Sponsorship Appeal

Sponsorship Appeal

If your family member’s application for a permanent residence visa was denied after sponsorship, you have the option to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). This appeal allows you to present arguments as to why the visa application should be approved, commonly referred to as a sponsorship appeal.

Eligible appellants include permanent residents or Canadian citizens who submitted a sponsorship application for a family member to immigrate to Canada, which was subsequently rejected by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). However, individuals cannot sponsorship appeal if the sponsored person was deemed inadmissible to Canada due to reasons such as criminal convictions, involvement in organized crime, posing a security threat, or violating human rights. Additionally, appeals may be affected by misrepresentation, although exceptions may apply for spouses, common-law partners, or children.

Immigration Appeal open to Public

It’s important to note that immigration appeal hearings are generally open to the public, and information presented during the appeal process may be included in the written decision published on official legal websites. However, confidentiality orders can be requested and granted in exceptional circumstances, especially if there are concerns regarding the safety of the appellant or their family members.

Sponsorship Appeal Process

Step 1: File your Notice of Appeal

To initiate your appeal process, submit your Notice of Appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD).  Additionally, you have the option to include any supplementary documents that you believe could support your appeal. For instance, if the rejection letter specifies a missing document and you have obtained it subsequently, you can include it along with the Notice of Appeal.

Deadline: You must file your Notice of Appeal within 30 days from the date your family member received the refusal letter from IRCC.

Step 2: Prepare Your Case for IAD

Preparing your Sponsorship Appeal case for the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) involves several essential steps to ensure that you present a compelling argument in support of your appeal. Here’s a detailed overview of what this process entails:

  1. Upon receiving the appeal record from the Minister, carefully review all the documents and information related to your case. This includes the reasons for refusal provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and any additional evidence submitted by both parties.
  2. Identify the key issues or grounds on which your appeal is based. This could include demonstrating the genuineness of your relationship in spousal sponsorship cases, proving your eligibility for a specific immigration program, or challenging the decision based on procedural errors.
  3. Collect and organize evidence to support your case. This may include documents such as marriage certificates, communication records, financial statements, and affidavits from witnesses. Ensure that the evidence directly addresses the issues raised in your appeal.
  4. If you have witnesses who can provide relevant testimony, prepare them to present their statements effectively. This involves discussing their role, outlining the key points they will address, and ensuring that their testimony aligns with your overall case strategy.
  5. Consider seeking guidance from a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant who specializes in appeal cases. At Akrami & Associates Immigration Law Firm we have assisted many with their Sponsorship Appeal cases.
  6. Prepare written submissions that clearly outline your arguments, addressing each ground of appeal comprehensively. Structure your submissions logically, citing relevant evidence and legal precedents to support your position.
  7. Anticipate potential counterarguments that the Minister’s counsel may raise and prepare responses to effectively rebut them. Strengthen your case by addressing any weaknesses or potential challenges head-on.
  8. Ensure that all documentation and submissions comply with the IAD’s procedural requirements and deadlines. Failure to adhere to these guidelines could result in delays or adverse outcomes for your appeal.

By diligently preparing your case for the IAD, you enhance your ability to present a persuasive argument and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your immigration appeal.

 Sponsorship Appeal Key Terminology

  1. Appellant: The individual lodging the appeal against a decision made by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  2. Minister or Respondent: Refers to IRCC in the context of the appeal. The appellant and the Minister are the involved parties. The Minister is represented by a Canada Border Services Agency officer, known as the Minister’s counsel.
  3. IAD Tribunal Member: The official responsible for hearing the appeal and issuing a decision.
  4. Early Resolution Officer (ERO): An IAD employee offering information to help appellants prepare their cases, though they don’t provide legal advice.

Sponsorship Appeal Appellant’s Role

As the appellant, the burden of proof lies with you to demonstrate why the decision should be overturned. Evidence supporting your case includes statements made during the hearing, testimony from witnesses, and information contained in submitted documents. As the appellant, it is your responsibility to provide convincing reasons why the decision should be reversed. This burden of proof entails presenting compelling evidence to support your case, which encompasses various elements such as statements articulated during the hearing, testimonies from witnesses corroborating your claims, and pertinent information gleaned from documents submitted to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). It is crucial to meticulously assemble and present this evidence to strengthen your argument and sway the decision in your favor.

