Immigration Appeals – Part 1


Canada immigration appeals are complex. In this post, I will address appeals through the Immigration Appeal Division, an administrative body that acts somewhat like a court, but is much faster and less formalized than a court proceeding.

What does the Immigration Appeal Division do?

Not every denied immigration application can be appealed to the immigration appeal division. This administrative body only hears certain appeals including sponsorship appeals, appeals from removal orders, appeals regarding residency obligations, and Ministerial appeals.

Sponsorship appeals

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner for permanent residence. There are many factors that a visa officer considers when such an application is made, and those factors are discussed in other posts.

When a sponsorship application fails, one option is to appeal that decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). You should not appeal such a decision to the courts until you have gone through the IAD, as the courts will simply refer the matter back to the IAD to give the IAD an opportunity to hear and decide the case.

Spousal sponsorship appeals can not be made based on serious criminal inadmissibility, involvement in organized crime, security issues or human rights violations.

Appeals of removal orders

Few people realize that even a permanent resident of Canada can be ordered removed or deported from Canada. Along with permanent residents, those in Canada as refugees or under temporary visas or permits can also face removal from Canada.

Typically, a removal or deportation order is issued because the individual is now inadmissible to Canada. For example, a mispresentation in the inidividual’s immigration application was discovered or a crime had been committed. There are other grounds for removal as well.

An individual facing a removal order can appeal that order to the IAD. However, orders involving serious criminal acts, involvement with organized crime, human rights or security violations can not be appealed through the IAD.

Appeals regarding residency obligations

Permanent residents must be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days of every five year period. Failure to be present for these days can lead to a loss of permanent residency and ultimate removal from Canada.

If you believe you were in fact physically present in Canada for the required time or you had a justifiable reason for not being physically present in Canada, you can appeal this decision to the IAD.

This post was intended to give a broad overview of the IAD. In subsequent posts I’ll discuss grounds for appeals and appeals to the court system.

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