I will shortly apply for a visit visa to the UK and I am in a peculiar situation with regards to one of the questions. The application asks if I have ever been refused a visa to any country. I have answered "Yes" and gave the details of a paperwork related refusal to Germany. After completing the application, though having not yet submitted my biometrics, the following occurred to me.

A few years ago I applied for a Canadian visa, and while the online application was in submission I had to cancel my travel plans. I wrote to the Canadian authorities and requested to cancel the application and never submitted my passport. However, despite my attempts, I was never able to confirm that the application was actually canceled and not officially "refused".

Since this sort of thing could be misinterpreted and lead to severe consequences, I have written a letter that explains the situation and will add it to my supporting documents. Is this letter sufficient?

One thing that occurs to me is that I didn't enter this information in the "Extra information" section at the end of the application, because it just didn't occur to me until a few days after. I suppose another option would be cancel and reapply.

Edit: In case it is relevant, I subsequently applied for the same Canadian visa and was approved. In that application I said that I had applied but was never refused a Canadian visa and gave details of why I withdrew the application.

  • 3
    If you never submitted your passport for that application your application was not refused. I think you’re fine Jan 6, 2018 at 10:10
  • @HankyPanky Thanks for your comment. That makes sense -- I can't be rejected if I never finished applying. I suppose it's just the paranoia of worst case scenarios that's bothering me. If it matters to you, feel free to expand that comment into an answer and I'll accept it.
    – DRC
    Jan 6, 2018 at 13:13
  • Thanks! but i think that comment on its own doesn't qualify to become an answer Jan 6, 2018 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


If you are rejected, you will know it because it will be explicitly stated to you.

For example, you may get a letter explaining your rejection status (and reason) and any further course of action applicable to you.

You may receive a stamp on your passport for rejection (although rarely done these days).

I wrote to the Canadian authorities and requested to cancel the application and never submitted my passport.

This is called a voluntary withdrawal and is not the same thing as a rejection.


Having spent some additional time on this, let me post an answer which clarifies the situation.

It appears that if one does not submit their passport to the Canadian visa authorities (even after said passport is requested for visa issuance) the resulting application is classified as "withdrawn" and not as "refused". My source for this is a letter sent by the visa authorities in a circumstance when a decision was made on an application but the passport was never submitted.

Note that the passport request letters from the Canadian officials often have confusing text in this regard. They say that the passport should be sent within 30 days and failure to do so may result in a refusal of the application. Certainly sending the passport after 30 days may result in refusal, but not sending it at all has the effect of a withdrawal, and all further processing on the case is stopped.

  • A refusal is not a rejection. Jan 6, 2018 at 18:43
  • 1
    Thanks! It took me longer to realize this than it should have. I'm going to leave this answer up anyway, on the off chance that other folks confuse the terms.
    – DRC
    Jan 6, 2018 at 18:52

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