What You Need to Know About Bringing your Family to Canada

sponsorship appeal

Sponsorship Appeal Timelines

If you get a negative result after you attempted to sponsor a family member, you have 30 days to launch an appeal of the process. When you receive a date for your appeal, you have to submit all the necessary documentation no later than 20 days before the hearing. The Minister’s counsel also has to provide documentation for the hearing 20 days before it takes place. Paperwork that responds to the Minister’s counsel must be submitted 10 days before the hearing.

If a decision isn’t immediately made in terms of your case, then you will receive a determination by mail within 90 days or less. In addition to launching an appeal in a timely fashion, it’s vital to consider these other aspects of attempting to reverse a negative outcome for sponsoring your family.

Types of Inadmissibility that Cannot Be Appealed

Citizenship and Immigration Canada lists a variety of different reasons that result in inadmissibility, some of which cannot be appealed at all.

If the family member that you’re trying to sponsor has committed a crime within Canada, specifically, an offense that’s been punished with a prison term of two years or greater, you may not appeal the decision made by the CIC.

If proof of involvement in organized crime has been listed as the reason for refusal, an appeal will not be allowed. Sponsorship denial of those who have committed human or international rights offenses will not be considered for appeal. Refusal of sponsorship due to security grounds or misrepresentation on behalf of the family member – other than a child, spouse and common-law partner – will be considered ineligible for an appeal.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, “the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) offers an informal, less confrontational and more consensual approach to dealing with sponsorship appeals.” This method of appeal attempts to help family become reunified in a more humane fashion than the regular appeals process, which is similar, but less formal, than the proceedings of a court.

A dispute resolution officer will be assigned to your case if your appeal is selected for the ADR process. The meeting entails a one hour conference that involves the Minister’s counsel, the dispute resolution officer, the applicant and their legal counsel. More than half of these proceedings finish without the need for a further, oral hearing. Approximately half of the cases end up having the CIC agree to the appeal or the applicant withdraw the appeal, helping to reduce the time and money spent on this endeavor.

The Sponsorship Appeal Flowchart

After a sponsorship refusal takes place and the applicant launches an appeal within the 30 day limit, the case is either diverted to alternative dispute resolution or lands on the desk of the immigration appeal division, which will either allow the appeal or dismiss the possibility of one.

If the appeal is successful, the CIC will grant the visa. If the application is denied again, on other grounds of refusal, then the sponsor may attempt to launch another appeal within the 30 day limit.

Recent Administrative Changes

The immigration appeal division recently decided that they are changing the administration process in order to cut down on the backlog that they’re currently experiencing. Their website states that more than 11,000 appeals are still on the waiting list, which is spurring the IAD to introduce “three administrative changes to its process which will enable it to focus more of its resources on those appeals that fall within its jurisdiction and where appellants intend to proceed.”

The first change involves the confirmation from the sponsorship applicant that they intend to proceed with the appeal. A form must be filled out a sent back to the IAD “within a specified timeframe.” If there’s no response, a Member will then decide to determine whether or not the appeal is to be declared as ended.

Instead of a two-step abandonment process, the IAD will be using a one-step process that will reduce the amount of time that it takes to declare an appeal as ended, especially in cases where the appeal is deemed as unlikely to succeed.

Finally, cases for appeal that are outside of the regular jurisdiction of the IAD will be quickly eschewed in favor of cases that are more likely to succeed. This includes getting rid of cases in which the applicant has no right to appeal and incidences in which the person launching the sponsorship has no right to be an actual sponsor.

Why Legal Help for Family Sponsorship is Important

In order to take advantage of this great opportunity, individuals should enlist the help of a legal professional who knows how to send a package that will provide an applicant with the best chance to be sponsored. With over 15 years experience specializing in helping to reunite families from across the world, we know what immigration officers are looking for when reviewing a sponsorship application.

The first step towards a successful family sponsorship application is getting an assessment of your case. Fill out our free immigration assessment form and we will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your eligibility and options.


Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

One thought on “What You Need to Know About Bringing your Family to Canada

  1. Ahmad

    Hi i want to sponsor my family members can you help me plz what should I do first.
    Thank you.


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