Understanding your Options after a Refusal by IRCC

Receiving a refusal from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can be disheartening, but it's important to know your options

Last updated on
December 8, 2023

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What to do after being rejected by IRCC?

If you're facing the uncertainty of an immigration application refusal, the path forward may seem unclear. You might be asking yourself whether you can appeal the decision, apply for a judicial review, or simply reapply. In these moments of uncertainty, Cédric Marin, an immigration lawyer with experience with refusal, provides the four most common options individuals face when dealing with an immigration refusal from IRCC:

Judicial Review

In some cases, the decision may seem unreasonable. You have the option to initiate a judicial review in the Federal Court. This legal proceeding allows you to argue that IRCC made a mistake or that the decision is unreasonable. Please note that strict deadlines apply: 15 days if the decision is inside Canada and 60 days if it's outside Canada. Judicial review can be your last resort, especially in cases of multiple refusals or when you're ineligible to reapply (i.e. program expired, you do not meet the requirements anymore to apply).

Reconsideration Request

Consider submitting an informal reconsideration request via a webform to an immigration officer at IRCC. This is a suitable option if there is a clear mistake in the initial decision. However, it's important to know that immigration officers generally won't consider new documents, or information not previously provided in the original application.

Applying Again to the Same Program

If your application was returned as incomplete or if you believe that additional documents can strengthen your case, you may consider reapplying. Keep in mind that a previous refusal can increase the chances of another one. Nonetheless, reapplication is often a cost-effective strategy worth considering in some cases.

Changing Your Immigration Program

In some cases, you may be eligible for another immigration program. For example, if your study permit applications continue to be rejected due to temporary intent, you could explore Express Entry to obtain permanent residency, which would allow you to work and study in Canada.

You may be able to appeal a sponsorship decision or an inadmissibility decision inside Canada at the Immigration and Refugee Board. This blog is not a comprehensive overview of every pathway or appeal. Rather, it highlights the most common options for a refusal to allow you to continue your research. Read our disclaimer in full below, and consult with a lawyer if you are unsure how to proceed.

How quickly can a refused application be overturned?

It depends. A reconsideration request could be granted within weeks, while a judicial review or applying again could take months.

Can you appeal a refused study permit, work permit or Express Entry application?

No. However, the language is very important. While you cannot “appeal” a decision, you can apply for judicial review at the Federal Court. If successful, this could result in your application being reopened.

Can I pursue a judicial review, reconsider request and reapply at the same time?

Yes, the above options can be pursued together, and they are not exclusive. For example, you could reapply and pursue a judicial review of the rejection at the same time.

Judicial Review

In certain situations, the decision made by the immigration officer that IRCC might appear unreasonable. When faced with such circumstances, you have the option to pursue a judicial review in the Federal Court of Canada. This legal process allows you to challenge the IRCC's decision on the grounds of either an error in their decision-making process or the decision being unreasonable based on the evidence presented.

The judge will review the information provided in the application, the immigration officer’s reason for the decision, and make a decision on the reasonableness of the decision based on both written and oral arguments. You cannot add new evidence. A judicial review can take a few months if the application is settled, or more than 6 months if a hearing with a judge is required.

If you are successful, your application will be reopened, and processing will continue. You will not receive an approval. The judge cannot grant immigration applications.

Understanding the Judicial Review Process

Case to be met: To initiate a judicial review, you must establish that the IRCC made a mistake in the law or that their decision lacks reasonableness based on the facts presented. Cédric Marin, an immigration lawyer, can assess your case to determine if these criteria are met.

Deadlines to apply: It's crucial to be aware of the strict deadlines associated with filing for a judicial review. You have 15 days from the date of the decision if it was rendered within Canada, and 60 days if the decision was made outside Canada. Missing these deadlines can significantly limit your options for challenging the decision.

When is Judicial Review Your Best Option?

Judicial review is often considered a last resort, particularly in cases where you've faced multiple refusals or when you're ineligible to reapply for immigration. This is because it involves complex legal proceedings and requires compelling arguments supported by evidence. Learn more about judicial reviews here.

It's essential to consult with Cédric Marin, an immigration lawyer, to assess whether a judicial review is the most suitable course of action for your specific circumstances.

Reconsideration Request

In the face of an immigration application refusal from the IRCC, exploring all available options is crucial. One such option is the submission of an informal reconsideration request directly to an immigration officer at the IRCC through a webform.

