20-year-old Mumbai student denied Canadian visa thrice

Sep 07, 2014, 06:53 IST | Shreya Bhandary

Pallavi Singh missed out on her internship with a Canadian university as the Canadian High Commission wasn’t convinced that she would leave the country after her course

Twenty-year-old Pallavi Singh had her priorities set straight even when her classmates were busy enjoying their college life; she had dreams of achieving bigger things in life. So when the third-year psychology student got an opportunity to intern for five weeks with a well-known university in Canada, she jumped at the chance. Her dreams, however, were left shattered after she failed to get a visa even after three attempts. Officials told her that during her interview for the visa application, she failed to convince them that she would only be a temporary resident and leave Canada after the course concluded.

Pallavi Singh
Pallavi Singh’s father took a loan so that Singh could go for the internship

After receiving an invitation to intern with the Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Singh applied for a visa in the last week of May this year. After repeated rejections from the Canadian High Commission, she finally gave up as her internship period was supposed to begin in the last week of August.

What’s the procedure?
As per the visa application process, a candidate has to provide documents stating why s/he wants to visit the country. Those who look for a temporary or travel visa have to submit appropriate documents and state reasons to prove that they will return back to their home country within the designated period. In Singh’s case, the internship was for five weeks and she submitted letters written by her parents and college clearly stating that she would come back to India after the internship. Her reasons, however, didn’t convince the citizenship and immigration officer of the Canadian High Commission, who stated in his reply that “a candidate must fulfill the requirement to establish to the officer that the applicant will respect their terms and conditions of admission and will leave Canada by the end of the period authorised for his/her stay.”

Money matters
Every time an application is submitted, candidates end up shelling Rs 5,450, which is a non-refundable amount. After her application was rejected twice, Singh chose to shell out Rs 15,000 for a consultant to apply for her, who ensured all her documents were in place. “I worked hard to apply for this internship. Since two years, I’ve been saving money by teaching Hindi to expats in the city. My father took a loan to conform to the financial standards that is necessary to apply for this internship. Now, all that has gone waste,” she said.

The final rejection letter also mentioned that the application doesn’t show “sufficient funds, including income and assets, to carry out the stated purpose.” However, Singh maintained that her accounts showed enough funds, as prescribed in the visa application process. “Since it was supposed to be an internship and I was to stay on campus, I would have needed very little money for daily expenses,” she added.

Authorities at the Canadian High Commission were unavailable for comment. However, a senior official said, on condition of anonymity, “The exit rules in Canada are not very strong so the authorities have no mechanism to find out how and when a person has left the country. So, it’s very important that at the time of applying for a visa, a candidate must show significant ties to the home country to prove that they will return within the designated period.”

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