More Information About Immigration Appeals
A refusal of your application by an immigration officer is not always the end of the line. There is almost always something that can be done to challenge an immigration officer’s decision or to apply for some special relief under our immigration laws. Canadian immigration regime allows for various forms of redress to make sure that you have another opportunity to make your case. You can file an appeal to the Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IAD) if you are:
- a permanent resident of Canada and a deportation order has been issued against.
- If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada and you sponsored a relative which was refused; or
- A permanent resident of Canada and an immigration officer has decided that you have not complied with your residency obligation
The IAD hears cases in a manner similar to a regular court. A member of the board acts as a judge an a hearings officer is appointed by the CBSA to defend the immigration officers decision.
You are entitled to be represented by counsel at these hearings. One of the most important powers of the IAD is its ability to make determinations on an “equitable” basis. That means that, in some cases, it can consider humanitarian grounds to overcome the immigration rule or regulation which governs your circumstances.
Frequently asked questions about Immigration Appeals
Figuring out whether you have a right of appeal to the IAD can be fairly complex. Many permanent residents and Convention refugees who have been ordered deported from Canada have a right of appeal to the IAD provided that they were not sentenced to a term of imprisonment which exceeds of 6 months or more.
Permanent Residents who have failed to comply with their residency obligation (being physically present in Canada for 2 of every 5 years) also have the right to appeal their cases to the IAD.
Further, in addition to people who have been issued removal orders, the IAD also has jurisdiction over refusals to grant visas to people who have been sponsored to Canada as members of the family class. These refusals may be caused by an immigrant’s criminal record, medical problems, or an adverse immigration history.
Due to administrative delays, the IAD currently has a significant backlog and as a result it may take months before your case will be before a decision maker. It is imperative to use this time wisely and gather evidence and prepare legal arguments to present to the Board Member prior to the hearing of your appeal.
Because the IAD is not a court of law, it is not bound by strict rules of evidence. This means that the tribunal can receive into evidence anything that it considers to be “credible and trustworthy”. This means that it is important to provide all documentary evidence which is corroborative of the allegations that you have made, either in your application for permanent residence or in your defense against deportation. This includes evidence of travel, financial support, and communication between yourself and the foreign partner you are sponsoring. In the context of a removal order appeal, it also includes evidence of rehabilitation including certificates from programs, letters from counsellors and community leaders as well as letters of support from family members.
Because each case is complex and the issues involved are expansive, it is important to be careful to ensure that all relevant documentary evidence is put before the tribunal.
How can Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell LLP help me at my immigration appeal?
We can help you by advising you as to how you can make changes to your lifestyle that the board might be taking into consideration. We can present the best facts of your case and apply them to the law and to the most recent case law that applies. We will do this by extensive preparation of you and your witnesses and by compiling the most compelling and persuasive documentary available.