My Canadian Permanent Resident Application was Refused. What should I do now?

I came to Canada on Feb 2 2006. I submitted my application last November 2008.  My boyfriend who is a refugee claimant proposed marriage.  I called Canada Immigration three times to ask if Imarry my boyfriend, will it impact my immigration application? Canada Immigration told me it would not. So I got married in December 2008. I relied on the information I received from the Immigration Call Centre. However,  I received a letter of refusal. What can I do?


Listing your boyfriend as a dependent on your application for permanent residence may not have had anything to do with your refusal, unless he had a medical condition or criminal record. It may be the case that your immigration application was refused because of some issue with your own qualifications or how the application was prepared.  You should also know that information you receive from the Immigration Call Centre should not be considered “legal advice”. You should always consult an immigration lawyer before proceeding.

The best course of action when there is an immigration refusal is to appeal the decision. There are dead lines to watch out for when appealing to either the Federal Court or Immigration Adjudication Division (IAD).

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

55 Responses to “My Canadian Permanent Resident Application was Refused. What should I do now?”

  1. Kanchan says:

    I am 31 years old married woman with a 3 year old son. I have been preparing for my GMAT and subsequent university/student visa applications for over an year. About a month back someone from within my family suggested that I apply for PR, as I have over 8 years work experience and qualify with over 78 points under the FSW. I took the advise and engaged with a Toronto based immigration lawyer and I am currently arranging paper work to get my application submitted at the earliest.
    Sorry for the long background info, but my question actually is this… would a rejection of my PR application (hope not though) affect my student visa application too? Of course, the idea is to not submit a student visa application if I get PR, but in case it doesn’t work out then how would the visa officer treat my student visa application?
    FYR – I have a strong student profile for the MBA program, have been scoring over 700 in all my prep exams and my previous education and work ex are solid as well. The reason to apply for PR was only because the process is, for lack for a better explanation, cheaper then going as a student. Once in Canada, I can use mt GMAT score and opt for an executive program.
    Immigration experts out there who can comment/help… please do advise/suggest.

    • owen says:

      Hello Kanchan,

      Thank you for the question. A PR application refusal should not negatively affect your study permit application, assuming that you otherwise do indeed meet the requirements to get a student visa. Please let us know if you have any further questions.


  2. Gagandeep Singh says:

    hello sir,
    i have applied for tourist visa (Canada) and that was rejected due to some reasons and now i want to apply for skilled category. tourist rejection could effect on my PR file or not???????

    • owen says:

      Hello Gagandeep,

      Thank you for the question. I am sorry to hear that your visa application was refused. Although immigration officials will have access to your record and will be able to see that your previous Tourist visa application was denied, that should not be very detrimental to your Federal Skilled Worker application, provided that the reason your previous application was refused does not make you inadmissible under the FSW application. It would be best to seek the advice of one of our skilled immigration lawyers in order to maximize your chances of a successful application. Please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be with you shortly


  3. Louise says:

    Hello All!

    My work permit is going to expire at the beginning of April 2015. I have been working at my job since June 2013 but in the requirements, I have to have been getting paid a certain amount for 12 months to be eligible for PR. I have been getting paid that amount since the middle of March 2014 which means I will hit that “target” by the middle of March 2015. However, The current processing time is 33 days which means my work permit will expire before I get that first approval.

    Does anyone have any advice on the best way to approach this? Should I leave the country for 2 weeks so I’m not here when my permit expires and once I get the approval, apply for the open work permit and come back? provided I send away all of the paperwork the minute I hit that target of 12 months? My Permit will be expired about 7 days before I get any approval..

    • owen says:

      Hello Louise,

      Thank you for the question. Fortunately, there may be a variety of options available to you, but we would need some more details regarding your personal situation in order to properly advise you. Please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  4. Sid says:

    During my PR interview against my FSW application, I was asked questions about my employer’s credentials, earnings, past balance sheets, etc. Was it just routine or they have some deliberate doubt. Whereas, no where in the whole 3 year process I was ever asked to submit any such information. It’s been 6 weeks that I have heard from them. Please advise if this is leading to rejection of my PR application.

    • owen says:

      Hello Sid,

      Thanks for the inquiry. The immigration officer may essentially ask you about anything they want in order to determine your eligibility to obtain PR, and it would be difficult to determine what their exact intention was when they asked you particular questions. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


  5. Gurpreet says:

    hi, canada embassy has refused my student visa in 2012 causes of financial problem i.e they said that you will not leave Canada after study.
    and now, i want to apply under skilled category .
    is my initial refusal will have any negative impact if i apply under skilled category of Canada?
    please give me your advice.

