If your immigration case has been refused, there are two possible ways to appeal the decision; either through the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board, or the Federal Court of Canada (FCC). The IAD handles appeals for family sponsorships, residency obligations, and removal orders, while the FCC handles a wide range of immigration application refusals.

The hearing before the IAD is a fresh hearing, and you can introduce new evidence which the Visa Officer didn’t have, including Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations. The FCC, on the other hand, will not consider new evidence but will only examine whether the Visa Officer made a reviewable error.

Sponsorship appeals at the IAD

If your application to sponsor your spouse, common law partner or other family member has been refused, you may appeal to the IAD. At the IAD, we can put forth your case afresh, with new evidence of your relationship that you had omitted in your original application. We can also highlight any Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations.

As your lawyers, we will research previous cases with facts similar to yours, prepare you and your family member for examination at the IAD as to your relationship history and other factors, and present your most favorable case.

The following chart illustrates a typical sponsorship appeal process:

Residency obligation appeal process chart

Residency obligation appeals at the IAD

If you are a permanent resident, and have been found to have breached your residency obligation (i.e., meeting 2 years of residence out of 5 years), you could lose your permanent residence status. However, you have a right to appeal to the IAD.

With our legal knowledge of the factors that are considered by the IAD, we can assist you to present all the relevant facts to support your case, including Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations. These factors include length of absence, reasons for absence, hardship to you and your family if you lose your status.

The following chart shows the residency obligation appeal process:

Residency obligation appeal process chart

Judicial Review by the FCC

Only lawyers have the right to present your case before the FCC, not immigration consultants.

Most decisions in immigration matters are subject to judicial review by the FCC. For example, if your application to immigrate as a Skilled Worker or a Business Immigrant was refused by the Visa Officer, we can help you to challenge the decision at the FCC if the decision was wrong or there was a breach of natural justice.

Review by the FCC is a two-stage process. In the first stage, the FCC reviews the documents and arguments and decides whether you have an arguable case worth proceeding. If you are granted permission to proceed (“leave to appeal”), we would go to the next stage.

The second stage would be a court hearing where we present your case and our arguments as to why the decision of the Visa Officer was wrong or there was a breach of natural justice.

Depending on whether the decision was made in Canada or outside Canada, you may only have 15 days to file the application for judicial review to the FCC. If you are the subject of a negative decision, you are advised to seek legal help as soon as possible.