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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Canadian Work Permit: Refusals & Remedies

"Why Was My Work Permit Refused?"

It can be very discouraging when the work permit application you spent your time, energy, and money on is refused. We sympathize with you if you are in that position or are fearful of being in that position. Hopefully, this blog post will help you understand why work permit applications are refused and how you can best prepare or recover from a refusal.

A work permit is an official document that grants foreign nationals access to Canada so that they may work for a specific period of time. There are many routes, or programs, that can lead to working in Canada; all of which fall under either of two categories:

  • Employer-specific work permits require a pre-existing job offer from an eligible Canadian employer. The permit allows you to work in Canada based on the conditions of your permit, which include the employer you can work for, how long you can work, and where you can work.

  • Open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada

Why a work permit application might be refused
  • The legitimacy of your job offer and prospective employer is brought into question. An immigration officer must be sure that you have secured a true source of employment and will be of benefit to Canada’s economy.

  • Your academic and/or professional experience does not seem to align with your prospective job role. An immigration officer should believe that you will be able to successfully perform the job you were hired for.

  • Insufficient funds to support your stay in Canada. An immigration officer should not doubt your financial security.

  • Weak ties to your native country, such as family, friends, and assets. An immigration officer must be convinced that you intend on returning home upon the expiration of your work permit.

  • If any of the content included in your application seems inconsistent or lacks transparency. An immigration officer should not suspect inauthenticity in your application.

Keep in mind that the reasons why a work permit application may be refused are greatly dependent on the category an applicant is applying under. For instance, those applying for an open work permit because their spouse holds a Canadian student or work permit will have the legitimacy of their marriage scrutinized more heavily. Another example is those applying for a post-graduate work permit may face a refusal if there were many inexplicable breaks in their previous study period.

Our top tip to help you understand and navigate the type of work permit you’ll be applying for is to contact an immigration consultant. Since applying for a work permit is already a time-consuming and expensive task, applying without any support from a professional in the field can make it more challenging to be successful the first time around.

We also suggest the following tips to help you avoid a refusal:
  • Plan ahead so that you have enough time to complete the application with keen attention to detail. Gather all required documents and create a checklist to keep you organized and on track.

  • Be sure that you are applying for the type of work permit that best suits your circumstances. Conduct your own research on Canada’s work programs and don’t hesitate to seek counsel from an immigration consultant.

  • Always prioritize your safety and be wise in the job offer that you accept. The legitimacy of your prospective employer and job position should be just as important to you—and even more!—then it is to the immigration officer.

  • Practice articulating why you are the best candidate for and will flourish in the prospective job position. Identify connections and relevance between your own experience and the expectations of the job.

  • Although you desire to work and make an income in Canada, it is vital that you begin saving a sufficient amount of funds well in advance of your application.

  • Consider how working in Canada is a part of achieving your more long-term goals. Clearly outline what your plans are upon returning to your home country and that you fully intend to do so.

While we hope this blog post will help you avoid a refusal, in the event that your application is denied, please know that all hope is not lost!

Let’s discuss what some next steps might look like following a refusal

Your refusal letter would briefly explain why your application was refused. However, you may request a more in-depth look at the officer’s notes to get a better understanding of why your application was not accepted. In doing so, you would be able to make the appropriate corrections when you reapply. Be sure to mention your previous attempt and why it was unsuccessful in your new application to maintain transparency.

If, however, you feel that the reasoning for your refusal was unsound, you may submit an appeal to the Federal Court of Canada and potentially have your application reconsidered.

How We Can Help

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. specializes in work permit services so that we can assist clients with every step of the process. We take the time to investigate whether your prospective job meets the standards of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), that you meet the job’s requirements according to the Canada National Occupational Classification (NOC) system, and that your application is completed in its entirety.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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