Wed | Sep 23, 2020

How can I get a visitor’s visa?

Published:Tuesday | November 5, 2019 | 12:09 AM
Deidre S. Powell
Deidre S. Powell

Dear Miss Powell,

I have applied for a Canadian visitor’s visa three times and I keep getting turned down. My mother lives there and she is sick, and I would love to visit with her, but they won’t give me the visa. They say they are not convinced that I will return to Jamaica. What can I do to just let them know that I don’t want to live there and that I’m simply worried about my mom? I just want to see her. She hasn’t been able to travel because of her illness. I’m her only child and they are keeping me away from her. Why does the Canadian government make it so hard? What can I do?


Dear HJ,

I am sorry to hear about your mom’s illness and that your application for a temporary resident/visitor’s visa has been rejected so many times. At this point I think you need to consult directly with an immigration lawyer, provide her with copies of the documents and the application form that you submitted to evaluate what could be lacking, or if there are errors.

Since you didn’t give full details about your background, below are some questions that you must be prepared to answer and provide documents to support your answers.

Questions you must answer

1. What is the nature of your mother’s illness? To answer this question, you should request a letter from your mother’s doctor.

2. How long do you intend to stay? You could provide a travel itinerary/return ticket and letter showing vacation period.

3. Was your application form completed accurately? You must be careful to answer the questions accurately and ensure that there are no inconsistences with your previous applications, as this could be seen as 'misrepresentation'. A finding of misrepresentation could lead to a five-year ban from Canada.

4. What are your economic ties to your home country? To clearly show this you will need to include the following with your application:

a. Job letter – this must be on your employer’s letterhead and signed by an authorised supervisor and detail your vacation period. If you are self-employed, provide copy of registration of business, letter from a JP, proof that you own/operate a legitimate and viable business.

b. Bank statement on bank’s letterhead. It should clearly demonstrate that you have enough funds to pay for trip. You must be able to meet your financial responsibilities before, during and after the trip. Additionally, if your mother is undertaking to pay for the expenses associated with the trip, then she will need to provide a notarised letter of invitation, that include details of her illness and attach a bank statement to show she is able to afford to pay all the expenses associated with your visit.

c. Do you own registered or unregistered land? Provide a copy of land title or a statutory declaration to show that you are the legitimate owner and occupier of the unregistered land. d. Do you lease or rent your home? Do you own a motor vehicle? Provide proof.

5. What are your social ties to your home country? Are you married/engaged or in a common-law relationship? Do you have children? Where is your father? Are you a member of any organisation, leader or organiser of any social activities in your community? You should present documents to answer these questions.

These are just some of the suggestions on how to satisfy the visa officer that you are not a threat to those living in Canada and that you will obey the laws of Canada. The key is to present as much proof as possible to demonstrate that you can afford the trip and that you have a stronger connection to your home country that will motivate you to return at the end of the time granted.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, commercial, real estate, personal injury, family and administration of estates. Email: Subject line: Immigration. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.