovered an “innocent” misrepresentation within your application, you have an obligation to notify the PNP program of that misrepresentation and correct the error.

  26. Hi. I want to go for a diploma in journalism from canadian colleges. I presently hold a BBA degree(3 years) from an indian deemed university. Since, this is a career switch for me, I know that the embassy may reject my visa on the grounds of no relevance to previous study.
    I have now decided to pursue my pg diploma of 1 year from indian university and then apply for canada in 2017 for diploma/certificate course. Will they still reject my visa?

    • I can’t really provide advice on this. Everything depends upon your personal circumstances. However, if your education plan seems a little unfocused, this can lead an officer to question whether or not your interest in studying in Canada is truly genuine.

  27. Hello Mark
    Good u r helping making dreams come true. God make ur dreams come true.

    I wanted to know what r the success rate of Atip. My visa is refused stating travel history, funds, employment not cleared. I had travelled USA, UK, Europe,newzealand many times. I business company is registered from 2005. Have provided 50000cad in my account. Me and my wife going to explore business leaving kids in home country still I am being refused. I think the officer have not gone through the papers properly. In my covering letter I have mentioned every thing about my company even the no of employees stilling am given reason employment not cleared. Is 50000cad not enough for 15days. Kids are not going with us.
    If I apply for Atip, do I have any chances.

    • Ajit,

      Submit the ATIP. You need to see if there are any detailed reasons that can help you when applying again. You will never know unless you file the ATIP. Once you obtain this, you will then have a better idea as to what you should do next.

      I wish you all the best.

  28. Greetings Mark,

    Thank you for all the insights that you provide on your website, it is highly appreciated. I have two issues I will kindly like you to address

    1. ATIP success rate: I was going to follow you advise with regards to pursuing this option, however, on discussion with a Canadian citizen who works with the civil service at another Canadian agency and was willing to help me submit it told me that there will 3 reviews of the case file and anything that could ‘hurt’ the reputation of CIC would be expunged and whatever report is issued would not really make a difference. He said the first training officers get is NEVER to document/write whatever biases they might have about an applicant’s intention down. So he felt it would be counterproductive to the applicant.

    2. Refusal Denial: I got a refusal letter where ONLY the last item was ticked.
    ‘Other reasons: your proposed studies are not reasonable in the light of one or more of:your qualifications, previous studies, level of establishment, or your future prospects and plans’. Honestly, I think the officer that processed this considered the possibility of ‘dual intent’ and despite meeting all the criteria required, unilaterally decided to refuse the application, perhaps because the applicant is from developing country. What is your advise here please, considering we are not sure of the success rate of ATIP?

    Thank you.

    • Tayo,

      There is no conspiracy here. Request the ATIP. If it doesn’t contain any useful information, then attempt to file again and address each and every concern stated in the previous refusal.

      If this application is refused, then you consider filing a Judical Review application if you are concerned the officer was biased and committed an error in fact or law.

      If you are coming from a country with a high degree of overstay in Canada, this does play a role in the officer’s decision. However, without seeing exactly what has happened within your application and how you answered the questions within your application, it is impossible for me to give you any further advice without being formally retained to represent you. Representation always starts with a formal paid consultation.

      I wish you all the best.

      • Thank you Mark for your response.

        You probably misunderstand me, I do not think there is any conspiracy any where, it is logical for them to do what their doing for National Security reasons/dual intent etc.

        You yourself stated that if the person is coming from a country of where there has been experience with over-stayers, then that could contribute to the officer’s decision making, I would have thought it is much fairer to treat all applications on a case-by-case basis, regardless of past experiences as that would amount to discrimination.

        The point I was trying to make is that the CIC cannot objectively audit/regulate its own operations. I feel the second option of a Judicial Review would be more acceptable in my own estimation, you may choose to disagree with that position.

        Nevertheless, I would be happy to have your official email address so I discuss the possibility of retaining your services.

        Best regards.

  29. Hlo sir, I have refusel from canada….can I do retry..? Is it beneficial for me….plz suggest me…?

    • It all depends on the reasons for refusal. If there is additional information you could provide that was not included with the original application AND if this information can respond to the grounds for refusal set out in the refusal letter, then go for it. However, I recommend that you request the visa office notes before refiling.

      Good luck!

  30. Hi

    I just submitted one request online on behalf of someone and found that information provided on this page is very helpful. One thing that I want to bring your notice that now there are some steps changed and due to that this page needs to update with new modification done by CIC. In this way it will be less confusion for person who has less knowledge of internet and filling information online.

