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Immigration Law

Mastering IAD Appeals: A Canadian Immigration Guide

November 01, 2023 by Pius Omene


Are you or someone you know facing an immigration hurdle in Canada? Learning about the Canadian Immigration system including its various pathways and appeal processes are guaranteed to improve your chances of a favourable outcome. In this blog post, we'll explain what the IAD (Immigration Appeals Division) is and shed some light on how it functions.

What is the IAD?

The IAD is a crucial component of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). Its primary responsibility is to address appeals related to immigration decisions. Essentially, the IAD serves as a recourse for individuals who have faced rejection in certain types of applications. It ensures that a neutral panel can review the case and determine if the refusal was justified or not.

Jurisdiction of the IAD

The IAD handles specific types of immigration appeals including:

1. Sponsorship Appeals: If you've sponsored a family member's application for permanent residence and received a denial, you typically have the right to appeal to the IAD. However, some cases don't allow for an appeal, such as when the refusal is based on serious criminality, organized criminality, security concerns, violation of human or international rights, or misrepresentation.

2. Removal Order Appeals: If you've been issued a removal order (deportation, exclusion, or departure), there may be conditions under which you can appeal. However, in certain circumstances, like when you have been found inadmissible for serious criminality, organized criminality, security grounds, violation of human or international rights, or misrepresentation you cannot appeal. Additionally, refugee claimants whose protection claims were rejected and foreign nationals without a permanent resident visa cannot appeal a removal order.

3. Residency Obligation Appeals: Permanent residents must fulfill specific residency obligations to maintain their status. As of the time of this blog, this requirement mandates at least 730 days of residence in Canada during the last five years. If an immigration officer determines that you haven't met this obligation, it may lead to a removal order. Permanent residents with negative residency obligation determinations can appeal to the IAD for re-evaluation.

The IAD Appeal Process

Initiating an appeal with the IAD involves filing a Notice of Appeal along with other required documents. Be mindful of deadlines; for instance, you have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal for sponsorship application refusals or removal orders, while residency obligation appeal notices must de filed within 60 days.

After filing, the government department involved will prepare the Appeal Record, which is then provided to both the appellant and the IAD. Parties must adhere to specified rules and regulations during document exchanges. They can also call witnesses to present evidence in support of their case.

Additionally, an informal resolution process, known as an ADR conference, may be required. This process offers a less formal avenue for resolving issues without the need for a full hearing.

If the informal resolution process doesn't succeed or isn't applicable, the matter advances to a hearing. Parties can call witnesses and make submissions during the hearing. In some cases, the appeal may proceed in writing (instead of by way of an oral hearing) if the IAD deems it fair and appropriate.

The IAD is a vital component of Canada's immigration framework, ensuring fairness and due process. While the process may appear daunting, it serves as a necessary safeguard. To enhance your chances of a successful appeal, it's advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced immigration professional who can navigate the complexities of the IAD appeals process with you. Don't let immigration challenges overwhelm you; the IAD is here to help you achieve a fair resolution.

Seeking clarity on your IAD appeal? Contact Pius Omene at FH&P Lawyers LLP for dedicated legal support that guides you to a positive resolution.

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About the Author: Pius Omene:

Pius's path to Canada began in 2017 when he arrived as a skilled immigrant from Nigeria after successfully obtaining permanent residence through the express entry program. He shortly after obtained a qualifying certificate from the National Committee on Accreditation after passing the required exams. He then completed a composite term of articles and the CPLED program, eventually getting called to the Alberta Bar in 2020.

Since getting called to the Bar in Canada, Pius has been practising immigration law by advising clients on immigration programs, helping with the preparation of applications, and representing them before administrative tribunals and the courts. Pius joined FH & P Lawyers LLP in 2023 and was called to the BC Bar.

Outside of his professional life, Pius cherishes the outdoors and can often be found enjoying the serene beauty of his new home in Canada. With a genuine desire to help, Pius shares insights based on both his personal journey and deep understanding of Canadian Immigration Law.