    • owen says:

      Hello Gurpreet,

      Thank you for the question. I am sorry to hear that your Study permit was not approved previously. If you want to apply under the skilled worker category then it will be important to strengthen certain aspects of your application that may have caused you problems in the past, and this is something that we have a lot of experience doing, and we would be happy to assist you with your new application. Please fill out our free online assessment and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  6. Timilehin says:

    Hello All,

    My spouse just got his TRV and study permit. However, we are considering applying for the current FSW 2014 because he qualifies. Pls will this pose a problem as dual intent. And will it also cause myself the kids refusal on visitors visa because we intend visiting him nxt year.

    Kindly advise if we should put in d application or we wait till he finishes. Canada immigration changes every yr so that is why we are considering the fsw option.


    • Hello Timilehin

      Thanks for your post. Generally this should not be a problem. Usually if you file a FSW and THEN a TRV application you could run into issues. But since your spouse has a TRV already that should be fine. Of course he must abide by the terms and conditions of his TRV and study permit. For help with your FSW application you can complete our online immigration assessment

  7. swathi raman says:

    I applied for Permanent Resident through Canadian Experience Class, it is in process, expecting medical request in couple of weeks.
    I am engaged and getting married in November 2014. My fiance is in India and we want to come to Canada by Dec 2014. Currently, I am on work permit valid until July 2015. I want to know if it is good to put a hold on my PR application if I want to bring my fiance through a dependent visa immediately as I heard the processing time for dependent visa is lesser than the actually PR application for him, Please suggest at the earlier. Also, can he start a business with Open work permit once he comes here. Please advise.

    • Donnell Kent says:

      Hello Swathi,

      Thank you for your post. From reading your post, it seems as though you have many options available to you. It may not be wise to put your Permanent Resident application on hold at this point. Your finace can make an application for a Visitor Visa without you putting a hold on your application, providing your finace meets the eligibility requirements. I strongly encourage you to visit and fill out our free online assessment and speak with one of our skilled consultants. We would be happy to assist your fiance with your immigration goals.

  8. Monique says:

    My husband refused of visitor or temporary residence visa, and our application for PR is on process under livein caregiver. Is our application for PR is affected?
    Thank you!!!

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello Monique,
      No, the application for PR will not be effected.

      All the best
      Sarah Jane

  9. ImissCanada says:

    I was a PR before from 2005 to 2007. Because of unavoidable circumstances I was unable to return back to Canada to maintain my Permanent residency. I applied for a travel document in 2013 and I was refused entry. The appeal date has expired. I am looking at applying for FSW 2014. What are my chances of getting back to Canada as PR? Will I be refused if I apply? Will your Organisation help represent my file?

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hi ImissCanada,

      As the PR process is very specific, it would be irresponsible of me to advice you about such matters without fully understanding your circumstance. There is always hope that PR status can be re-instated however, it is not guaranteed. If you’d like further advice, we’d be happy to provide you with a consultation to discuss your situation in greater detail.

      Best Regards.

  10. Jenny says:

    I know someone who is an American citizen and trying to obtain Perm. Res. in Quebec. I also know for a fact that she is being unfaithful to her husband, who is a Canadian citizen. Could her unfaithfulness affect her application being approved if the officials were to find out?

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      That is a difficult question to answer without knowing the details of her specific immigration application. In the case of family sponsorship, the authenticity of a relationship is most certainly an important factor considered by the CIC. Immigration officials are trained to detect instances of marriage fraud and know how to detect false marriages, however, I am not certain if that is the situation in your friend’s case. Generally speaking if this person is entering Canada through an immigration stream other than family sponsorship, an accusation of adultery alone is not considered grounds for inadmissibility.
      For more information on family sponsorships please see our website here:

      Sarah Jane

  11. Marie says:

    Hello! I have applied for Quebec PNP application back in 2012 and still waiting for approval. It’s taking so long that I was wondering if I or my husband can apply to another state as a PNP again? Or would that result in a conflict with our application?

    • Hello Marie

      Your PNP application is taking a long time. Do you have legal representation? If so did you speak with your lawyer as to why it is taking so long?

      Also your husband can apply for another PNP that is fine generally. But for us to know for sure we would have to be involved with the case.

  12. Rajan says:

    here is the mail that i recieved from immigration:

    I have now completed the assessment of your application for a permanent resident visa as a member of the provincial nominee class. I have determined that you do not meet the requirements for immigration to Canada in this class.

    Pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, 2002, applicants in the provincial nominee class are assessed on the basis of the requirements set out in subsection 87(2), which states that a foreign national is a member of the provincial nominee class if

    (a) Subject to subsection (5), they are named in a nomination certificate issued by the government of a province under a provincial nomination agreement between the province and the Minister; and

    (b) They intend to reside in the province that has nominated them.

    I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of subsection 87(2)(a) of these requirements because the province that nominated you has advised us that your nomination has been withdrawn.

    Subsection 11(1) of the Act states that a foreign national must, before entering Canada, apply to an officer for a visa or for any other document required by the regulations. The visa or document shall be issued if, following an examination, the officer is satisfied that the foreign national is not inadmissible and meets the requirements of this Act. Subsection 2(1) specifies that unless otherwise indicated, references in the Act to “this Act” include regulations made under it.

    Following an examination of your application, I am not satisfied that you meet the requirements of the Act and the regulations for the reasons explained above. I am therefore refusing your application.

    The Right of Permanent Residence Fee that you have paid is refundable. You should receive this refund at the mailing address you named in your last correspondence with us in eight to twelve weeks.

    Thank you for the interest you have shown in Canada.

    is there anyway you can help me out sir?

    • Hello Rajan
      Thanks for sharing. Yes you would have to have a consultation with Sonia Grewal, a lawyer at our law firm. She can discuss your case with you in detail. Tell her I sent you to her.
      Michael Niren

  13. Rajan says:

    Respected Chair

    i have applied under ontario pnp program and i just got my refusal. i have filled my application when i was in canada . a year ago i came for marriage and unfortunately my mother felt ill and i could not return back before the expiration of my entry visa in may. i was having valid work permit till dec 2013 but my return visa was expired. i hit the doors of immigration but they were on strike for few months for raise of salary. in the mean time to carry on my processing of file, i had provided all the documents related to my spouse as i have informed them that i had got married so i want to change my marital status. i have provided al the documents related to my spouse which were being asked since february like police clearance, passport, birth, marriage certificate. later on a client id was also issued to carry on the medicals, medicals were submitted, right of permanent residence fee and other fees were all submitted as asked……………during all this process i had informed them that my current country of residence is india. and then i emailed them twice, one after a month in last dec, they said you will recieve news in next year. i again drop an email in february, they said we had informed the case and you will get an answer. i got an email from visa officer regarding supporting facts for my case, i submitted them on the same day and then again when i didnt hear in 8 days i dopped an email that i am waiting for update…………at the end on valentine day they gifted me refusal for not being in province………………….can somebody help me ?

    • Hello Rajan

      I am sorry to hear that you were refused an Ontario PNP application. We would have to see a copy of the refusal letter in order to advise you what to do but based on the information you provided we can likely help with this situation. It is not pleasant to get such bad news on Valentines Day. We certainly want to help. Best Michael Niren

  14. Jane says:

    I am currently on student visa.
    I was once a PGWP holder.
    I was refused PR last year.
    Since the PGWP is a one time permit, I would like to know if the only way to get a work permit after graduating in a few months is to get a LMO from an employer.

    I need professional advice in this regard…as soon as possible.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Jane
      Once you graduate you can get an LMO and WP from an employer. Your employer would have to apply for an LMO on your behalf and if approved you can apply for a work permit on that basis. If you are in Canada, of course your status has as a TR has to remain valid. But nothing precludes you from applying for a WP on the basis of an LMO. But your PG (post grad) WP yes is a one time visa not extendable.
      Hope that helps

  15. Amy says:

    I have a few questions for you. I was not able to prove that my Common-Law Partner and I have been cohabiting for the year.We have been dating since 02/2006. We currently have a child together and one on the way.I moved up here with a temporary residence document, renewed every 6 months to a year since 2010. I provided the evidence they said they would accept on the application such as;
    Common Law declaration (May 31, 2010)
    Beneficiary for insurance, (2011-2012)
    Letters and emails, (2006-2012)
    Any document with both names on it (Car insurance, 2010-2012)

    My questions to you, is what is the next step to appeal? Letter is dated May 17, 2013.

    And they said at the bottom to leave Canada immediately. Currently have no other place to go what do I do to stay?


    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Amy

      I am sorry that your application was refused. Did you hire a lawyer to represent you? And you can appeal the case in some instances but you have 30 days to do so after being notified of the refusal. You should hire a lawyer to help you with this.


