Recent cases in the Federal Court of Canada have highlighted challenges faced by applicants in work permit applications, specifically related to Canada visa issues. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officials have been involved in rejecting applications based on language proficiency concerns.

In the first instance, Mehri Hosseinibay, an Iranian citizen seeking a work permit as a Construction Project Coordinator, experienced refusal despite her employer securing a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) with no specified language requirement for the role. Despite the absence of mandatory language proficiency criteria, Mehri provided her IELTS English test results, indicating intermediate proficiency, and her employer affirmed that she met the job requirements. Nevertheless, the court found the officer’s decision to be unreasonable, emphasizing a lack of clarity on how the determination of inadequate language skills was made. This case underscores the importance of addressing Canada visa application requirements comprehensively, including evidence of language proficiency, even when not explicitly mandated.

In the second case, Santokh Singh, an Indian farm laborer applying for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), faced rejection despite the job having no formal education requirements. The visa officer issued a procedural fairness letter citing insufficient evidence of language abilities for tasks like machinery operation and safety comprehension. Santokh responded with documentation demonstrating his English proficiency, including a software application diploma, certificates from English-instructed high school and college, and a supportive letter from a local business owner attesting to his farm equipment maintenance knowledge. Despite these efforts, the application was rejected, and the court deemed the officer’s decision as unintelligible and unreasonable when considered alongside the provided evidence. This case underscores the importance of preparing a robust Canada visa application that includes comprehensive documentation of language proficiency, even in roles with perceived unnecessary or non-mandatory language requirements.

These cases serve as a reminder that visa officers may assess an applicant’s language proficiency, even in the absence of specific language requirements for the position. Therefore, applicants must be diligent in providing ample evidence of language proficiency in their Canada visa applications, addressing potential concerns that may arise during the assessment process.