What to do if your sponosrship application got refused

If your sponsorship application was refused, you can submit an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD).

Sponsorship appeals re-address the refusal of a sponsorship application by the immigration authorities in an attempt to sponsor a family member such as a spouse, partner, child or parent for permanent residence in Canada.

These appeals are heard by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

The IAD is an independent administrative committee that acts like a court to review immigration department decisions, including hearing any new evidence, then deciding whether or not the decision of the immigration authorities should be overturned.

Here's what you need to know about sponsorship appeals and how we can help.

1 The procedure before the IAD

Once the Canadian sponsor receives a refusal letter from the immigration department rejecting their application to sponsor their family member they have 30 days to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division.

The usual reasons for the refusal are as follows:

  • For spouse or partner sponsorships, the most common reason for refusal is that the immigration authorities do not believe the relationship between the couple is genuine.

  • For parental sponsorships, the application is usually refused because the sponsor does not meet the financial requirements to sponsor.

  • Other common grounds of refusal include criminal or medical inadmissibility, or misrepresentation.

Other reasons your sponsorship application could get refused

1. Are You a Sponsored Citizen/Permanent Resident of Canada?

If you obtained Canadian permanent residency after being sponsored as a spouse, you must wait at least 5 years before you can sponsor someone a new spouse to immigrate to Canada. Your application will not be accepted unless the five years have elapsed.

2. Financial Assistance Received from the Canadian Government

As a permanent resident or citizen of Canada, you may have received social assistance from the government. If this is the case, your application will be refused. This is because CIC expects applicants to be financially capable of supporting a sponsored person by bearing their living expenses. Receiving financial assistance from the government is proof that you may not be able to meet your requirements as a sponsor.

3. Failure to Meet Sponsorship Obligations in the Past

If you have ever sponsored someone before, the immigration department will reject your application if you failed to support the sponsored immigrant at the time. Your application might be accepted if you can prove that your situation has changed. The immigration officer needs confidence that your financial standing is now able to support a sponsored person.

4. Failure to Pay an Immigration Loan

If you have missed payments on an immigration loan, this weakens your application and increases the chances of having it rejected. You will need to provide supporting documents that show why you missed or delayed payment of the loan or prove that you have a new source of income. It is important for the officer to feel that you are financially capable of supporting a sponsored immigrant for the stipulated period.

2 The appeal hearing

Spouse must not have criminal conviction

After an appeal has been filed, the IAD will schedule a hearing. At the hearing the appellant will have an opportunity to present new documentary evidence, to testify as to the facts of the case, and to call witnesses. The appellant may also be represented by a lawyer who will conduct the examinations of the witnesses and who will also have an opportunity to make submissions on the appellant’s behalf.

The immigration authorities will send their own lawyer or representative to the hearing to defend their decision to reject the application. The immigration department’s lawyer may adduce new evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make submissions on the department’s behalf.

A Board Member will preside over the hearing and will act as a judge to decide the case. The Member may also question witnesses and will render their decision orally or in writing at the conclusion of the hearing.

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How can we help?

Fill out our FREE Appeal Assessment form where we will review your submission. If we have determined that you have a case, we will contact you within one business day and provide further information to help you start the process!

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3 Benefits of having a lawyer for your appeal

Matthew Jeffery Immigration Lawyer

Matthew Jeffery Immigration Lawyer

Sponsorship appeals involve complex issues of law and procedure that only an experienced immigration lawyer will have full knowledge of. While an appellant does not have to be represented by a lawyer, he or she will be seriously prejudiced by acting alone and without counsel.

It should be considered that an appeal before the IAD is an adversarial process and that the immigration authorities will have their own experienced lawyer present to argue against the appeal being approved. An appellant will not easily be able to compete with the immigration department’s lawyer unless they have a lawyer of their own who is equally experienced.

The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has many years of successful experience representing clients in sponsorship appeals. Please fill out our free appeal assessment form to see if we can assist you. All information is kept strictly confidential.

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Spousal Sponsorship Guide

Spouse and Partner Sponsorship Guide

We've created a FREE downloadable guide that will help you on what you need to know to bring your spouse or partner to Canada.

What our clients say

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Today I won my spousal appeal case. I would like to express my most sincere thanks for the most professional representation. Mr. Jeffrey and his staff worked hard to ensure my success. I admire their work ethic and most of all excellent representation. I feel I have won my life back because of Mr. Jeffrey despite the complexity of my case. I want to thank Maryam for her hard work and her dedication to my case. I would recommend and trust Mr. Jeffery for all types of immigration cases.

Roya Aghashirin

I used Matthew Jeffrey’s legal services for my husband’s appeal process and I am so glad I did! I wish I would have done this from the beginning of the sponsorship process but I’m happy I had the team on my side when it mattered. Absolutely professional, courteous and realistic (about options, upfront about costs and realistic total cost). They were by my side, advising me throughout my appeal process and hearing. Highly recommend!

Roxie Iliuta

My husband and I highly recommend this lawyer office for spousal sponsorship. Special recognition goes to John. All of our questions and concerns were addressed in a timely manner and explained well. Because of them, my husband from Guyana was able to come to Canada to live with me. The process was completed in about 14 months (despite covid delays).

Kait L

Congratulations to this lawyer he did a perfect job during my spousal sponsorship , thanks to God and to Matthew Jeffery I'm with my wife in Canada as PR. I highly recommend this lawyer!!!

Gabriel Ramanand