I'm a Zimbabwean national and I was denied a Canadian visa on the 19th of February 2008.

I have written to the Canadian Embassy in Pretoria, South Africa requesting a copy of a refusal letter as I am applying for an Irish visa.

The Embassy has informed me that the physical file has been destroyed.

Would it be a problem if I submit my application without a copy of refusal letter?

  • 3
    I doubt not being able to submit a refusal letter from 10 years ago will be a problem. Include an explanation with your Irish visa application and provide the letter to / response from the Canadian Embassy as evidence.
    – Traveller
    Oct 6, 2018 at 9:55

2 Answers 2


You should submit your application, with as many details of the denial as you remember.
You are not the first person who has mislaid, never got or plainly thrown away the denial letter. It is quite a normal thing even.

As long as you are open about the fact you got a denial, and tell when (as good as you can) so they can check back if they feel the need.

In 10 years your circumstances will have changed and the visa officers know that. So they will have to look at your application as a new one, not based on the result of what someone else decided in the past.
One thing they will be sharp on, if you are caught on a lie, it will be much harder for you to ever get a visa again, as they do not accept people who lie.

So tell the truth, but also tell that you do not know, if you do not know anymore.


Tell them.

Instead of sending the visa refusal with your application, write a note saying:

  • you're perfectly aware it should've been included
  • you don't have it
  • you asked for a copy
  • they claim not to have it either

They won't expect you to work miracles, they expect you to be honest. So be honest. Provide them with the details you have (like you have posted here), tell them you can't include the refusal letter and that's it. there's nothing more you can or should do.

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