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My friend, who is a permanent resident of Canada, wants to bring her parents to Canada for some months, so that her parents can see her new baby and spend some time with her. They are retirees and don't have much income other than pension. They have a good house at home and are comfortable in India.

They applied for a visitor visa. However, bizarrely, her mother's got approved and her father's got denied. The below was the reason given.

Response from IRCC

What is the logical next step? What can we do to prove that he will leave Canada?

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  • 7
    Both parents visiting probably scores (much) higher as an overstay risk than the mother travelling alone to see new grandchild. What compelling reason does the father have to return to India?
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 25 at 8:54
  • 11
    Have the mother visit alone, return to India and then have the father apply to visit alone. Both have the other as reason to return home.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 25 at 10:10
  • 10
    @SaranshSharma, it seems bizarre to you but it does happen often enough that the visa officials are trained not to approve visa in this kind of cases. It is rather likely for parents to move in with children who can afford to take them in, even on the other side of the world.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 25 at 16:48
  • 9
    @SaranshSharma VOs are trained to risk-assess an application based on immigration rules and related data, and the evidence provided by the applicant. What may be perceived by some as ‘common sense’ is irrelevant to rules-based decision making. IMHO the mother was lucky not to get a refusal too.
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 25 at 17:25
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    @SaranshSharma …how could you when you are old like that leave everything behind…. People do that all the time.
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 25 at 17:27

5 Answers 5

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I can provide some advice here, the same thing happened to my parents on one of their Canada visa applications. At the time of the application they had previously visited Canada on a visitor visa and left well before the 6 months that they had been granted on entry. They also had a valid US visa and had travelled to the US multiple times. No history of overstay, spotless clean record etc etc. And yet they were denied a visitor visa to Canada (this application was made in 2020, their Indian passport had expired so they applied for a new passport and a new visa). Goes without saying that I don't think very highly about the competence of IRCC and their visa processing officers, but I digress.

Getting back to the point and thinking about this dispassionately after emotions had cooled down, I think we made a few mistakes

  • We had listed that they want to visit us and their grandchild(ren)
  • We didn't attach a copy of their property records and all the bank accounts with the application
  • We were perhaps a little bit complacent, given their previous visas and travel history

I also acknowledged that some of the concerns raised by the visa officer were irrefutable, mainly that of having strong family ties in Canada.

So instead I decided it was better for them to apply for a supervisa instead (I had actually originally asked my parents to apply for the supervisa and not the tourist visa but they being typical stingy Indian parents didn't want to pay upfront for the medical insurance). I wrote a letter of invitation and also challenged the previous refusal (respectfully), explaining that the purpose of the supervisa is to allow family members to stay together for an extended period of time and to therefore deny a visa based on close family ties was unfair and contrary to the terms of the visa program.

Along with this I highlighted their spotless travel record including specific dates for each previous international trip.

The last thing was to show strong ties to India and for this I did two things

  • Had them collect property documents for all the parcels of land they own, have this translated in English and add an approximate market value of each property.
  • Had them collect a summary of all their bank and demat accounts (trading) for the last 12 months and attached that to the application
  • Lastly my father receives a government pension in India, this requires him to provide proof that he's alive in person every year. So I had him print the pension plan details and terms and highlighted and attached the relevant section.
  • Paid for a supervisa medical insurance policy with a broker in Canada and attached the copy of the insurance policy and proof of payment
  • I also promised to support my parents financially while they were here and added my income statements and previous year tax returns to show that I had the funds to back up my claim.

It took us some time to prepare an application which addressed the concerns that were raised in the previous refusal and also challenged the one which we believed though true was incorrectly applied. This time the super visas for my parents were approved, my father was approved for instantly however my mother had problems in the medical test as she has respiratory problems and needed to take the TB screening, but once the results came back and were processed, her visa too was approved.

