How to avoid being refused the Canadian online travel permit and what to do if you are not allowed to travel with an eTA?

It can be indeed frustrating to know that your Canadian travel permit or visa has been refused. After all, you have been planning for the trip for months and have many travel and work plans. Now all those plans are ruined just because of a refusal to get the Canadian online travel permit. Well, there is hope for those applicants who are not allowed to travel with an eTA. There are steps that they can take and still obtain a Canadian visa.  Do not lose hope just because your online travel permit application has been refused. There are plenty of success stories where the application was rejected in the first place due to some reasons, but the applicant was successful in getting his eTA. All you need to know is why you can get a refusal and what steps to take in case you are not allowed to travel with an eTA.


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Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA is a mandatory document one needs when travelling to Canada. eTA is an automated system that permits Canadian authorities to monitor passengers before their arrival in Canada and decide up their eligibility to enter Canada. To apply for the Canada ETA, one must have a valid passport, show sufficient funds for their stay in Canada and convince the immigration officer that you would return to your home country.


The eTA program allows Canadian authorities to screen international visitors beforehand and effectively. Earlier, the citizens of other countries were not examined until they reached the entry point in Canada. Thus, all travellers to Canada fill out a secured online travel authorization request to submit the essential information and details. After the authorities examine the information, it is decided if the applicant meets the requirements and should be assigned Canada electronic travel authorization.


As each applicant is different and in a unique position, there could be several reasons behind the refusal of the Canadian online travel permit.


Reasons for a Canadian Visa Rejection:

Many immigration and visa lawyers get lots of inquiries and cases from people who have been denied an eTA. There is no guarantee that your visa application would come through successfully. There are different possible reasons behind, and the most major are lack of proper and detailed documents.


Here are some of the prime reasons behind the refusal.


  • Misunderstanding the application
    Sometimes the applicant misunderstands the visitor visa application and fills the information incorrectly.  For example, when asked if the person will return to his or her own country once the visa expires, the applicant should fill in evidence to prove their case. In case they fail to do so, their application might get rejected.


  • Incomplete documents
    If the applicant has submitted incomplete documents, he faces the risk of rejection. Keep in mind that the document list can vary based on the location and other circumstances and one may need to submit additional documents apart from photos, passport, fees, travel itinerary, return ticket and proof of financial support.


  • Incomplete evidence of connections to the home country
    Most of the time, the applicants do not take time to collect evidence to prove their strong connection to their home country. One must make sure that they have submitted the translated copies related to their property and employment and in detail.


  • Lack of affidavits
    If you do not have affidavits to support your application from your friends or family in your home country, your application would be looked upon to be weak. An affidavit is a simple but powerful letter that is much more persuasive than support letters.


  • Undetailed invitation letter
    Another common reason behind the rejected visa application is the lack of details in the invitation letter to show your prime reason for coming to Canada. Get a detailed invitation letter from your relatives in Canada to show that you will have food and lodging during your stay in Canada.


If your application fails to provide proper documents, doesn’t show adequate financial resources or meet international security standards and health standards, the Visa officer is sure to develop reservations regarding the applicant’s intention of visiting the country.


Thus, the visa applications are often refused because of the lack of adequate documents and failure to prove adequate financial resources or the intent to leave after the visa expires. However, one should not lose hope as there is always an option of re-applying. You may be eligible to appeal or reapply for the visa. One cannot be sure that the visa officer or authorities are going to accept your re-application or appeal.


What to do when your Canadian Visa gets denied?

The applicant will get a rejection letter that will carry details on the reasons behind the refusal.

The visa rejection letter will always have the statement that if you wish to reapply, it is suggested that one does so only if their situation has changed substantively or if they have significant new information to add in their application. One should read the rejection letter carefully and study the information given. Look at the causes and weak points carefully and see how you can strengthen your application. Keep in mind that when you send a new application, the visa officer is likely to develop a different view with the revised documents provided.


  • Seek Professional guidance
    If your visa has been denied the first time, it is possible that you did not hire an immigration lawyer. Now with a rejection letter in your hand, you would not want to spoil your case the second time. So, it is best to get in touch with an expert immigration lawyer who can look into your application and why it got a rejection. Discussing your case with an experienced immigration lawyer means the right advice.


  • Find out if you can appeal
    Get in touch with your visa lawyer who specializes in Canadian visa applications and find out if you can appeal depending on the case. Consider your eligibility based on the Federal Court of Canada. As there is a specific period to make an appeal, one must immediately take action.


