Tips for a (spousal sponsorship) appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division

Living apart from your spouse/partner especially as an immigrant is never easy. The good thing is that the IRCC allows you to sponsor your loved one to live and work in Canada so long as you are a permanent resident or citizen. You will go through a rigorous application process especially if you are sponsoring a foreign national or your relationship has certain red flags. For instance, if you have a big age difference with your spouse/partner, the immigration officer may apply further scrutiny when processing your application.

Partnering with an immigration lawyer Canada from the very beginning will help you prepare well for the spousal sponsorship application and ensure you present information that proves you have a genuine relationship with your partner/spouse. When the application is made in Canada (the person to be sponsored resides in Canada either on a work permit or temporary visitor visa) and it is denied, you cannot appeal. However, spousal sponsorship applications that are refused by an overseas visa office can be appealed by filing a Notice of Appeal within 30 days after receiving the decision. The sponsor is the one required to make this filing.

What options are available when filing an appeal?

When you have a representative in the form of a lawyer, you get one-on-one advice on the options that are best suited for you depending on your unique situation. Some cases are dealt with through the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. ADR simply involves interviewing the sponsor and if it’s not successful, the sponsor can still forward the case to be heard before the IAD.

What to expect at the IAD

If the spousal sponsorship appeal is taken before the Immigration Appeal Division, the sponsor and applicant should be adequately prepared for the hearing. During the hearing, an interpreter can be used so the sponsor and applicant may be requested to pause intermittently to make it easy for the interpreter to follow through. The sponsored person can be called in during hearing as a witness. Your immigration appeals lawyer Canada will instruct you on how to respond to questions when it’s unclear or you don’t know the answer. It’s ok to admit that you don’t know or you don’t understand the question. Many applicants get nervous during the hearing and their lawyer should be able to remind them of the basics and ensure they are well prepared for the hearing.

There are several documents that will be presented during the hearing such as the Appeal record and any disclosure provided by the sponsor. In some cases, photos can come in handy as evidence. The Appeal Record contains the sponsorship application.

Be prepared for hearing

Spousal sponsorship appeal cases can be very complex and we can’t stress enough on the importance of being well prepared for hearing. It is important for the sponsor to establish his/her case based on a balance of probabilities. Getting the best legal advice and representation will help enhance the chances of your application being accepted on appeal.

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