Reviewing the Appeal Record

Upon receipt of your Notice of Appeal, the IAD requests the Minister to provide the sponsorship file information, known as the appeal record. It contains the reasons for refusal and other pertinent details crucial for your case preparation.

Disclosure Process

For appeals filed after January 14, 2023, appellants must disclose evidence within 60 days of receiving the appeal record. This involves providing documents supporting their case. Failure to disclose or provide a statement of non-disclosure may result in dismissal or abandonment of the appeal.

Late Disclosure

Late submission of disclosed documents may lead to their exclusion from the hearing unless authorized by the hearing member. Factors such as relevance and reasons for delay are considered.

When assessing the late submission of disclosed documents, the hearing member considers several factors to determine whether to allow their inclusion in the hearing:

  1. Relevance: The member evaluates whether the documents are pertinent to the issues under consideration in the appeal. Documents that directly address the appeal’s core points are more likely to be deemed relevant.
  2. Reasons for Delay: The member examines the reasons behind the delayed submission of the documents. Valid justifications, such as unforeseen circumstances or difficulties in obtaining the documents, may be taken into account more favorably than inadequate explanations.
  3. Impact on the Proceedings: The member assesses how the late submission affects the overall fairness and efficiency of the hearing. If the delay significantly disrupts the proceedings or prejudices any party, this may weigh against allowing the documents.
  4. Prejudice to the Other Party: The member considers whether admitting the late documents would unfairly disadvantage the other party, such as by limiting their ability to respond adequately or prepare their case.
  5. Procedural Fairness: Ensuring fairness to both parties is paramount. The member strives to balance the interests of all involved while upholding the principles of procedural fairness in the adjudicative process.

By weighing these factors, the hearing member makes a judicious determination regarding the admissibility of the late-disclosed documents, aiming to maintain the integrity and fairness of the appeal proceedings.

Response to Evidence

Appellants may submit documents in response to evidence presented by the opposing party. These documents must be provided at least 30 days before the hearing date.

Spousal Sponsorship genuine relationship

Demonstrate the authenticity of your relationship and ensure it wasn’t formed primarily for immigration purposes. To succeed in your appeal, you must establish the genuineness of your relationship and provide evidence that neither you nor your spouse or partner entered into the relationship with the primary intention of immigrating to Canada.

The term “partner” herein refers to your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner interchangeably.

Prepare to address the following inquiries:

  • How did you and your partner meet, and how did your relationship evolve?
  • What is the duration of your acquaintance with your partner, and how well do you know each other?
  • Are your friends and family aware of your relationship?
  • If married, what were the circumstances of your marriage, and if arranged, how was it arranged?
  • Do you provide financial support to your partner, and does your partner have a history of immigration in Canada?
  • What are your future plans as a couple, and do you share children?
  • Have you traveled to visit your partner, and if so, how frequently?
  • For common-law relationships, when did it commence, and what were your living arrangements?
  • For conjugal partnerships where cohabitation was not possible, explain the circumstances and how you maintained the relationship.

Compile supporting evidence, such as correspondence, photographs, travel records, and financial transactions, to substantiate the closeness of your relationship. Address any concerns raised regarding the legality of your marriage by providing relevant documentation explaining marriage laws in the country where the marriage occurred.

 Potential Sponsorship Appeal Outcomes

  1. Allowance of Appeal: The decision to refuse the permanent resident visa application is overturned, and IRCC resumes processing the application.
  2. Dismissal of Appeal: The original decision to refuse the permanent resident visa application is upheld, resulting in the closure of the appeal process at the IAD

Step 3: Informal Resolution

During the informal resolution stage, an Early Resolution Officer (ERO) might reach out to you or your legal representative to gather additional details about your appeal and engage in discussions to assess if your case can be resolved without a formal hearing.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Your sponsorship appeal might be scheduled for an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) conference, recommended only for suitable cases. An ADR involves an informal meeting among you, the Minister’s Counsel, and an ERO to address the case, clarify any issues, and facilitate agreement on a decision. If your appeal is successfully resolved during the ADR, there will be no need for a formal hearing, and you will receive confirmation of the resolution. For more insights on attending an ADR conference at the IAD, refer to our guide on what to anticipate and how to prepare.

