Immigrating to Canada has become more and more popular in recent years, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is welcoming it. With more and more people applying each year, and especially due to delays in processing because of Covid-19, it’s become more important than ever to prepare and submit a good application to give yourself the best chance at an approval.
While filing your application with the help of a good immigration professional can certainly help (just be aware of the scammers), you’re more than capable of applying on your own. However, after reviewing dozens of applications as an immigration lawyer – and helping many people after they were rejected when applying by themselves – I wanted to write an article outlining the most common mistakes I see people make, and how to avoid them when applying for yourself.
One of the hardest parts about filing any immigration application is just determining exactly what you need to submit, especially because forgetting certain documents can lead to a long delay in processing, or even a rejection. I always recommend applying online, but the problem is that sometimes the IRCC portal doesn’t show you exactly what you need to include.
Because of this, I recommend checking the following places:
I have seen far too many applications rejected due to a lack of documentation, so make sure you provide exactly what’s needed. Unfortunately, many clients come to me after they’ve been rejected, so you may want to consider having a professional review them before submission (which you can get help with in the Visto Portal here).
In addition to all the documents required, you should also consider including a letter of explanation (LOE) in your application. The LOE will look slightly different depending on the type of application (Study permit, PR, etc.), but generally speaking can mention:
Besides helping the visa officer to understand your profile and goals/intentions, it also may help the immigration officer to understand anything odd in your application or in your documents (e.g. something odd in your bank statement, reasons you had any previous visa application denied, why do you think the course you chose will be important for your career – in case you are applying for a study visa, etc).
Not to mention that it also shows that you are committed to and understand the immigration process. While not required for every single application, I encourage including an LOE – especially if there are confusing elements to your application.
The most important skill you can have for preparing your application is extreme attention to detail. The reason for this is that, as you’ve seen above, you must be very careful in providing the right documents, and you must also make sure you’ve filed in your forms correctly and that they are consistent with any supporting documents you’re including.
For example, if your immigration application form has certain information on it, but it doesn’t match with information on your passport, or other documents, it can cause confusion for the processing agent, delays and worse.
The most common issue I see is that people will forget to fill out certain parts of the application, or information will not be correct or consistent between documents. Because of this, my biggest recommendation is to do a full review of all of your forms and documents, at least once, when you’ve finished compiling them.
Make sure that:
With this in mind, hopefully you will be in a great position to obtain approval in your immigration application!
Thanks very much for reading our guide on how to improve your chances of getting your Canadian immigration application approved. If you want to learn more about which programs to apply for, check out our blog post here on 3 common ways to move to Canada, or check out our free immigration portal here!