I have an immigration hearing coming up. How should I prepare?

Immigration Hearing Q and A

Q. I have been illegally here for many years and now things have caught up with me. I have an immigration hearing next month and I don’t know what to do? Do I need a lawyer?


A. Depending on your circumstances, the outcome of  your immigration hearing could mean remaining  or leaving Canada. For people without status in Canada, immigration hearings are usually called Admissibility Hearings.  Admissibility hearings are conducted by a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) who will make a determination as to whether you are a person who has violated the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or Regulations by falling out of status as a temporary resident.

Immigration Hearings and Appeals for Permanent Residents

In some cases, Immigration hearings can take the form of Appeals,usually for Permanent Residents who have committed a criminal offence and are subject to removal orders. In such a case, these hearings are held at the Immigration Adjudication Division (IAD). At the IAD, the appellant can present evidence in favor of overturning his or her removal order showing there are humanitarian and compassionate factors to be considered. Often at IAD hearings, witnesses are called who can testify on behalf of the appellant.

So do you need a lawyer at an Immigration Hearing?

Technically the answer is “no”. However, invariably at immigration hearings, a government lawyer or agent will be present representing the immigration department. These representatives are usually very experienced and know the law. Unrepresented persons are therefore at an extreme disadvantage at immigration hearings despite efforts to ensure proceedings are conducted in a fair manner.  Retaining an experienced immigration lawyer is usually your best defense at an immigration hearing. Of course there are no guarantees. However, outcomes are generally more favorable when immigration counsel is present at an immigration hearing.

[gravityform id=1 name=Havea Question? ]
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

The content and comments of this blog are not legal advise and and may not be accurate or complete. If you require legal advice, contact a licensed legal practitioner directly. If you post on this blog, you assume full responsibility for disclosing your identity to the public and VisaPlace nor its affiliates are not responsible for protecting your privacy nor your identity concerning your participation in our blog and you assume any risks in participating.

Customer Reviews

Great law firm with great staff. My lawyer Rania did a great job for my Canadian work permit and my daughters study permit. You are great in your work. And my Para Legal officer Alicea, you are just amazing. They did not rest until my job was promptly and properly done. Always there to answer my calls, reply my emails promptly. She tried her best and the results were amazing. I recommend visa place if you need the best immigration job. Many thanks to Rania and Alicea.

Charity Musa2 months ago

Great firm on top of their game. Worked with us til the end to ensure my parents visa was approved and guided us along the way in a professional manor. Natalie is awesome. Majority of our communications were via email, but the responses were immediate. I would greatly recommend this firm. Thank you for all your hard work and help. My family and I do really appreciate it.

Daxesh Patel2 months ago

I am grateful for the legal services that I got from Sanaa and Alicea of Visa Place. I was impressed by their client centered approach. Their professionalism involved their hearts and heads to work on my case. I cannot compare the time they spent on it with the money I paid. All they wanted was a fine final document. I also liked their prompt communication. They are really passionate about what they do.

Theresie Nuwimanaa month ago