  • Begin the procedure for reapplication
    The applicant should be aware of how to start the specific procedures of reapplication after rejection for a Canadian visa. He should follow these steps carefully to avoid any problems the second time and thus lower the risk of any possible rejection.


  • Work on the mistakes
    Once you know the reason behind the rejection of the application, one can make the proper corrections with the help of the lawyer. Do check the information provided and also attach the supporting documents. Also, along with corrections, one should offer a reasonable explanation as to why the new information was not provided initially.


Not sure if you can apply for eTA? Check here the requirements.


Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Request

One can send Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) request to the Government of Canada to look for the real reason behind the cause of rejection. If one makes a proper request, then they can ask for copies of the actual files and the file the officer with reasons for refusing your application. ATIPs are used to get access to government information on different sources.


All one needs to do is go to the ATIP homepage and click the “Next” button that will take you to the “Privacy Notice.” Once you have acknowledged that you have understood the privacy notice, you can click “Continue.”

You would then select the “Citizenship and Immigration Canada” Department to submit an ATIP request. You need to specify if you are a Canadian Citizen, currently present in Canada or None of the above. After making the right selection, you need to fill in the details like name, phone number, and current contact. Enter a valid email address where the visa office file notes will get delivered, and any larger files are sent to your mailing address.


Select “Yes, if requesting information for your own file and select “No” if requesting on behalf of someone outside Canada. It is not mandatory to select the category you fit within. However, if you want the information for statistical purposes indicate “Business” or select “Member of the Public.” Click “continue” to go to the next page and make a request under the Privacy for requesting visa office notes. Select “Case Files” to indicate the type of record you wish to complete the requested file information.  You may be asked to provide the person’s Client ID number or the Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number. Once the basic file tracking information is done, you can request the “Physical File” when asked for the kind of information you would like to request. Submit the visitor visa application, request “Immigration File” and then insert the “File Number.” If you want, you can enter a specific request for the entire “Physical File” or provide all notes on the file identified above.


At the final page of the ATIP request, you can upload the documents and consent form. Just review all the information you have entered and pay the processing fee. If you wish to change any information, just click the “Modify” button, make the changes and save. Once you are satisfied, you can check off the “Certification” box and press “Continue.”


The last page is where you pay the processing fee of $5.00 CAD. A credit card is the only accepted method of payment. Once you have made the payment online with the help of your credit card, you will get the receipt and should keep a copy of this receipt. CIC will review the ATIP application. The ATIP request should not take more than 30 days. However, it may take 60 days or longer if you are applying for a Physical File from a consulate abroad.


FAQ about refused entry despite having an eTA


Here are some of the commonly asked questions regarding Electronic Travel Authorization.

  • Does having an eTA mean getting guaranteed entry to Canada?
    No, having an Electronic Travel Authorization or eTA does not guarantee entry to Canada. The eTA visa allows the foreign citizen to reach the Canadian port of entry where the immigration officer further evaluates the person and may authorize or deny admission to Canada.


  • What happens if not allowed to enter Canada despite having an eTA?
    Despite having an approved eTA, the CBSA or Canadian Border Services Agency may refuse to admit you if they feel that you fall short of eligibility criteria for Canada. In case this happens, the traveller has no choice but to return to his country of origin.


  • What are the reasons behind CBSA not granting entry?
    The Canadian Border Services Agency may refuse entry despite having an eTA, and the most common reason behind is a criminal record. The Canadian Border Services Agent may refuse entry if you fail to show that you are a genuine visitor to Canada. Other indications are if you have made repeated and frequent visits to Canada that show weaker links to your home country. Finally, there could be some health issues that may render one inadmissible to Canada.


Thus, there could be different reasons why you may still not get an entry into the country despite having an eTA. The most common scenario is that you would be asked to withdraw your application for admission. Or you would be simply requested to go back to your home country and asked to return with sufficient documentation that proves that one is a genuine temporary resident.


See also: Does Canadian English exist?


If one is involved in any criminal activity, one would be asked to write a Section 44 Report to make a formal declaration regarding the nature of the allegations and the reason no permit or entry to Canada. Such a case can be referred to the Immigration Division for an Admissibility Hearing, and the immigration judge will evaluate the nature of the allegations and if they are true. For those with a criminal record, it is essential to consult an immigration lawyer for the right guidance, so that they are not denied entry to Canada.