Canada citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their close family members to immigrate to Canada to live closer to them. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) may refuse the application to sponsor an eligible family member due to a number of reasons. If you believe that refusal was an error on part of the immigration officer, you as the sponsor may appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
The refusal of family sponsorship application in some cases is not eligible for 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
- involvement in organized crime
- security grounds
- violations of human or international rights, or
- misrepresentation (unless the person is the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or child)
The sponsor has 30 days after the refusal to appeal to the IAD. Some sponsorship appeals go through an informal alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. In most cases, a member of Immigration Appeal Division will hold a hearing of the appeal according to the IRB tribunal process.
The appeal process involves two parties: the appellant and Minister’s counsel who represents CIC. The process is also usually open to public.
If the appeal is allowed and the original decision is set aside, CIC will resume processing the sponsorship application. CIC is bound by the IRB’s decision. However, it is possible for CIC to refuse the application on other grounds, and this may also be appealed to the IAD.
Either the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the sponsor may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for leave, or permission, for judicial review of the IRB’s decision. The Federal Court of Canada will either dismiss the application or return the case to the IAD for re-hearing.
The appeal process if following:
Canadian citizen or a permanent resident applies to CIC to sponsor a family member and is refused.
Sponsor files an appeal with the IRB within 30 days.
IAD member considers the appeal. (Appeal may be sent to Alternative Dispute Resolution). There are two possible outcomes.
One: Appeal dismissed. or
Two: appeal allowed. If the appeal is allowed, there are two further possible outcomes.
CIC may grants permanent resident visa. or
CIC may deny permanent resident visa on other grounds. At this point, the sponsor may file another appeal with the IRB within 30 days.
In most cases you as the sponsor are allowed to file appeal against the refusal. If you have new documents to support the application for sponsorship, then it may be good idea to submit a new application to sponsor your family member instead of going through appeal process as it might be faster route.