What if I do not have all the necessary documents for an immigration application?

What if I do not have all the necessary documents for an immigration application?

Anyone looking to immigrate to Canada must supply documents with their application. All immigration applications come with specific document checklists and if an applicant cannot supply all of documents on that checklist, a satisfactory explanation is needed to explain any discrepancies. If an applicant cannot prove his or her credentials, immigration applications will often be refused. Before putting in any immigration application, potential applicants should carefully consider what they need to do if they do not have all of the documentation required on immigration document checklists.

In November 2011, the federal court decided the case of Abdulaziz Ali. In this case, Mr. Ali’s application was refused because of concerns the visa officer had about his education, work experience and other aspects of his application.

Do I have to put in evidence of a bachelor’s degree if I have a master’s degree?
With respect to his educational credentials, Mr. Ali failed to follow the instructions on immigration’s document checklist. In particular, he did not enclose an original transcript from his bachelor’s degree in a university sealed envelope – he only provided a photocopy. When the visa officer reviewed the file, the officer became suspicious because of a number of discrepancies between the photocopied transcript and the university’s letter.

When asked about these discrepancies, Mr. Ali claimed that some of the discrepancies were as a result original documents that were lost in a fire. Mr. Ali told immigration that he tried to get the documents he needed from the university but the university never responded. When the visa officer asked if Mr. Ali kept any of his emails to the university requesting a transcript, he said that he did not.

Because appropriate transcripts were not enclosed, the judge said that the visa officer was entitled to make a decision that proper documentation was not submitted by Mr. Ali to substantiate his education claim. As a result, his application was denied.

An interesting side note in this case was that Mr. Ali obtained a master’s degree from a U.S. university. In his case, Mr. Ali argued that he must have had a valid bachelor’s degree otherwise he would not have received a master’s degree from a U.S. university. Although Mr. Ali tried to argue this, the judge said that the visa officer was entitled to obtain the required information from the bachelor’s degree. As a result, even if an applicant has obtained a master’s degree or Ph.D., it is still necessary to enclose diplomas and transcripts from undergraduate and graduate studies.

What happens if I do not submit work reference letters?
On the issue of his work experience, Mr. Ali failed to provide objective evidence of work experience from a number of his previous employers. In this connection, the judge noted that Mr. Ali not only failed to provide reference letters, he also failed to provide other objective evidence outlining his work experience such as T-4 slips (for his work in Canada) and W-2 slips (for his work in the U.S.).

Does immigration have to give me a second chance to put in documents?
Finally, Mr. Ali argued that he should have been given a chance to respond to the visa officer’s concerns regarding his missing documents. The judge rejected this argument saying that if the requirements to provide certain documents are clear, a visa officer does not have to give an applicant to address those concerns. In addition, the judge said that visa officers do not have to give applicants any additional time in this regard as it was Mr. Ali’s responsibility to put his best case forward.

This Article is prepared for general information purposes only and is intended to provide comments for readers and friends of the Filipino Journal. The contents should not be viewed as legal advice or opinion.

Reis is a partner with Aikins Law and practices in the areas of immigration law. His direct line is 957-4640. If you would like to know more about Reis or Aikins you can visit the firm’s web page at www.aikins.com, follow Reis on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/ImmigrationReis, or connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/reispagtakhan