15 Common Mistakes to Avoid in ANY Immigration Application to Canada!

Learn how to avoid common mistakes from the perspective of an immigration lawyer.

Last updated on
February 22, 2024

Mistakes, errors and incomplete applications increase the risk of refusal. ImmInspect.com uses a super powerful algorithm to review your application for only CAD$79.99. Try for free today! Learn more about ImmInspect.com!

Avoid these mistakes

Navigating through the intricacies of immigration procedures can be complex, and even seemingly minor errors can have significant consequences. In this blog, we aim to empower prospective immigrants with valuable insights to avoid common pitfalls, ensuring a smoother and more successful application journey.

The author, Cédric Marin, an immigration lawyer, sheds light on the common mistakes frequently observed in immigration applications. With a primary focus on rejected applications, Cédric Marin has encountered a multitude of cases and witnessed various pitfalls that applicants often encounter during the process. He helps clients properly prepare applications and overcome refusals, either by reapplying, filing a judicial review or seeking reconsideration.

Understanding the implications of mistakes is essential, as they can lead to additional document requests, returned applications, refusals, and in some cases, even accusations of misrepresentation.

With Cédric Marin's extensive experience in handling immigration matters and addressing the challenges faced by applicants, we bring you practical tips, best practices, and essential advice to maximize your chances of a positive outcome. Whether you are considering permanent residency, like Express Entry or family sponsorship, or temporary residence, like a work permit or a study permit, staying informed about common mistakes is crucial for a smooth application.

Document Checklist and Fees:

Carefully review the document checklist provided by IRCC. Did you know that there are country-specific checklists for study permits, visitor visas and even spousal sponsorships. Make sure you submit all the required documents and pay the correct fees. Failure to include necessary documents or paying incorrect fees can lead to delays or even lead to a rejection of your application. Some programs have very specific requirements for documents, like Express Entry.

Even if the online application system does not prompt you for certain documents or fees, you nevertheless have the responsibility to provide these documents and demonstrate to IRCC that you meet all the requirements for issuance of your temporary or permanent residency application.

Letter of Explanation (LOE):

If there are any potential issues or missing documents in your application, consider providing a well-crafted Letter of Explanation (LOE). The LOE allows you to address any discrepancies, clarify information, or provide additional documents. It is a valuable tool to communicate with the immigration officer and ensure they have a comprehensive understanding of your case.

Additional Relevant Documents:

Don't hesitate to include additional supporting documents if they are relevant to your application. These documents can further strengthen your case. Be strategic in selecting documents that provide relevant and compelling evidence. Feel free to cross-reference them from your LOE.

Thoroughly Read and Understand Questions:

Pay close attention to the questions asked in the application forms. Take the time to thoroughly understand each question and provide accurate and complete answers. Avoid rushing through this process, as errors or omissions may lead to complications in the assessment.

Thoroughly Read and Understand Questions (again):

What? Why did you include this subtitle again? No, seriously, read the forms and instructions VERY carefully. Individuals have been banned from Canada for five years since they did not read the questions carefully, they have been rejected permanent residency on a technically since they did not know about a document, or they had to leave Canada since they applied after a work/study permit expired.

Here are some examples:

Study permits and work permits: the employment question asks you to disclose all employment over the last 5 or 10 years. If you do not have enough space (i.e. more than three employment slots), the small fine print on page 1 says to include a separate sheet. Failure to do so could lead to a rejection or a misrepresentation.

Express Entry – under Education, IRCC will ask if you studied English or French as a second language: “Was more than half of the study program English or French as a second language courses?” Some people say yes since they studied in English or French. However, for IRCC, this has as specific meaning and they are referring to a second language program under section 30(5) of the Ministerial Instructions. (Side note: they often change, so make sure to refer to the most up-to-date version here.) If you say yes, it will make your Canadian education not eligible.

Express Entry – IRCC will ask if you have a valid job offer (offer of arrangement employment). CAREFUL. They are referring to an arranged employment offer. There is a very specific meaning for this as per IRCC. This could result in a rejection if you say yes, but in fact, you do not have this offer and you will lose 50 CRS points or more.

Seek Assistance if Uncertain:

If you encounter any uncertainties or complexities during the application process, seek professional assistance. Cédric Marin has five years of experience in immigration and refugee law, and he helps you navigate the complexities and avoid potential pitfalls. Ask him questions, review an application or have him complete the whole application on your behalf.

Failure to Translate Documents:

If the application includes documents in languages other than English or French, they must be translated into one of these official languages. Failure to provide translations can lead to issues with the application.

Missed Deadlines:

Missing application submission deadlines or failing to respond to requests for additional information within specified timelines can result in adverse outcomes. Did you know that IRCC uses UCT time as the deadline? See date and time of receipt of application.

Inconsistent Information:

Providing conflicting information in different parts of the application or compared to previous submissions can raise concerns about credibility.

Gaps in time:

Some instructions specify that there should be no gaps in time.


Ensure that the documents are signed properly and by the right person. In spousal applications, some forms must be signed by the sponsor, the principal applicant or both. Some rules apply for signatures and minors.

Remember that attention to detail, comprehensive documentation, and seeking expert guidance when needed can make a significant difference in the outcome of your application.

You can schedule a consultation to discuss your specific questions and concerns, allowing you to gain clarity and confidence in your application process. Additionally, Cédric is equipped to conduct comprehensive reviews of your applications, meticulously analyzing each aspect to enhance its strength and accuracy. For those seeking comprehensive assistance, Cédric Marin offers support throughout the entire application process, ensuring that all necessary steps are completed with precision and efficiency. With Cédric Marin's expertise at your disposal, you can navigate the complexities of the immigration process with ease, maximizing your chances of a successful outcome.

Mistakes, errors and incomplete applications increase the risk of refusal. Review your application for only CAD$79.99. Learn more about ImmInspect.com!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is general informational purposes and it is not legal advice. The information not a substitute for professional legal advice, and it may not be appropriate for you. Do not rely exclusively on this blog. Always conduct your own research and due diligence. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, immigration laws and regulations can vary and change over time. It is important to consult with a qualified immigration lawyer if you are unsure how to proceed.

Contact Cédric Marin today to book a consultation

Speak with an immigration lawyer