Immigration Appeals, Admissibility and Detention

Immigration and Refugee Board & Federal Courts Matters

Immigration Appeals, Admissibility and Detention

As former Department of Justice lawyers, we have extensive experience presenting cases in the Federal Court of Canada. We also have extensive experience representing clients at all levels of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) – Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), Immigration Division (ID) and Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Let us help you with your case at the Federal Court or the IRB.

Immigration appeals

The IAD hears appeals on immigration-related matters, including sponsorships, removal orders and residency obligations.

  • Deportation (removal order) appeals – If you received a removal order requiring you to leave Canada, you may be able to submit a removal order appeal to the IAD to explain why you should be able to stay in Canada.
  • Residency obligation appeals – If you are a permanent resident and you did not meet your residency obligation, you may be able to submit a residency obligation appeal to the IAD to explain why you should keep your permanent resident status.
  • Sponsorship appeals – If you applied to sponsor a family member, such as a spouse, common-law partner, dependent child or parent, whose application for permanent residence was refused, a sponsorship appeal to the IAD may be an option for you to demonstrate why your family member(s) should be granted permanent residence.

Admissibility hearings and detention reviews

The ID conducts admissibility hearings for individuals believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from, Canada under Canadian immigration law. It also conducts detention reviews for persons detained under Canadian immigration law.

  • Admissibility hearings, including misrepresentations – We can assist if you are ordered to appear before the ID for an admissibility hearing. This happens when Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has reason to believe that you should not be allowed to enter or remain in Canada. If the ID concluds you are inadmissible, this means that you cannot enter Canada and must leave if you are already in the Canada.
  • Detention review hearings – Foreign nationals or permanent residents who have been detained by CBSA for immigration reasons appear before the ID for detention reviews. Detention reviews are held (within 48 hours of detention, 7 days later and once every 30 days thereafter) to decide whether there is reason under Canadian immigration laws to continue detention.

Refugee applications, appeals and losing refugee status

The RPD is responsible for deciding if you qualify for refugee protection. Before this can happen, you must make a claim for protection, and if you are eligible, you will be referred to the RPD for a hearing and decision on your claim. We can help you make a claim for refugee protection and prepare for the hearing.

The RAD considers appeals of decisions of the RPD to allow or reject claims for refugee protection. If your refugee claim has been refused, we can assist you in filing and preparing the appeal. In most cases, there will be no hearing. The RAD will base its decision on the documents provided to the RPD and new evidence submitted in the appeal.

There are two ways that refugee protection can be removed.  These are cessation and vacation proceedings.  If CBSA commences cessation or vacation proceedings against you at the RPD, we can assist.

  • Cessation – A person can cease to hold their refugee status if, for example, they voluntarily reavail themselves of the protection of their country of nationality or obtain protection from another country.
  • Vacation – A person can have their refugee status vacated if they obtained that status by directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter.

Federal Court

The Federal Court has the authority to overturn the decisions of most immigration officers and each division of the IRB. In most cases, an appeal of an immigration decision to the Federal Court is called an “application for leave and for judicial review”. It is a two-step process. At the first stage, which is called “leave”, the Federal Court considers your appeal based on written arguments and evidence. The Federal Court will grant or deny leave. If leave is denied, there is no further appeal. If leave is granted, the second stage is for the Federal Court to schedule a “judicial review” hearing date. At the hearing, a Federal Court judge will consider the arguments of both sides (your lawyer and the Department of Justice lawyer representing the Canadian government). The judge will then decide whether to grant or dismiss the judicial review. If judicial review is dismissed, the judge’s decision is final and there is no further appeal. If judicial review is granted, your case will be returned for reconsideration by a different decision-maker. It is important to note that the Federal Court will not approve your application. Every case is different, but statistics show that about 20% of cases are granted leave and about 50% of cases that go to a hearing are successful. As former Department of Justice lawyers with many years of experience arguing cases in the Federal Court, we can help you with your application for leave and judicial review.

If CBSA schedules a date for your deportation from Canada, we can help you prepare and submit a request to the Federal Court to delay your removal from Canada, which is called a “stay motion”. Such motions are time-sensitive and often need to be prepared on an urgent basis. It is important that you contact an immigration lawyer as soon as CBSA notifies you that you will be deported from Canada.


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