  16. PK says:

    Hi Michael, I found your answer very useful. My brother who lives in Regina had applied for his PR April 2012 and he also submitted his Medical. But it has been over 13 months and he still did not get any reply. Do you know why there is that much delay. I live in England so I can’t really him but your answer may be able to help us.

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello PK

      Thank you for the kind words. Your brother has been waiting a long time. Sometimes medicals and criminal background checks take many many months to process causing long delays. At our office we get involved in these cases start taking a very long time. It is important to follow up.


  17. edwi says:


    I have applied for PR and sponsorship of my 2 sons and my wife way back 2009 but the problem is i have recieved a letter that my application was refused. The situation is that my spouse have violated under A36(1)(C), I just want to get my 2 sons to live with me. Any suggestion to solve this matter?

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Edwl

      This is a complicated case and for this one you should seek legal assistance. For refused sponsorship cases sometimes you can appeal them but have 30 days to do so after your application is refused. Contact a lawyer for this.

  18. Hazel says:

    I am under live in. cage over program applied for PR in July 2010 and I have received an initial approval for it, it said that even my family members who are here and backhome are qualified the CIC asked me to apply for a restoration of my child’s visit visa but she was refused and said that she has to leave canada immediately, my minor child is here studying with no status, what should I do, will her case affect our Permanent residency application? Please do advice me. What can I do to her case.

  19. Esther says:


    I received a letter that my CEC PR application has been refused.
    I applied under the post grad stream(schooled in canada as a foreign national for 4yrs, obtained post graduate work permit for 3 years and then after working for a 16 months, I applied for CEC PR in June 2012)
    I would like to know if I can re-apply.
    However, I have sent in an application for an extension of my work permit(the new bridge open work permitwork permit )which is supposed to expire in 3 months.My SIN card and visa all expire in 3 months time.
    Is it possible to apply for a study permit when I receive my new work permit so that I can go back to school.

    Thank you and looking forward to hearing from you.

    Have a great day.

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Esther

      I am sorry that your CEC PR Application was refused. You may be able to re-apply but we would have to look into your case in more detail.
      Regarding a study permit, it looks like it may be possible but again, this case has to be looked at more deeply.
      Michael Niren

  20. chiomsi says:

    Can I use a 1year contract full-time job to apply under the skilled category-provincial Nominee prog in Alberta after working for at least 6 months or must it be permanent full-time?

    The agency i work for starts all new employees on a 1 year contract and makes employees permanent after 1 yr.

    Would you suggest i ask my employer for a letter stating their hiring process so that i can attached it to my PNP application? BTW, my job is under NOC 4212. Thank you

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hi Chiomsi

      This may make sense. We would have to look at this case in more detail to be sure. Let us know if you wish us to represent you for this one.

  21. mike says:

    Hi, I would really appreciate your help regarding my case. I am a student. I applied for my PR under the skilled worker stream, and I have completed my medical exam. Five months later I got married and I informed CIC about it, and also I added my spouse to my application by sending them the appropriate documents. The visa office replied back stating that they understand that I wanted to add my spouse to my file. After a month I then receive an email that states that I must make a new application for my spouse and sponsor her!! even though I am not a permanent resident!! I really dont understand the office decision and would really appreciate your feedback! Can I appeal againest that decision?

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Mike
      That seems like a strange letter! You should be able to include your spouse on your application provided you add her on time before it is approved. Not sure what happened there. If your case is still pending there may be a way to get her added as a dependent. If you case is finalized it may be too late and you would have to formally sponsor her as a spouse but that would be an unusual result. I would look into this more deeply

  22. jaci says:

    Hi, i am currently on post graduate work permit and i just have a year and 1 month left. today i got a 1 yer contract job that might be renewed a the end of the 1 year if funds are received from the government.My question is can i use the1year contract job which is under NOC 4212 to apply for PR under the federal skilled worker category or i can’t use a contract job to apply for PR? thank you in advance

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Jaci

      Thank you for your post. You have to show you have one year of experience prior to applying for PR under the Skilled Worker Category. Just showing a one year contract for future work will not be accepted.

  23. H GH says:


    My Federal Skilled Worker application (as a physician) was refused on April 1, 2012. I scored 65/100. should I appeal the decision? If so, what are the cost and time frame involved in an appeal procedure?

    I was refused because the officer didn’t award five points in Adaptability (for close relatives residing in Canada). But, I did send a copy of their PR Cards, driver’s licenses, health cards etc. The only thing I did not submit was their utility bills.

    Also, the visa office was not convinced that I will be economically established in Canada. But, I submitted my bank account statements with $30,000.00 CAD!