Adding in another point which I forgot about when originally answering the question was that in the first application we had mentioned that the grandparents were coming to meet the grandchildren. Upon further reflection and comments from other people on forums, I think that's not a very good idea. A natural assumption for Indian people is that the grandparents will come and visit and bring gifts and help with the first few months for a newborn in the family. This can be misconstrued as the grandparents coming to Canada and providing childcare which is work and technically not allowed on a visitor visa, so it's best to not highlight this aspect. I'm not suggesting to hide this at all, but to not put additional weight or make this the highlight of the entire letter of invitation. Similarly if you/your partner is expecting, the details of their medical condition are not relevant to the visa processing officer or to the application.

Hopefully this helps, my takeaways were that sometimes we assume certain things and expect that the visa processing officer will make or understand the same assumptions. So upon refusal, I worked with my parents so that we documented every single aspect and prepared a stronger and more robust subsequent application.

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    One of the goals of immigration is to keep people out, not invite people in. When things are uncertain, the default is going to be a "No". You need to absolutely prove to them that the visitors will leave. A Visa is also not a right. It is a privilege. These two points seem to be the most common mistake, like people apply for a Visa and the receiving country "owes" them the right. Sorry, that's not how this works, ever.
    – Nelson
    Commented Apr 26 at 2:19
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What is the logical next step?

As I see it the options are:

  • have the daughter take the baby to India to visit her parents.
  • accept that the father will not be visiting this time. Have the mother visit alone and the father reapply after the mother has returned to India. In that scenario, as @Willeke comments, both have the other as the reason to return home.
  • consult an Immigration lawyer for advice on improving the father’s application and reapplying.

What can we do to prove that he will leave

From the information provided the parents have a rather compelling reason to overstay in Canada, and no compelling reason to leave. Proving one looks impossible IMHO.

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The other answers have given (very much reasonable) speculations and suggestions on the cause and next steps to take.

Personally, I would attribute it more likely to the chaotic and unpredictable working order within the post-pandemic IRCC (due to various reasons, including new inexperienced staffs, significant backlogs and incoming workload, use of automation-assisted decision making, new IT infrastructure [how many different portals for applications are there now?] etc.). I cannot count the number of unreasonable or just strange decisions that I know personally or saw in various Canadian immigration forums.

I just want to mention that you should request the complete record (GCMS notes) of the processing of both applications under the Access to Information Act (https://atip-aiprp.apps.gc.ca/atip/welcome.do). A Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or someone physically in Canada can make the request with the consent of the applicants.

It will contain more details on the processing and reasoning of the officer (though often still uninformative). You will at least be able to see if the different decisions were made by the same officer, and possibly if the refusing officer was aware of the spouse's application.

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They need to show that their ties to their home country are stronger than their ties to Canada. This can be done by

  1. Submitting details of their properties in their home country with evidences.
  2. Submitting their ITRs to show their income in home country.
  3. Submitting PPOs for the pension being received.
  4. Showing adequate funds in Savings or Fds for their travel needs.
  5. Proving how the parents depend upon each other for emotional and physical support.
  6. Applying for a super visa is a better option.
  7. The 2 of them should have applied separately.
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  • Visa applications often include a question about whether the applicant is travelling with someone else. If Canada asks this question, applying separately would be pointless as they would both have to answer ‘yes’ and give details. Answering ‘no’ would be a risky strategy, lying in a visa application is never a good idea.
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 28 at 8:01
  • by saying that they apply separately I mean after a gap of few months. This strategy has many times proven successful.. Commented Apr 30 at 0:47
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I suggest you simply find a lawyer. If you are living in Canadian soil, think like a Canadian, and act like one. Try to make a point about your PR (and your employment) as well if that helps as a guarantee for the stay (duration) of your parents. There is no logical sense that the Canadian government would "leave you alone" that the presumably-imaginary-extended-illegal-stay of your father could not affect your PR status.

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  • I removed a bunch of stuff from this which was addressing other people rather than answering the OP's question. StackOverflow is not a message board or discussion site. Once you get enough reputation, you'll be able to comment on other answers; until then, you should concentrate on providing your own answers (that's how you'll build up reputation).
    – Sneftel
    Commented Apr 26 at 15:26
  • I have rolled back and locked this post, the edit is right and we do not accept defaced posts.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 26 at 15:45

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