Can someone appeal decision to deny a visitor’s visa?

Can someone appeal decision to deny a visitor’s visa?

Jamaica To Canada

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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Dear Mr Brown:

I want know if I can appeal the decision of the Canadian High Commission to deny a visitor’s visa. Although I do not own real estate, I have a good job and I think I showed enough money. I just want to attend the wedding of a family member in Toronto. I have no intention to run away or overstay.

– MT


Dear MT:

I receive many questions about appeals regarding visitor’s visas.



An appeal deals with whether the correct outcome has been reached by a visa officer based on the correct application of the law, ie the correct decision when the law is applied to the facts of the case. Unfortunately, there is no right for you to appeal decisions regarding temporary resident visa applications such as: visitor’s visas, study permits and work permits.

Judicial review

A judicial review application is different from an appeal. Judicial review is concerned not with the right decision or outcome per se, but with the manner in which a decision is made. A judge may disagree with an officer’s decision, but if the manner in which the decision was reached is fair and at least reasonable, the judge may dismiss the application for judicial review.


The main reasons for allowing an application for judicial review are:

• There is an error in law;

• There is an error regarding the facts at a fundamental level, or facts of fundamental purpose appear to have been ignored;

• There is a violation of a principle of natural justice or failed to observe procedural fairness;

• The decision goes beyond the legal authority of the decision-maker.


The judicial review process requires leave (permission) of the court. The process is also subject to many rules and is a lengthy one.


Immigration file

There is no requirement for a visa officer to give written or oral reasons for their decisions. The refusal letter that you received is a standard document, which outlines the general conclusions regarding the refusal, which are usually constructed by cutting and pasting pre-constructed general statements for denial. As such, the refusal letter does not illuminate the underlying reason or rationale for the decision. In other words, the refusal letter states conclusions, without explaining them or the thoughts of the visa officer as how the decision was reached to refuse your application. However, your file contains the notes from the visa officer which do explain or provide the rationale for the decision. There are many instances in which the visa officer has a problem with something that the applicant thinks is not problematic and vice versa. As such, the only way to know the true basis of the refusal decision is to review the actual file.


Resubmit application

In response to your question, I believe the best option is to review your actual file to understand the complete basis for refusing the visa. I suggest that you review the file and based on its contents, you may then resubmit an application. Of course, the resubmitted application should address all of the visa officer’s concerns in the previous application in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining the visa. I can assist you with the process of obtaining and reviewing your file to make the resubmission, if you would like.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian Permanent Residence programs, including Express Entry, The Study & Work program, Visas or Appeals, etc.

– Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to

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