Stage 4: Scheduling your Hearing

If informal resolution is not possible, you will receive an invitation to an oral hearing from the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). The IAD will reach out to you or your legal representative to arrange the hearing, and upon receiving the proposed date, you have two days to confirm your availability.

Once you agree to the hearing date, you must be prepared to proceed at the specified time, even if you opt to engage legal counsel after the date is set. Following the confirmation of the hearing date, you will receive a Notice to Appear, detailing the date, time, and format of the hearing—whether virtual, in-person, or via telephone. Instructions for virtual hearings will be provided accordingly.

For in-person hearings, various locations across Canada are designated. Participants unable to attend in person may join via telephone or Microsoft Teams.

What to do in case of unavailability

Should you or your counsel be unable to attend or require a postponement, promptly contact the IAD to request a rescheduling. Such requests are considered under exceptional circumstances.

To request a postponement

  1. Address an email, letter, or fax to the IAD, stating your appeal file number.
  2. Clearly outline the reasons necessitating the change in date or time, providing compelling justification.
  3. Propose at least six alternative dates for rescheduling.
  4. Share a copy of your postponement request with the Minister’s counsel, referencing their contact details from correspondence received from the IAD.
  5. Include a statement detailing how and when you transmitted the postponement request to the Minister’s counsel.
  6. Submit your request to the IAD, ensuring it reaches them at least three working days before the original hearing date.

In the event of a denied rescheduling request

If the IAD declines your request, you must proceed with the appeal on the initially scheduled date. Failure to attend may result in dismissal or abandonment of your appeal, rendering the original decision unchanged.

For requests submitted within three working days of the hearing or in cases of non-response from the IAD, attendance at the scheduled hearing is mandatory. While you may reiterate your request for rescheduling at the hearing’s onset, be prepared to proceed should the Member deny your request, ensuring you have all necessary documents, legal representation, and witnesses present.

Stage 5: Preparing for Your Hearing

If your hearing is virtual, familiarize yourself with the technical requirements and essential guidelines outlined in the Quick tips to prepare for your virtual hearing at the IRB. This resource offers detailed instructions and helpful tips to ensure a smooth virtual hearing experience.

Ensure all individuals testifying at the hearing, including yourself, are listed as witnesses. Submit your list of witnesses no later than 30 days before the hearing date. This information aids the IAD in planning your hearing effectively, detailing each witness’s name, your relationship to them, anticipated testimony duration, interpreter requirements, and preferred testimony method (in-person, via Microsoft Teams, or by telephone). Share this information with both the Minister’s Counsel and the IAD.

Should any of your witnesses possess expertise, such as medical professionals, they must provide a signed report outlining their qualifications and summarizing their intended testimony. This report must be submitted no later than 30 days before the hearing, in either French or English, and sent to both the IAD and the Minister’s Counsel. If the expert charges a fee for the report or attendance at the hearing, you are responsible for payment.

If you need to ensure a witness’s presence at the hearing, and they reside in Canada, you can request the issuance of a summons from the IAD. This legal document mandates the witness’s attendance at the hearing, compelling them to appear. You must personally deliver the summons to the intended witness and offer to cover their witness fees and travel expenses.

 Step 6: Attending Your Hearing

Who Will Be Present:

  • The IAD member presiding over your appeal
  • You and your counsel, if applicable
  • The Minister’s counsel
  • Any witnesses you have summoned to testify
  • An interpreter, if required
  • A designated representative, if needed

Ensure you, your counsel, and any witnesses are prepared to attend before the hearing commences. Refer to your Notice to Appear for the designated arrival time and ensure all necessary documents are at hand.

The IAD member will initiate the hearing, overseeing its management. If you lack legal representation, the member will guide you through the process impartially, focusing on gathering information from both parties to inform their decision.

