I just want to see what the city of Toronto is like

Jamaica to Canada

Antonn Brown

Wednesday, April 02, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!

Dear Mr Brown:

I was denied a visitor's visa on grounds that I do not understand. The refusal letter stated my "current employment situation". However, I have been employed to the same company for the past six years. I make a good salary and I just want to visit family in Toronto to see what the city is like. I have no intention to run away or overstay. Is there any way I can appeal the decision?

-- DB

Dear DB:

In general, there are a few paths that one may seek in response to a denial. I will give a brief description of appeals and judicial review, before I explain that a re-submission of your application based on a review of your file may be the best option as you do not have the right to appeal a refusal of a temporary resident visa (visitor's visa.)

Appeal vs judicial review

An appeal deals with whether the correct outcome has been reached based on the correct application of the law, for example, the correct decision when the law is applied to the facts of the case. In other words, an appeal is concerned with reaching the right decision. Unfortunately, not all matters give an applicant the right to an appeal.

A judicial review application is different from an appeal. Judicial review is concerned not with the right decision or outcome per se, but with the manner in which a decision is made. A judge may disagree with an officer's decision, but if the manner in which the decision was reached is fair and at least reasonable, the judge may dismiss the application for judicial review.

The main reasons for allowing an application for judicial review are:

* There is an error in law;

* There is an error regarding the facts at a fundamental level, or facts of fundamental purpose appear to have been ignored;

* There is a violation of a principle of natural justice or failed to observe procedural fairness;

* The decision goes beyond the legal authority of the decision-maker.

There is no right for you to appeal decisions regarding temporary resident visa applications. The judicial review process requires leave (permission) of the court. The process is also subject to many rules and is a lengthy one.

Immigration file

There is no requirement for a visa officer to give written or oral reasons for their decisions. The refusal letter that you received is a standard document, which outlines the general conclusions regarding the refusal. The refusal letter does not illuminate the underlying reason or rationale for the decision. In other words, the refusal letter states conclusions, without explaining them or the thoughts of the visa officer as how the decision was reached to refuse your application. However, your file contains the notes from the visa officer which do explain or provide the rationale for the decision.

There are many instances in which the visa officer has a problem with something that the applicant thinks is not problematic and vice versa. As such, the only way to know the true basis of the refusal decision is to review the actual file.

Resubmitting an application

To answer your question, I believe the best option is to review your actual file to understand the complete basis for refusing the visa. I suggest that you review the file and based on its contents, you may then re-submit an application. Of course, the re-submitted application should address all of the visa officer's concerns in the previous application in order to increase the likelihood of obtaining the visa. I can assist you with the process of obtaining and reviewing your file to make the re-submission, if you would like.

For further information visit

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel, education agent and managing director of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM -- a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/ comments to





1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus


Are you comfortable with Jamaica's achievements over 52 years of Independence?
What achievements?

View Results »


Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon