Warning About Using Credit Cards for Canada Immigration Applications


Typically you have the option to use a credit card to pay your Canada immigration application fees.  Various forms provide space for your credit card number, expiry date, signature and so forth.

There is a risk to your application if you decide to pay with a credit card.

Many credit card companies have security protocols in place that automatically deny or delay payment for unusual charges in order to prevent fraud.

Through my colleagues, I have heard of many instances where Citizenship and Immigration Canada attempts to charge the credit card for the payment of application fees, and the credit card is denied.

A denied credit card can cause two significant problems.

The first is that it will certainly cause lengthy delays.  A colleague of mine did not have an application returned for a full two months since the credit card was denied – that application has to start again from the beginning at the back of the queue!

The second problem – and more significant in my view – is that there is a small chance you could be prevented from immigrating to Canada completely.

How is that?

In recent months, the immigration rules have been changing quickly and dramatically.  Witness the suspension of the parent sponsorship, entrepreneur and investor immigration programs.

If your application is returned to you 1 or 2 months after a credit card is denied, and during that time the immigration rules change, you may not qualify any longer to immigrate, as you will have to submit your application again in light of the new rules in place.

My suggestion is to avoid using credit cards for an immigration application if at all possible.

If you must use a credit card for an immigration application, be sure to call your credit card company and explain that the Canadian Consulate will be making a charge for a certain amount.  Get confirmation from the credit card company that the charges won’t be denied.

This is not a perfect solution as mistakes happen and the credit card company may still deny the charges, but it is an essential step if you are going to use your credit card to pay fees for any Canada immigration program.


About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile