Pax Law Corporation’s Samin Mortazavi has successfully appealed another rejected Canadian student visa in the recent case of Vahdati v MCI, 2022 FC 1083 [Vahdati]. Vahdati  was a case where the primary applicant (“PA”) was Ms. Zeinab Vahdati who planned to come to Canada to pursue a two-year Master of Administrative Science, Specialization: Computer Security and Forensic Administration degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University of British Columbia. Ms. Vahdati’s spouse, Mr. Rostami, planned to accompany Ms. Vahdati to Canada while she studied.

The visa officer rejected Ms. Vahadati’s application because he was not convinced that she would leave Canada as required by subsection 266(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. The officer noted that Ms. Vahdati was moving here with her spouse and concluded that she would have strong family ties to Canada as a result and weak family ties to Iran. The officer also referred to Ms. Vahdati’s previous education, a Master’s degree in Computer Security and Forensic Administration as a reason for the refusal. The visa officer stated that Ms. Vahdati’s proposed course of studies was both too similar to the her old education and also had no relationship to her old education.

Mr. Mortazavi represented Ms. Vahdati in court. He argued that the visa officer’s decision was unreasonable and unintelligible based on the evidence before the officer. Regarding the applicant’s family ties to Canada, Mr. Mortazavi noted that both Ms. Vahdati and Mr. Rostami had many siblings and parents in Iran. Furthermore, Mr. Rostami’s parents were funding the couple’s stay in Canada on the understanding the couple would support Mr. Rostami’s parents in the future if needed.

Mr. Mortazavi submitted to the court that the visa officer’s concerns regarding the applicant’s course of studies were contradictory and unintelligible. The visa officer claimed that the applicant’s proposed course of study was too close to her old field of study and therefore it was irrational for her to follow that course of study. At the same time, the officer also claimed that the applicant’s course of study was unrelated to her old education and it was irrational for her to study Computer Security and Forensic Administration in Canada.

The Court’s Decision

Justice Strickland of the Federal Court of Canada agreed with Mr. Mortazavi’s submissions on behalf of Ms. Vahdati and allowed the application for judicial review:

[12] In my view, the Visa Officer’s finding that the Applicant is not sufficiently established in Iran and, therefore, that they were not satisfied that she would not return there upon the completion of her studies, is not justified, transparent or intelligible. It is therefore unreasonable.


[16] Further, the Applicant explained in her letter supporting her study permit application why the two Master’s programs differed, why she wished to pursue the program in Canada, and why this would benefit her career with her current employer – who has offered her a promotion upon the completion of that program. The Visa Officer was not required to accept it this evidence. However, as it appears to contradict the Visa Officer’s finding that the Applicant had already achieved the benefits of the Canadian program, the Officer erred in failing to address it (Cepeda-Gutierrez v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), [1998 FCJ No 1425 at para 17).


[17] While the Applicants make various other submissions, the two errors noted above are sufficient to warrant the Court’s intervention as the decision is not justified and intelligible.

Pax Law’s immigration team, led by Mr. Mortazavi and Mr. Haghjou, are experienced and knowledgeable about appealing rejected Canadian student visas. If you are considering appealing your rejected study permit, call Pax Law today.


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