Your Options for Immigration Appeal in Canada
If you’ve recently been notified that your immigration application has been denied, you are likely feeling nervous about your future in Canada and confused about what your next steps should be. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) approves or denies immigration applications, but you may have the option to appeal their decision.
Canadian immigration law is complex, and most people struggle to navigate the complicated process of applications and appeals on their own. Working with an immigration lawyer is strongly recommended to ensure that all the necessary requirements are met.
Denials and Rejections
There are many reasons why your immigration application may have been denied or rejected. A common cause is missing, inaccurate, or improper support documentation. The application process is strict, and there is no room for error, so many applications are rejected simply because something was missing or incorrect. This is not always the case, though, as some denials are based on facts and findings of the IRB. Therefore, it is essential to prepare carefully for an appeal, and knowing what the process will look like can be helpful.
The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the IRB reviews sponsorship, residency, and removal order appeals. There is a specific process and varying information required in each of these situations. If you are working with an immigration lawyer, they will know how to proceed based on your unique circumstances.
Often, the first step will be to complete an application for leave. If the IAD approves your leave application, you will get the opportunity to plead your appeal case at a hearing. Even if you receive a refusal of your leave application, you can possibly request a reconsideration. A judicial review will follow the approved leave application, and you will have a hearing to present your case.
In this context, leave refers to obtaining permission. If your application for leave is successful, it means that your immigration appeal will move on to the next stage of judicial review. A few key elements of this stage of the appeals process are what you must include in your leave application and how it must be delivered.
There are very specific details your application must provide, including the date you received your immigration decision, your requests for relief, and the laws that support your appeal. You will also be required to provide a certified copy of your leave application to any respondents you listed in the application. An immigration attorney can easily handle these matters for you.
Once your leave has been granted, a judicial review hearing will be scheduled sometime between 30 to 90 days after your leave was granted. This hearing will allow you to present your claims and provide evidence as to why the IRB’s decision should be reversed. If you choose to have an immigration lawyer represent you and argue your case on your behalf, you may not need to be present at this hearing. However, if you choose to represent yourself, you are required to attend the judicial review.
The court will likely consider factors such as if the IRB acted within jurisdictional powers when they issued the denial, if procedural fairness was present, and if the IRB’s decision continues to be reasonable after supporting evidence is provided to the court. After you present your case, the court will decide to either uphold or confirm the IRB’s immigration denial or order the case to be reevaluated.
Exceptions and Timeframes
It should be noted that not every residency denial, sponsorship refusal, or removal order qualifies for an appeal. If any of the following circumstances apply to you, you would not be able to appeal the IRB’s immigration decision:
- You were involved in organized crime activity
- You violated human rights
- You were found to be inadmissible due to security issues
- You were found guilty of a serious crime in Canada and served six months or more in jail
If none of these scenarios apply to you, you may file your immigration appeal with the IAD but must do so within the specified timeframe. You will generally have 60 days for residency appeals and 30 days for removal orders and sponsorship appeals. An immigration lawyer will be able to navigate each of these processes and present a solid case to the IAD.
Aside from the specific details and regulations that apply to each type of immigration denial and appeal, there are general considerations that you may want to be aware of. In general, immigration appeals are open to the public. In other words, the details of your case and any information that is included in your immigration appeal will be considered public data. This is the default in these types of proceedings, but your immigration lawyer can obtain a confidentiality order on your behalf.
The following rules and procedures are also important to note if you plan on appealing your immigration denial:
- Witnesses are often allowed to testify during appeal hearings.
- Your immigration appeal documents must be in one of Canada’s two official languages, French or English.
- Any documents you submit in your appeal need to be typed, not handwritten.
- Individuals, as well as sponsoring family members, can apply for immigration appeals.
Working with an immigration lawyer who is well-versed in the appeals process can ensure these important details are taken care of, and any delays or further denials can be prevented.
Canada’s immigration procedures can be burdensome and overwhelming if you are not familiar with the applicable laws and regulations. If you are looking for legal representation for your immigration appeal, the experts at VisaAppeal can handle all the necessary requirements with ease. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how we can help you or if you would like to schedule a consultation.
For more information contact Daniel Larijani.