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How to Appeal a Removal Order?

When a permanent resident, refugee or foreign national with a permanent resident visa is found to be inadmissible to Canada, he/she will receive a removal order. In the case of permanent residents, after receiving a removal order, the person may submit an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the IRB. Removal order appeal hearings take place at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). This is an independent tribunal where a member of the IAD makes a decision whether the removal order is legally valid and if so, whether there are sufficient humanitarian and compassionate grounds to allow the appeal notwithstanding.

You may not appeal a removal order if found to be:

  • Involved in organized crime
  • Inadmissible on security grounds
  • To have violated human or international rights
  • To have committed a serious criminal offence in Canada and were imprisoned for at least six months

When will your appeal hearing take place?

Appeal A Removal OrderThe appeal should be filed after 30 days upon receiving the removal order. After filing, you will receive a notice from the IAD acknowledging receipt of your appeal and notifying you to appear for the scheduling conference. This “notice to appear” will provide details on your appeal such as the date and time where you need to appear at the Assignment Court so that you can answer questions to help in scheduling your case.

How can you win the removal order appeal?

To have a successful appeal process, you need to show the IAD that the immigration authorities made a wrong decision in law or in fact. The member of the IAD may even consider your appeal based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. It is you and your counsel’s responsibility to show that the appeal should be allowed.

What happens after filing an appeal?

After appealing, two parties will be involved in the hearing, the Minister’s counsel who represents the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Appellant. The hearing is public so it may be covered by the media; members of the public can also attend. Once the case is heard and the appeal is allowed, the removal order is set aside and the person cannot be removed from Canada. However, if the appeal is denied then the person can be removed from Canada by the CBSA.

Can you hold the removal order temporarily?

In many cases the appeal is not allowed or dismissed, but the removal order is temporarily stayed. In such a situation, the IAD will decide to the appeal later once the period of the stay is concluded. A member of the hearing team will set a date when the final appeal will be heard. However, the appellant must meet stringent conditions like reporting to the CBSA office to prevent the IAD from cancelling the stay.

Do you need someone to represent you?

You can choose someone to represent you at your appeal hearing to increase the chances of a successful outcome. Although having a lawyer is not mandatory, often there are legal questions that need to be argued during the hearing and you’ll need to gather adequate supporting evidence. The Minister’s counsel will also be present to ask you questions and make very solid arguments against you. It is therefore strongly recommended to have experienced legal counsel to represent you in order to maximize your chances of success.


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