Understanding the Reconsideration Request Process

When is it Appropriate? A reconsideration request is typically a suitable recourse if there is clear evidence of a mistake in the initial decision made by the IRCC. This could involve not applying the law, like failing to apply a temporary public policy, or making a mistake in fact, like ignoring that a document was provided. You could nevertheless try to make a reconsideration request if you do not meet the requirements above, but there might be a lower chance of success.

Limitations on New Information: It's vital to note that the reconsideration process is primarily intended for addressing errors or misunderstandings in the original application. Immigration officers reviewing reconsideration requests generally won't consider new documents or information that were not previously provided in your initial application. Therefore, the reconsideration request focuses on reevaluating the existing evidence and arguments presented.

Navigating the reconsideration request process requires a keen understanding of immigration law and a strategic approach. While it is a quick and generally less expensive option, reconsideration requests follow an informal process, and they can be easily denied by immigration officers. Cédric Marin, with his experience filing reconsiderations request for permanent residence applications, work permits and study permits, can provide assistance in preparing a compelling reconsideration request that addresses the identified errors and argues on your behalf.

Applying again to the Same Immigration Program

Reapplying can be a strategic move to address deficiencies in your initial submission and bolster your chances of success. However, it's essential to navigate this process carefully, as a previous refusal can potentially impact your new application.

Addressing Incomplete Applications: If your initial application was returned as incomplete, it's vital to identify and rectify the missing documents or information. You should carefully ensure that the new application is thorough and meets all requirements. You may consider providing a letter of explanation to provide more details to an immigration officer regarding the previous refusal, and how this application is different.

Strengthening Your Case: If you believe that additional supporting documents or information can enhance the strength of your case, you may consider reapplying. This includes presenting compelling evidence and arguments to demonstrate your eligibility and commitment.

Navigating Previous Refusals: It's important to acknowledge that a previous refusal can potentially affect your new application. Immigration officers may scrutinize reapplications more closely, or it may be automatically “triaged” with other applications with a low change of approval. Therefore, careful attention to detail and professional guidance are essential to address any concerns or doubts that may have led to the initial refusal. While reapplying after a refusal can be a cost-effective strategy in certain situations, it's essential to do so strategically to avoid multiple refusals.

Exploring Alternative Immigration Programs

In certain circumstances, facing repeated refusals or challenges with your current immigration program may prompt the need to explore alternative avenues. The Canadian immigration landscape offers various pathways to permanent residency and achieving your immigration objectives. One such option is transitioning to a different immigration program that better aligns with your qualifications and aspirations.

Key Considerations for Changing Your Immigration Program

Reassessing Your Eligibility: It's crucial to reassess your eligibility for other immigration programs. For instance, if your study permit applications have been repeatedly rejected due to concerns about temporary intent, you may be eligible for Express Entry, a program designed to facilitate permanent residency for skilled workers and professionals.

Express Entry Benefits: Exploring Express Entry can be particularly advantageous. It not only offers the prospect of permanent residency but also provides opportunities for employment and continued education in Canada. Transitioning to this program can be a strategic move to pursue your long-term goals in the country. This may mean obtaining more work experience, improving your language scores or even returning to school.

Professional Guidance: Navigating the transition to a different immigration program involves a complex set of requirements and procedures. Seeking the guidance of an immigration lawyer like Cédric Marin can be helpful. Cédric can evaluate your eligibility, assist with the application process, and ensure your transition is smooth and well-informed.

If you're facing challenges with your current immigration program and believe a change is needed, contact us today to discuss your specific circumstances. Let Cédric Marin guide you through the process of transitioning to an immigration program that opens doors to new opportunities in Canada.

Conclusion: Navigating Immigration Challenges with Confidence

Facing immigration application refusals or obstacles can be daunting, but with the right guidance and strategies, your immigration dreams are still within reach. Whether you're considering a judicial review, a reconsideration request, reapplying, or exploring alternative immigration programs, Cédric Marin, an immigration lawyer with more than five years of experience, is here to help you chart the best course forward.

At Marin Immigration Law, we understand the complexities of Canadian immigration, and we're committed to assisting you in every step of your journey. Our goal is to turn refusals into approvals, provide legal advice advice, and help you achieve your immigration objectives.

Don't let setbacks discourage you. Contact us today to discuss your unique situation and discover the possibilities that lie ahead. With Cédric Marin's guidance, you can approach your immigration challenges with confidence and take decisive steps towards securing your future in Canada. Your immigration success story begins here.


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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.

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