The Sponsorship Appeal Process: A Timeline
Appealing a Refused Sponsorship Application
Unfortunately, the people processing your application to sponsor a close family member for entry into Canada are not infallible. Mistakes do happen, which is why the appeals process exists.
There are many variables to consider when applying to sponsor somebody, many of which are out of your control. For example, the information that’s provided for the application may accidentally be incorrect due to a misinterpretation of requirements.
Even worse, the person who’s processing your application may misinterpret the information given to them, resulting in a refusal despite the fact that you’ve provided all the appropriate information at the right time. The appeals process follows a specific timeline, including deadlines that, when missed, will void the application altogether.
To Appeal or Not to Appeal
Certain issues that trigger inadmissibility cannot be appealed under any circumstances. According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, “a sponsor may not appeal if the family member is inadmissible to Canada because of a serious criminal offence punished in Canada by a term of imprisonment of two years or more.”
Other problems with sponsorship applications that may not be appealed include proof of being involved in organized crime, violations of human or international rights, security issues and deliberate misrepresentation in cases where the individual being considered is not the spouse, child or common-law partner of the sponsor.
In these cases, the government will not hear any appeals. If refusal is based on other criteria, the appeal process may be initiated.
Meeting the First Deadline
Should Citizenship and Immigration Canada refuse sponsorship by a citizen or a permanent resident on behalf of a close family member, the next step is to launch an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Launching an appeal with the IAD must be done within thirty days of the decision.
Sometimes, when a sponsor launches an appeal, the case becomes part of an alternative dispute resolution rather than a full-blown tribunal. Typically, this type of appeals process is performed in order to create a less adversarial situation for everybody involved. This is especially the case for sponsorship situations where the permanent resident or Canadian citizen wishes to become reunited with their family.
Alternative dispute resolution is aligned with the board’s efforts to provide solutions to problems in a simple, quick and fair manner. This type of appeal typically takes less time and is done in a manner that’s friendlier than other immigration processes. In cases where this type of dispute resolution succeeds, the case doesn’t need to proceed to tribunal.
However, if alternative dispute resolution fails or isn’t granted, then the appeal moves to an administrative tribunal process, which is similar in style to a court proceeding, but less formal. In these cases, a lawyer, advisor, family member or trusted advisor presents information meant to overturn the ruling.
These hearings typically take place in person, through a video conference or another means of communication that helps to foster a fair trial. It should be noted that each division has its own set of procedures, including evidence, documentation requirements, time limits and other important tribunal issues.
Submitting Timely Information to the IAD
The Immigration Appeal Division is a member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, focusing on dealing with appeals for those whose sponsorship cases were turned down. Submitting the required information in a timely fashion ensures that the appeals process goes smoothly, boosting the odds in your favor.
When the appeals process is granted, a date will be set for the hearing. This date determines the deadlines for submitting information necessary to win your sponsorship appeal. For example, when appealing a marriage sponsorship that’s been denied because an officer doubts the validity of the nuptials, documents such as communication records, gift receipts and other proof of relationship should be submitted. The deadline for submission of this information is 20 days before the hearing date.
The Minister’s counsel, who provides both you and the IAD with information about the appeal, must also submit the information to all parties 20 days before the hearing. You may submit documentation that responds to the information provided by the Minister, but it must be done at least 10 days before the hearing. Declaring witnesses for your case and making a request for an interpreter must also be done 20 days before the hearing.
After the hearing takes place, the decision may occur right away. If not, the decision will be mailed to you no later than 90 days after the hearing.
The sponsorship process is always an emotional one, but falling into despair due to a negative outcome doesn’t help you or your loved ones. Contacting experienced immigration lawyers, such as the professionals at VisaPlace, ensure that you get everything done on time, boosting your chances of successfully appealing a disappointing decision.
Why Hire Us to Assist Your Family Sponsorship Case?
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. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get Canadian permanent residence through family sponsorship, and we can help you too!
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.
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
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