    What do I do?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear H,

      I am very sorry to hear that your application was refused.

      To appeal your case, you must appeal within sixty (60) days from the date on which you were notified of or otherwise became aware of the denial.

      However, please note that not every case has the merits of being appealed and the cost and the timeframe involved in an appeal procedure can be significant. Because the points awarded to you were so close to the pass mark, you might make a good case for filing a Judicial Review to Federal Court. However, to better advise you on this, I would require much more information from you regarding you and your case background.

      Even without appealing your case, you may still re-submit your application. There may be a number of legal options that an experienced immigration lawyer can pursue to turn a refusal into a positive decision. I suggest that you consult with an experienced immigration lawyer with more detailed information regarding your case to better assess what options you may have at this point.

      Please note that there is a new regulation change that will likely be introduced soon for the Federal Skilled Worker category. The new regulations will likely place a priority on a specific professional occupation, such as physicians and have the applications from physicians processed first. As this is your intended occupation, it might be better for you to re-apply rather than appealing.

      To properly address your concerns and better assess your options, I strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible in order to meet the strict filing deadlines.

      Hope this helps.

  24. monica says:

    Hi ,
    I have appliede my case under 4131 NOC for P.R of canada under vocational instructor/Trainer. But I was refused 2 times. I would like to make a successful application this time. What do I have to do?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Monica,

      The key aspect of a successful LMO application is that your employer is unable to fill the position with a qualified Canadian applicant. In order to prove this, your employer will have to demonstrate that they have made an effort to recruit Canadians to the position by posting an ad on the Canadian government’s official job website (i.e. Job Bank). Further, you need to demonstrate in a persuasive manner why you are the best candidate for the job considering the nature of the business and position and your background credentials.

      If you were refused twice in the past, I recommend that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer to review your case and prepare a successful application this time.

      Thank you.

  25. Rachel says:


    I have applied for Permanent Residency in Canada(Quebec-Montreal Province) and I have already did my medical test and have been sbmitted. I have also submitted my police check for me and my husband, but on my husband police check there is mention of him that he was in possession of heroin and he got to pay a fine, this is dated since 4 years back now, but still it does appear on his police check. I want to know if this is going to affect my procedures now since I got 2 kids and have completed 90% of the procedures.

    Please advice, thanks

  26. Tina says:


    My PR application has been refused. The refusal letter I got on December 21, 2010 says this decision is final. Can we appeal?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Tina,

      When your application for permanent residence is refused, you may appeal this decision to the Immigration Appeal Division in Canada within 60 days of receiving the refusal. The Immigration Appeal Division will hold a hearing where they consider humanitarian and compassionate grounds as well as new documentation and submissions in support of your appeal.

      Hope this helps.

  27. sam says:


    I just wanted to ask you about the current processing time for my Work Permit application. I sent my application package in February, 2010. They started processing my application on May, 2010. I think the process is taking far longer than the normal processing time and because of this delay all my documents have expired. However, I have not recieved any letter from them regarding my application package. How long is the current processing time for a Work Permit and what should I do?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Sam,

      The current processing time for a Work Permit submitted to an office inside Canada is 86 days. But, because it has been longer than this processing time since you applied, I would suggest that you contact the Call Centre. Call Centre agents cannot speed up the process for you but they will be able to look into the status of your application and help you find out what is going on.

      Hope this helps.

  28. nezireyes says:

    I applied for a Work Permit, however, it was refused. The refusal letter states that I have not satisfied immigration that I will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for my stay as I have not demonstrated strong ties to the Philippines.

    But, the letter also says that if there is any significant new information, I am welcome to re-apply. Where possible, a different officer will be assessing the application.

    I want to re-apply, but now I am unemployed. I resigned from my job last May, 2010. What do I need to prove this time when I re-apply for a Work Permit? What kinds of documents do I need to submit to prove ties to my home country? Should I be honest and indicate on the application form that I am currently unemployed?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Nezireyes,

      You must satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment. To do this, you should demonstrate strong ties to your home country. Examples of documentation You may submit include any proof showing that you have immediate family members, investments, or permanent home in your home country. However, you should be able to find more detailed information about this from the website of the Canadian visa office in Manila, Philippines.

      In addition, you must also submit proof of your employment in Canada (i.e. your job offer letter/contract) and proof that you meet the requirments of the job. You demonstrate this by including specific educational requirements or past work experience.

      You also have to show that you are in good health and have enough money to maintain yourself in Canada.

      Hope this helps.

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