A quick glance at the Immigration Appeal Division.


Canadian Immigration Appeal Division is not a formal court where one has to strictly follow procedure and obey rules of evidence. It is a tribunal where a less formal system is followed.  It does not mean however that the parties in the dispute are left in total chaos.

The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) was created for immigration purposes where certain types of cases are heard by the judge, which are called “adjudicator”. The unsuccessful party in the immigration process is called “the Appellant” and the immigration officials who refused an application, or initiated measures against the immigrant are represented by legal counsel from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada department who are called “the Minister’s Counsel” or “the Minister”.

What types of cases can be heard in the IAD? Any sponsorship application which has been refused by the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or a permanent resident of Canada is decided that they are prohibited from keeping their residency (on criminal grounds or because of failure to keep the required number of days to be physically present in Canada.

Under the Immigration Appeal Division Rules, SOR/2002-230, a person who received a negative decision from the CIC have a time frame for filing a Notice of Appeal to the IAD. Usually, the CIC (or in some cases, the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) of the CIC, when providing the unsuccessful applicant with the refusal letter (or with the removal order for a permanent resident who found inadmissible class in Canada under criminality grounds, for example) also attach a form, Notice of Appeal with instructions on how to do the appeal. It would not, however, be the officials’ legal obligation to provide the person concerned with detailed explanations or legal advice, – for that you have an opportunity to consult an immigration legal counsel.

If a person concerned decided to proceed with the appeal, they have only 30 days to do so. Time starts to be counted from the date of receiving of written reasons for refusal. It is advisable that the Appellant (the person who received the refusal and decided to appeal the negative decision) consult and possibly hire legal counsel right away.

“The Minister” (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) has a limited time to respond, just 120 days. Why are the authorities given more time? Because they must present the IAD with the “Appeal Record”, a package of documents relevant to the matter (in a case of sponsorship appeal, for example, it would be copies of the application forms and supporting evidence made by the sponsor’s wife or husband, transcripts of the examining officer’s interview of all involved in the matter). The Appellant has rights to see all evidence which is used by the authorities and lead to a refusal. There is nothing that can be used at the future oral hearing before the adjudicator that was not disclosed before the Appellant.

Both parties, the Appellant and the Minister then have time to prepare for an oral hearing before the IAD. Sometimes, the Minister can initiate a resolution, if it seems that the Appellant has chances for a positive outcome of their case. If not, an oral hearing is scheduled and the matter is decided by the adjudicator when they hear all the parties’ arguments.

A quick glance at the Immigration Appeal Division

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