Immigration and Citizenship

Visitor Visa Refused. Reasons Not Valid.

I’m hoping that someone out there has had a similar experience and found a solution, because none of this makes any sense. I’m going down to Ecuador on Sept 22nd (next Saturday) until Oct 1st, to see my girlfriend and meet her family. I bought a ticket for her to return with me on Oct 1st and stay until the 9th (only 8 days). I didn’t realize when I purchased it that she needed a visa to come here, even to visit. So we did her application right away and submitted it with everything they asked for. She’s never traveled outside of Ecuador, has no family or friends in Canada, and I submitted documents saying that I would be financially supporting her for the duration of her stay—and proving that I had the means. Today, we got a refusal letter. It was very similar to the letters other ppl on here have received. It says that the reviewer was not satisfied that she would leave Canada at the end of her stay, based on her ‘travel history’, her ‘family ties in Canada and country of residence’ and her ‘personal assets & financial status’. Like I said, she has NO travel history, so that’s absolute bs; she has no family or friends in Canada (other than me), so that’s bs; and I was going to be supporting her financially for the duration of her stay here, so that’s also bs. She does, however, have a full time job as a store manager (we submitted a letter from her employer) and access to her own funds (she submitted a copy of her banking info/debit card). Not only that, but she is leaving her 3 young children in the care of a babysitter while here. So, all of this supports the fact that she WOULD be returning home on the 9th, yet—for some strange reason—the reviewer suspected the contrary. It shocks me that the immigration officer who reviewed her application actually thinks it is more likely that this single mother would abandon her kids (aged 10, 8 and 4), her home (which she owns) and her job than return to Ecuador on her already booked flight. I even sent a copy of her flight ticket, which cost me $1350 and is non-refundable. If she was planning to stay in Canada, she certainly wouldn’t have booked the trip for only 8 days, which she did because she’s never left her kids for more than one night before and was too worried about them to stay any longer. She would have taken advantage of the full 3 months allowed. If SHE was refused a visitor’s visa, I have no idea how anyone from countries for which we require a visa ever get approved to come here.

I called the immigration office and was told that it was processed by the Canadian visa centre in Bogota, Colombia, and I have to contact them directly to do anything, for which she gave me their email address. She mentioned that I could appeal the decision, but I don’t think there’s time for that. I’m leaving a week from today and she’s booked on the Oct 1st flight. I sent them an email yesterday, which of course was Friday, so the earliest I can hope to hear back from them is Monday, but that’s doubtful. With the amount of applications they’re processing, I can’t imagine they devote much time—or any at all—to responding to those who have already been refused. What I found most interesting, however, was the very last sentence of the refusal letter: “You are welcome to reapply if you feel that you can respond to these concerns and can demonstrate that your situation meets the requirements. All new applications must be accompanied by a new processing fee.” This is all about the money. It sounds to me like they’re basically saying ‘tell us why we’re wrong, give us another $100 and we’ll approve your application’. Refused applications should be accompanied by a refund of the application fee. It was also a hell of a lot of work. It took us almost a week just to fill everything out and get all of the required documentation. I don’t know, but if there is anyone out there who knows of a way to plough through this bureaucracy, I’d really appreciate it. For the record, I can’t afford to hire an immigration lawyer, so whatever it is I have to do, I’m doing it in my own.

Thank you for taking the time to read my posting.

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