FEDERAL COURT APPEALS
OF REFUSED IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS
Federal Court Appeals Lawyer
Almost any decision of the immigration, refugee or citizenship authorities can be appealed to the Federal Court. There are a few exceptions where other courts have specific jurisdiction to hear an appeal of the decision. Generally speaking, if you have received a refusal decision from the immigration authorities, you can appeal it to the Federal Court within 15 days for a decision made in Canada, and 60 days for a decision made outside of Canada.
The types of decisions that are often appealed to the Federal Court include any kind of refused visa application, including permanent residence applications like the Express Entry, or temporary residence applications like work permits, study permits, or visitor visa applications. Negative decisions from other levels of court can also be appealed to the Federal Court, for example Immigration Appeal Division decisions to refuse a sponsorship, residency, or removal order appeal, or a negative decision of the Refugee Appeal Division. Rejected citizenship applications can also be appealed to the Federal Court.
The Process of a Federal Court Appeal
An immigration appeal before the Federal Court typically proceeds as an Application for Leave and Judicial Review. This is a two-step process. The applicant must first obtain “leave” of the court to proceed with their case. In practice, this is a preliminary screening by the court of the written submissions of the applicant together with any evidence then have provided. If the court decides that the case has merit, then they will grant leave, and schedule a hearing. If the court denies leave, the case will be dismissed.
After leave is granted a judicial review is commenced and a hearing will be scheduled where the court will hear legal arguments from both the applicant or their lawyer and the lawyer representing the immigration department. After hearing all arguments, the court will decide whether to grant the appeal or not. If the appeal is granted, the court will typically send the case back to be redecided by the immigration authorities in accordance with the court’s reasons.
It is important to understand that the process before the federal court is not a full appeal and that no new evidence may be adduced nor are there any witnesses or testimony. The process of judicial review means that the court will review the negative decision in light of the evidence that was before the decision maker to decide whether the decision is sustainable based on the law. Any court hearing will simply be to present legal arguments about the legalities of the decision, and is usually highly technical in nature.
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The Importance of Legal Representation at the Federal Court
Proceedings before the Federal Court are highly technical both legally and procedurally and a specialized immigration lawyer with court experience is definitely recommended if you are serious about winning your case.
Even just the process of completing and filing the initial form to start the appeal is highly complex and it just gets more difficult after that.
Legal arguments before the court are based on immigration law principles that have evolved through decades of court decision making and are extremely arcane even to most lawyers, let alone those who are not legally trained. It is therefore highly recommended to obtain experienced legal representation if you wish to appeal a negative immigration decision to the federal court.
At the Law Office of Matthew Jeffery we have years of successful experience assisting clients to appeal before the federal court.
Please contact us for more information, and to discuss your case in detail.