As the appellant, you will typically provide your testimony first. Prior to speaking, the member will administer an oath or affirmation. If desired, you may use a personal holy book for this purpose.

    • If represented, your counsel will pose questions regarding your appeal. Without representation, you’ll be prompted by the member to narrate your account and emphasize key aspects of your appeal. The member retains the right to interject with questions relevant to the appeal at any juncture.
    • Subsequently, the Minister’s counsel will cross-examine you based on your testimony and the appeal file’s documents.
    • Following the Minister’s counsel’s inquiries, your counsel, if present, may seek further clarification from you. In the absence of counsel, you may choose to articulate additional points.

If you have witnesses, they’ll remain outside the hearing room until summoned. During virtual hearings, witnesses should not be within earshot or in the same vicinity during your testimony. Upon joining the proceedings, witnesses will also take an oath or affirmation.

    • Your counsel will question your witnesses, or if self-represented, you should be prepared to conduct this questioning.
    • The IAD member may also pose questions to your witnesses as necessary.
    • The Minister’s counsel will have the opportunity to cross-examine your witnesses.
    • Following cross-examination, you or your counsel may seek further clarification from the witness if needed.

Upon conclusion of witness testimony, the member will invite you or your counsel to present final arguments, elucidating why the evidence supports your appeal.

    • The Minister’s counsel will then offer their submissions, which may include a request for dismissal or, in some instances, agreement to allow the appeal.
    • Typically, closing arguments are presented orally at the hearing’s conclusion. However, if the member requests written submissions post-hearing, you will be notified by the IAD regarding submission details and deadlines.

Step 7: Receiving a Decision

Upon completion of the hearing, the member meticulously evaluates all evidence presented by both parties and carefully considers the applicable laws before rendering a decision.

If the member reaches a decision by the hearing’s conclusion, you and the Minister’s counsel will be promptly informed of the outcome. The member will document the decision in writing, and the IAD will subsequently dispatch it to you post-hearing.

Alternatively, if the decision is not reached during the hearing, the case is reserved for further deliberation. The member will thoroughly review all evidence post-hearing and draft the decision, typically within 60 days. The finalized decision will be forwarded to you by the IAD upon completion.

If Your Appeal is Allowed: In this scenario, the previous decision to reject the permanent resident visa application is reversed, and IRCC will resume processing your application accordingly. Your involvement with the Immigration Appeal Division concludes at this stage, and you can monitor your application’s progress on the IRCC website.

If Your Appeal is Dismissed: This signifies that IRCC’s initial decision to refuse the permanent resident visa application stands, and your appeal is officially closed at the IAD. Seeking legal counsel to explore potential options may be advisable in this situation.

How can we Help!

Akrami and Associates Immigration Law Firm can appeal a decision through the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) by following these steps:

We will carefully review the decision issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to understand the grounds for refusal or other adverse actions.

We will determine if the decision is eligible for appeal to the IAD. Certain immigration decisions, such as sponsorship refusals or removal orders, may be appealed to the IAD.

We will collect all relevant documents and evidence to support the appeal. This may include application materials, correspondence with IRCC, witness statements, and any other documentation relevant to the case.

We will prepare and submit a Notice of Appeal form to the IAD within the specified timeframe.

We will draft written submissions that outline the grounds for appeal and provide supporting evidence. Clearly articulate why the decision should be overturned and present compelling arguments to support your case.

We will consider participating in mediation or ADR sessions facilitated by the IAD. These sessions provide an opportunity to resolve the appeal through negotiation and compromise. If mediation or ADR is unsuccessful or not applicable, we will attend the appeal hearing scheduled by the IAD. Present your case orally, provide testimony, and respond to questions from the member presiding over the hearing.

During the appeal hearing, if necessary, submit additional evidence or testimony to further support your case. Be prepared to address any issues or concerns raised by the Minister’s counsel or the presiding member. Following the appeal hearing, await the decision of the IAD. The member will carefully consider all evidence and arguments presented before rendering a decision.

By following these steps and effectively presenting the case before the IAD, Akrami and Associates can pursue an appeal on behalf of you and seek a favorable outcome in challenging immigration decisions.

Book a consultation today!



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