Issues With Canadian Visa Rejections Prompt Varied Responses

Old US-Visa stampThere have been a number of issues regarding Canadian visa rejections cropping up in the news lately. It could be a grieving son in China rejected for a visitor’s visa to Canada for his mother’s funeral. Or perhaps, travellers from the Philippines who were turned away at the border on their way to a Toronto wedding. Maybe it is the group of Anglican priests visiting from Myanmar who were not allowed to enter Canada to attend a missionary event in Vancouver.

The current tally places the number of visitors to Canada who were rejected visas at around 200,000 annually. Most were forced to pay an additional $75 to reapply for visas, or make unscheduled trips to other Canadian visa offices in other cities or regions.

This has not been the only types of issues that have come up involving the practices and policies of Canada’s visa system. In some cases, previous no-visa policies extended to some countries were revoked, in other cases, changes in visa laws cause separations between newly wedded expat spouses. The rejection of Canadian visa applicants is just one of many grievances that is mounting.

In response to this latest round of problems, one person started a Facebook groups named Calling for Visitor Visa Fairness in order to rally support and assert pressures on the government in Ottawa to help improve the quality and transparency of the visa application process. The group was founded by Toronto MP Olivia Chow (Trinity-Spadina). Chow wants Ottawa to establish a transparent denial procedure and provide specific reasons for the decision.

By utilizing the social network to let members share personal stories of their failed attempts to get visas to Canada, Chow hopes the sight can be a conduit for changes and for lending support so a legitimate appeal process can be added to the visa denial system.

Recent immigration statistics show that visa approval rates vary from one region to another as well as based on the visa posts. They go from a low of 34% at Islamabad to 77% in Asia Pacific and 84% in some European countries.