Has Your Start-up Visa Work Permit Application Been Refused?

Work Permit applications can be refused for a number of different reasons. The Start-up visa program's work permit requirements have changed drastically in 2023, leading to growing confusion and refusals for applicants. If you have received a Start-up visa work permit refusal we may be able to help you. 

What can you do if your application has been refused?

As soon as you receive a refusal decision, should contact our MyVisa.Law team to evaluate your case and ability to make an application for leave and judicial review (JR) in Federal Court. There are a number of factors that we will assess to advise you if a judicial review application is the best course of action, and it starts by reviewing the refused work permit application that you submitted. 

How Do I Get Started?

You have a limited time from the date of your refusal letter to start your application for leave and judicial review in Federal Court. In order to assist you, we require a copy of your refusal letter and the forms and documents you submitted in your application. Our lawyers will provide you with an assessment of whether the refusal is appropriate for JR or whether it is advisable to reapply with additional documents and information. 

Complete our information form and we will be in touch with you immediately to determine how we can assist you with your situation. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Refused Start-up Work Permit Applications

Why was my work permit application refused?

There are a number of different reasons why an application for work permit can be refused. In order for your work permit application to be successful, you must convince the visa officer that you are a genuine founder of a start-up and have the necessary letter of support for a start-up visa application, have the financial resources to cover the cost of your living expenses while working in Canada, and that you will not overstay. The most common reasons for refusals is that applicants do not contain sufficient proof regarding these factors. Unfortunately, the updated guidance issued in 2023 for these types of work permits are complex and can lead to new grounds for refusal. 

If you believe that you have provided evidence regarding these factors in your work permit application but received a refusal decision, you may have a good chance to have your application reopened by pursuing an application in Federal Court. Each case is unique based on the documents and information provided in your application. Before you decide how to proceed, you will need to have your full application reviewed by an immigration lawyer to determine the suitability of your application for Federal Court.

What is an Application for Leave & Judicial Review in Federal Court?

An application for leave and judicial review is a process in Federal Court to review a decision made by a visa or immigration officer.   Our goal in a JR application is to show that the refusal decision should be overturned either because it is unreasonable or because it was procedurally unfair.

How long does the Judicial Review process take?

Each application in court is unique. An application can settle early upon receiving consent from the government or it may need to go through the full process in court for a judge to determine whether leave will be granted and if yes, the outcome will be determined after a hearing takes place.  The average processing time for temporary resident permit applications to reach settlement is currently 2-4 months. 

What are the possible outcomes of the Judicial Review process?  Will I receive a visa approval at the end of a successful Judicial Review in Federal Court?

An application for Judicial Review can be successful either by receiving consent from the government to settle the matter or by receiving a decision after a hearing has been held and the judge determines that the refusal decision must be set aside. 

If the government does not consent to settle the matter, a judge will determine if leave is to be granted to hear the case argued. The judge at the leave stage may decide that a decision does not need to be heard and therefore dismiss the Judicial Review application. If they determine that a hearing is required, then a hearing date will be set and a decision will be issued after the hearing has concluded. 

When a Judicial Review application is successful in receiving a positive result from a hearing, the judge will set aside the refusal and send the application back to be redetermined by a different officer. It is extremely difficult to receive a directed verdict where the judge orders that a visa should be issued. Therefore, applications that are either settled or receive a positive decision will be reopened at the visa office and redetermined by a different officer. 

Is the outcome of the Judicial Review process guaranteed?

As with any court process, it is impossible to provide a guarantee as to the outcome of any Judicial Review application. While an assessment of an application may show that it has a high chance of success when compared to other similar cases and the relevant laws and cases, each case is ultimately determined on its merits and the result of the determination cannot be guaranteed.

Can I submit additional documents in court to strengthen my application? 

The Judicial Review application is based on the documents that are before the officer when they decide your case. Therefore, it is not possible to add new documents at this stage. After a successful Judicial Review process, your application will be reopened and you will have a chance to provide updated documents as part of the redetermination of your application. 

Will this work permit refusal impact my permanent resident (PR) application?  

A refusal of a work permit application should not directly impact your PR application. However, if your presence in Canada is crucial to the success of your start-up and you are prevented from coming to Canada due to the refusal of your work permit, it may impact your PR application. 

What options do I have when my work permit application is refused?
Your prior visa application history is one of the factors that is considered in your work permit application. It is possible that a work permit application is accepted after being refused one or two times because it is theoretically possible to identify the missing information or documents that led to the refusal and ensure that the new application is more complete and addresses any prior concerns raised by the prior refusals. However, with the increased adoption of AI software to review and analyze visa applications, the prior visa refusals weigh more heavily against a positive decision, making it less likely that your application will be accepted. 

If you submitted a strong application with complete documents, your best option could be to apply for Judicial Review.  However, if your application was missing key documents or explanations, you can reapply with a stronger application. If the stronger application is then refused, you can then have a higher chance of success in a Judicial Review application in Federal Court. 

Get Started

Complete our information form and we will be in touch with you immediately to determine how we can assist you with your situation.