    Warm regards,

  31. This is a wonderful tool! Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such clear, and easy to follow instruction!

    Many thanks,

  32. Good day sir, i am a Cameroonian who recently applied for a student visa to Canada but was denied with reasons stating that i will not return to my country off origin after my studies. the refusal letter states that the visa officer reached that decision considering the following factors: Travel history and Purpose of visit. i had already paid upfront part of my school fees and i am due to start school in September. i would love to reapply but don’t know how to go about compiling a new file,i also got no one there in Canada who can follow up the procedures you mentioned above.please i need your help on what to do. thanks

  33. Please, my question is the person who applied for ”Access to Information” is currently in canada but she will be leaving canada for another country before the GCMS notes arrives, will this influence my application or cause any denial ???

    • Kwabs,

      She needs to file the request before she leaves. Ultimately, the response will likely come back via email so there should not be any major issues.


  34. Hi Mark,

    I have already submitted my application, but there are currently some files I would like to include. How can I add them before a final verdict?

    • Vlad,

      What type of application did you submit? If you were filing the eAPR application through the express entry system, there is no option for you to update your file at your choosing. IRCC consistently refuses to accept additional documentation after the eAPR application has been submitted. The only exception is if they open up a separate document slot for circumstances where police clearances or other essential documents were not available at the beginning of the application.

      However, even in the circumstances it is up to them as to whether they wish to allow this, or whether they will simply return your application for being filed with incomplete supporting documents.

      In the past I have attempted to upload additional documents in the context of an express entry application through the case specific inquiry web portal; however, in each case, the document was never matched up properly with the application. This would be the only option available to you if your application was filed through the express entry system: https://secure.cic.gc.ca/enquiries-renseignements/canada-case-cas-eng.aspx

  35. Hi Mark,

    Recently my friend got rejected back in 2013 for not having close family ties to his home country which he carries an albanian passport but currently resides in the caribeans, he wants to come back to canada to visit or the next 6 months, just enough time for him to get his permanent citizenship I have not seen my friend for over 5 years now. I miss him dearly.

    Can you please help us on how to getting him back here in hopes of his application getting approved?

    Kind Regards,


  36. My visa gets rejected for studying purpose , within how many days I can refile another visa?

    • Raghu,

      There is no specific time line on how long you have to wait before refiling. The most important part is that you address the specific concerns the officer had on your first refusal. If you do not do this, the second application will result in a refusal just the same.


  37. I am applying for canadian study permit….if it is rejected can I go for this process to get detailed reason of rejection?

    • SM,

      If you are concerned that your study permit application will be rejected, I highly recommend that you engage reputable immigration representation to assist you with the process. Immigration lawyers and qualified immigration consultants will have had prior experience dealing with the Visa office and will be able to help you in understanding the parts of your application that may cause you problems and also suggest alternative supporting documents to strengthen your case.

      In the end, if you choose to file your application on your own and it is rejected, you can use this process (the ATIP request) to obtain a copy of the Visa officer notes which provide more details regarding the actual reasons for the refusal. However, it is far better to be proactive and submit a very strong application at the very beginning, then to submit one that is not very strong, get a refusal, and then try to get the officers notes to know the areas that you need to strengthen.

      The reasons for refusal are very common for everyone. Highly experienced representatives will be able to let you know what those reasons are and provide advice to you on how to strengthen your applications so that it gets approved the first time. My position has always been that you get what you pay for.

      I wish you all the best my friend.


  38. Hi Mark,
    Thank you so much for this very helpful post. I will definitely give this try to get complete details as recently TRVs rejected for My Brother and his family, last year Mother-in-law got rejected for Super Visa. it also come to my knowledge that local MP can also submit (ATIP) requests but not sure whether MP office will provide me complete detail.
    Just need your best advise should I contact MP office or not , or can I submit two (ATIP) requests one by myself and one through local MP office which option is right?
    Thank you in advance and really appreciate all your help and time

    • Naveed,

      As a result of the recent changes to the Canadian immigration process, everything has become much more difficult and complicated. When I am dealing with situations such as yours, I access every option that is available to me. I would recommend that you do both. The MP may be able to get a response sooner, but the ATIP request may provide you with more detailed information.

  39. 2012 I went to Canada as a TFW, I had apply for AINP and was denied May 2015. They had call me on May 5 , 2015 when my work permit expires May 1, 2015 I told the officer that I had applied for an bridge work permit in which my application is in. Informing the offer that didn’t change anything. In the breathe of that I had apply for ANIP from November 2013. Which I had waited over 14 months for an answer. While waiting for the bridge work permit I received a denied letter stating I would need an LMIA, with all this I’m pregnant and still staying positive as I really love working in Canada and with the hope of becoming permanent resident… Coming to Canada in the first place I considered it as a golden opportunity. My employer applied for an LMIA and we got a positive respond in September 2015 (The tunnel seems like there is no light at the end)In July 2015 I had apply for a renewal of my passport which would expired October, 2015. I had send in my Lmia to apply for my work permit with a letter stating I had my passport in for renewal. I gave birth October and received my passport early November the moment I received it I sent it in to CIC. As per CIC at that time work permit processing time takes 144days. In March2016 I got another denied application stating my that my passport is expired. I had the LMIA which will expire few days. I exit Canada to apply from outside and was denied again. Very hurt knowing I’m following the legal part of becoming a Permanent Residence and the fact I gave birth in Canada. How can I get the chance to even take my child to the country of birth?

    • Inani,

      I am really sorry to hear about your situation. I feel very badly for you. Ultimately, if you had reached out to me at the onset there would’ve been many options to ensure everything went through properly. However, after numerous refusals it becomes considerably more difficult. With this being said, I would be happy to have a call with you to discuss your circumstances explore possible alternatives that may be available. You would need to Book a paid consultation through the following link on my firm website: This specific request will also need to go through a formal paid consultation process. I would need to examine your specific circumstances in detail in order to offer you a legal opinion. You can book the consult through this link: http://www.ht-llp.com/contact/


  40. Hay, i am a international student on PGWP, i applied for TRV for my mother so she can come for my convocation, but go refused, reasons-travel history(she never left the country of residence) and family ties in both the countries, i reapplied by attaching a latter of explanation now waiting for result. meanwhile i applied for physical file from IRCC and they replied me by this
    “Your request contained contradicting information; you selected the physical file (application forms, supporting documents and correspondences sent to and/or from IRCC) although the text entered may imply you wish to receive the electronic notes of the immigration or citizenship officer(s) which would provide you with a file status or update. Please specify whether you wish to receive the electronic notes or the physical file”
    please suggest the reply to them now

    Please and Thanks.

  41. Hi Mark,
    thanks for the information, I however cannot apply for the officers notes as school starts for me in September. My study permit was refuse. The officer stated that i did not have enough finances to support myself in the country, that i don’t satisfy the officer that i would leave Canada at the end of my stay, purpose of visit (even though i submitted a copy of my acceptance letter) and personal assets and financial status (in my country a 18 year old is considered an adult however we don’t own our own car houses etc as we are just fresh out of high school). what should i do i am running about of time and i would like to be able to attend school this fall.

    • Chantanese,

      I really do wish I could offer you an opinion; however, do to the complexity of your situation, I would also need you to go through a formal paid consultation process. I would need to examine your specific circumstances in detail in order to offer you a legal opinion. You can book a consult through this link: http://www.ht-llp.com/contact/

  42. Hello,
    My student visa and entry visa both expires on Dec 31th and my study will complete at 15TH Dec. I want extension to apply for study or work permit. What are the chances of refuse
    Please help!!!!!!!!!

    • Dilbar,

      This specific request will also need to go through a formal paid consultation process. I would need to examine your specific circumstances in detail in order to offer you a legal opinion. You can book a consult through this link: http://www.ht-llp.com/contact/

  43. Sir Mark Holthe,

    I am in need of your suggestion for the below query.

    I am a Biomedical Engineer and have Pakistani nationality, completed my Schooling, High School and University(undergraduate) from Pakistan. Presently I received graduate admission in University of Waterloo and applied for study permit from Karachi, Pakistan. Unfortunately, my visa is denied due to below reasons from visa official.

    1- You have not satisfied me that you would leave Canada at the end of your stay. In reaching this
    decision, I considered several factors, including:

    a- travel history
    b- length of proposed stay in Canada

    2- Other reasons:

    a – Not satisfied that you are a bona fide student & would depart Canada at end of an authorized stay.

    Despite of submitting all the documents they have refused my visa for higher studies. My father is working in Saudi Arabia and I only use to visit my parent on and off in Summer vacations. Further I also want to notify that last year I applied for USA student visa and got rejected under section 214(b)twice. On first attempt I forget to take one document whereas on second time they reject similarly under section 214(b) without any known reason.

    My Classes at University of Waterloo for Fall will began in September and registration in August. Please suggest me shall I apply again for visa? Or as you directed in website to go through ATIP process which will strengthen the case as I have some relative as an Canadian immigrates.

