What is a spousal sponsorhip appeal?
If you sponsored a spouse, partner or family member and their application was denied, you can file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). The appeal process is where you can describe why you believe the sponsorship application should be accepted. This is known as an appeal for sponsorship.
What to do if your sponsorship application got refused
Receiving a refusal on your sponsorship application can be a very stressful and disappointing event. However, you still have a chance of changing this decision through the sponsorship appeal process. You must act quickly as you only have 30 days to submit your appeal.
The first step in the process of appeals for refused spousal sponsorship applications is submitting an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) within 30 days of receiving the decision refusing your sponsorship application. The IAD is an independent administrative body that reviews the decisions of the immigration department, including IRCC and the CBSA. It hears any new evidence that has come to light and decides whether or not the decision made by the immigration department should be upheld or overturned.
Sponsorship appeals provide the appellant with a chance to re-address the refusal of a sponsorship application. This applies to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has sponsored a family member, such as a spouse, partner, child or parent for permanent residency in Canada.
Here’s what you need to know about sponsorship appeals and how our firm can help you in these matters.
1 The Spousal Sponsorship Appeal Procedure Before the IAD
To start the sponsorship appeal process, the sponsor has to send a completed Notice of Appeal form to the IAD along with a copy of the refusal letter that the IRCC sent to the applicant. The sponsor has 30 days from the day of receiving a refusal letter to file the Notice of Appeal with the IAD and commence the appeal process.
What are common reasons why sponsorship applications get refused?
Immigration authorities may refuse a sponsorship application for a variety of reasons, including:
- The immigration authorities are not satisfied that the couple have a have a genuine marital or intimate relationship.
- The immigration authorities are not satisfied that the couple have a legally valid marriage.
- The immigration authorities are not satisfied that the sponsor intends to return to Canada.
- The immigration authorities have other reasons to refuse an application such as criminal or medical inadmissibility or misrepresentation.
Other reasons your sponsorship application could get refused
1. Are you (the sponsor) a sponsored citizen or permanent resident of Canada?
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who has obtained permanent residency after being sponsored as a spouse must wait for a period of at least 5 years before that individual can sponsor someone new to immigrate to Canada. A reason for the refusal of a sponsorship application is that 5 years have not passed at the time of making the sponsorship application.
2. Do you receive any financial assistance from the Canadian government?
Your sponsorship application will also be refused if you are receiving provincial social assistance from the government as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
One of the requirements to be approved as a sponsor is being financially capable of supporting the sponsored person and providing for their living expenses. Receiving financial assistance from the government while applying to sponsor a family member can be seen as evidence of the sponsor’s inability to meet the required financial obligations.
The application may also be rejected on financial grounds if the sponsor is destitute or otherwise unable to show sufficient income or assets to support the foreign spouse in Canada.
3. Have you previously failed to meet your sponsorship obligations?
If you have sponsored someone in the past, you would have been required to support the sponsored immigrant at the time.
Failure to do so would result in a rejection of any further sponsorship application by the immigration department if the sponsored relative accessed social assistance or other government support. In these circumstances you will need to repay the government for any costs incurred by your previously sponsored relative before you can sponsor someone else.
4. Have you previously failed to pay an immigration loan?
An immigration loan assists disadvantaged immigrants by providing financial coverage of some of the immigration costs for individuals immigrating to Canada. Failing to make payments on an immigration loan can result in the refusal of a sponsorship application.
2 The Spousal Sponsorship Appeal Hearing
In some cases, your appeal may be resolved informally through the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. If your appeal cannot be resolved informally, a hearing date will be scheduled by the IAD. If you have hired a representative, the IAD will contact your counsel to schedule your hearing and subsequently provide your counsel with the hearing information. You may also request that an interpreter be provided to you or to your witnesses. The interpreter will be present during the hearing.
At the hearing, you will have an opportunity to present your evidence, including any new documentary evidence, and to call witnesses. You and your witnesses will be asked questions by your representative and will also be questioned by the immigration department’s lawyer. Both sides will have an opportunity to make submissions on behalf of their clients.
Your hearing will be presided over by a Board Member who will ultimately make a decision regarding your case. The Member may also question witnesses as the hearing proceeds. At the conclusion of your hearing, the Board Member may inform the attendees of the decision orally or may render a written decision after the hearing.
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3 Advantages of Having a Spousal Sponsorship Appeal Lawyer
While there is no legal requirement that an appellant be represented by a lawyer during a sponsorship appeal, it is highly recommended that an appellant seek legal representation during this process to ensure that the appellant’s interests are not prejudiced. This is because sponsorship appeals can be very complicated matters. They involve complex issues of law and procedure that require extensive legal and procedural knowledge and expertise which appellants or their witnesses may not have.
An appeal before the IAD is adversarial in nature. This means that sponsorship appeal cases involve parties that have opposing interests whereby one party would be the appellant (the sponsor) and the other party would be the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship who is represented by an experienced lawyer who will argue against the appeal being approved. As a result, it is important that an appellant is also represented by an experienced lawyer for spousal sponsorship appeals who will argue the case on their behalf.
The Law Office of Matthew Jeffery has many years of successful experience representing clients in sponsorship appeals. Please contact us to see if we can assist you. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
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.
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!
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).
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!!!