How long does an appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division take?
Appeals before the Immigration Appeal Division include sponsorship appeals, residency appeals, and removal order appeals involving Canadian citizens or permanent residents. These appeals are initiated by filing a Notice of Appeal document with the Appeal Division, together with a copy of the refusal decision being appealed.
Once the appeal has been filed, the immigration authorities will prepare the Tribunal Record, which is a copy of their file related to the immigration case which is being appealed. The Record is normally produced within three or four months after the appeal is filed, and a copy of it will be provided to the appellant by mail.
After the Record has been provided, staff at the Appeal Division will review it to see if the case is one that might be amenable to early resolution either through written submissions or through the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process. If the Appeal Division believes that an ADR is justified, they will set a date for the meeting usually within six to eight months of the time that the appeal was filed. If the ADR is successful, then the case will be resolved in the appellant’s favour at that time.
If no ADR is scheduled or the ADR is unsuccessful, and the case is not otherwise resolved through written submissions, the appeal will be scheduled for a hearing before a judge. This can sometimes be a long process, and a hearing may not be scheduled for more than one year, depending on the work load of the Appeal Division office.
Once the appeal hearing is held, the judge may make an oral decision immediately at the end of the hearing, but usually the judge will reserve his or her decision and write it down and mail it out later. If the judge issues a written decision this will usually take about one month, but may be longer depending on the work load of the particular judge.
Altogether an appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division is likely to take between six months and two years.