    Your reply will be highly appreciable,

  44. I got rejection for Canadian student visa.My name is Yash.I got 6 bands in IELTS with no less than 5.5 in each module.Still I got rejection.I have applied after completing of my 12th science.Now what I have to do to get Canadian student visa.Please help me.

  45. Hi Mark,

    I’m glad I found your website. What legal actions do Immigration Lawyers do to overturn Visa Officer’s refusal outside Canada on TFW applicant due to family ties & current employment status in country of residence? Other than appealing at the Federal Court?

    What other legal actions do Immigration Lawyers provide to help refused TFW get approval and overturn Visa Officers refusal outside Canada?

    After getting “ATIP” and addressing the reasons of refusal stated therein, do Immigration Lawyers just simply send an explanation letter to the Visa Officer abroad why the TFW applicant should not be refused and advise applicant to re-apply, submit new supporting documents together with Immigration Lawyer endorsement letter?

    What if the Visa Officers still refused TFW applicant despite addressing the ATIP?

    Do TFW need to include “ATIP” letter so the new Visa Officer would know the previous reason of refusal? Most V.O. if not all provides different reason of refusals.

    Do Immigration Lawyers coordinate to the Visa Program Manager abroad where the refused TFW submitted application and ask VPM to review the application or re-assess?

    How do Immigration Lawyers make it possible to help refused TFW get an approval?
    Do you coordinate directly with the Visa Office abroad or how do you go about it? Do you coordinate or talk to someone Higher in Canada?

    Please enlighten me.

    Thank you Mark.

    • JC,

      Thank you for you detailed question. I really appreciate you asking it. Immigration Lawyers do not have any special “pull” with visa officers to get refused applications approved when visa applications are rejected. What a competent qualified immigration lawyer does is ensure that the decision of the office is correct in law and if there are any procedure errors committed within the adjudication process, Federal Court is the remedy. However, where no procedural errors have occurred, then the ATIP provides the basis upon which an application can be resubmitted. The second application will only be successful if evidence can be provided to satisfy the concerns of the previous officer when the application was rejected.

      The second visa officer will always have access to the complete history of the first refusal, so there is no need to include a copy of the ATIP file.

      Ultimately, the best time to get an application approved is on the very first try. At times, it does not matter how well an application is prepared, the indiviudal background of the person applying may simply be too weak to justify an approval in the eyes of an officer. In some cases, the initial application was prepared so poorly, that the only option a visa officer had was to refuse. In these circumstances we have had great success in getting the second application approved because of the complete information we provided in the second application.

      However, there have been other times, including just yesterday where a client hired us to refile a study permit application. We worked extremely hard to do everything in our power to strengthen the second application. However, the fact that the application was not currently employed and wanted to make a career change by going to school in Canada in an area he had little documented experience in was simply too much for us to overcome. It is always a terrible thing to notify a client that even after our best efforts, we could not change an officer’s mind.

      Ultimately, immigration lawyers do have the ability to reach out to the program manager at a visa office to address refused applications in an attempt to get them reconsidered. However, in most cases it is extremely difficult to obtain an approval on a second application when the initial application is not presented properly. The first refusal has a significant influence on the decision of the second officer.

      I wish you all the best.

  46. Hi, there

    Thanks so much for this instruction!

    A question as I am requesting the file: right now the file type changed to “case file”, so I can only request the application and supporting documents and forms from IRCC OR electronic notes from visa officers, so which one should I request for detailed reasons of visa rejection.

    Thanks Again!! 🙂

  47. Hello,
    My visit visa was rejected twice with the reasons as 1) no travel history
    2) financial status and ties in home country and in Canada.

    My husband and brother are in Canada on student visa.
    I want to visit my husband with my baby for his birthday and marriage anniversary.
    Reason was mentioned clearly and I work hear in a reputed MNC I have maintained good amount of balance in my account.
    Please suggest me what to do further

  48. Hi. This grace. I was applyng for student visa. I got the acceptance letter from Georgian College. I am a teacher and I want to study Early Childhood Education and I even paid my 1 year tuition fee. I have aunt and sister in law living in Canada therefore I will stay there. I have funds to support my studies even my aunt will support me but My application for student visa was refused for this reason “the consul was not convinced that I would return aftermy stay”. I was so sad and finding ways of the things I should do for them to be convinced that I will return in my country after my studies. Please help me with this. Thank you very much.

  49. I’m now noot sure tthe place you’re getting your information, but
    good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or figuring out more.

    Thanks for great innfo I was in search of this information for my mission.

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