Some Canadian Visa Applications Now Online but Beware
The Canadian Government has created a system for online visa applications. In late December, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that those seeking Canadian work permits or visitor extensions can now utilize the online system.
The online application system is supposed to eliminate some of the costly and time consuming problems that arise when relying on mail applications, including incomplete forms or errors. The online forms can only be submitted once they are complete.
The government advises that doing it this way makes accidentally missing part of the forms or incorrectly filling them out a non-issue. However, this is far from the case. The online software may indeed prevent you from missing your birth date or some other information on the form. But no software will guide you as to the content you have to enter on them. And in our experience, most visa application refusals are due to content errors.
While as Kenny says “extending our online services to more temporary residents will significantly facilitate the application process by providing faster, more accessible and efficient services,” you should beware of the pitfalls of such online convenience. Once you submit your application online, you are committed to what you state in your application. Therefore it is always advisable to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer before sending in any immigration or visa applications online or by mail. Online applications may guarantee a paperless process but certainly not an approval.
Previously, only international students were able to apply online. In the future, CIC intends to make it possible for all types of applications to be made online. The service is available to all temporary residents, with the exception of applicants who want to work in Canada through co-op work permits.
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
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