You sponsored your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner and their application for permanent residence was refused. You may want to appeal that decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) in order to explain why the visa application should be accepted.
Who can Appeal?
You can appeal to the IAD if you are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen who made an application to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner to immigrate to Canada and the visa application was refused by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Who cannot Appeal?
You cannot appeal if your spouse or partner was found inadmissible to Canada because of:
- Serious criminality, which is defined as having:
- been punished in Canada by a sentence of six months or more of imprisonment, or
- been convicted of an offence outside Canada that would be punishable in Canada by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years, or
- committed an act outside Canada that would be punishable in Canada by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least ten years.
- Organized crime
- Security grounds, or
- Violations of human or international rights
How to Start an Appeal?
You have 30 days after receiving the refusal letter to appeal to the IAD. To file a sponsorship appeal, you must submit:
- A completed Notice of Appeal form.
- A copy of the IRCC refusal letter sent to the person you sponsored.
Appealing a Sponsorship Decision – Bad Faith Relationship
You should be prepared to deal with all of the reasons the officer gave for refusing the visa.
Demonstrate that your marriage or common-law or conjugal relationship is genuine and was not entered into primarily for immigration purposes
The sponsorship of your spouse or partner was refused because the officer believed your marriage or common-law or conjugal relationship is not genuine. The refusal may also be because the officer believed that your marriage or relationship was entered into primarily for immigration purposes. Canada’s immigration law does not allow marital, common-law or conjugal sponsorships if the primary reason for the relationship is to allow the person to immigrate to Canada or if the relationship is not genuine.
Here are some questions that the decision maker will expect you to answer to show that your relationship is genuine and was not entered into primarily for immigration purposes. You will have to demonstrate:
- How did you meet your spouse or partner and how did your relationship develop?
- How long have you known your spouse or partner? How well do you know each other?
- Do your friends and family know about your relationship?
- How did you get married? If you live common-law, how did you arrange to live together? If you are conjugal partners, what is the nature of your relationship?
- What do you and your spouse or partner plan for your future together?
The evidence you will prepare and present may be different if your marriage was arranged. This situation is different from those where the relationship between two persons has developed over time. Arranged marriages have different cultural considerations such as how the marriage was arranged and the compatibility of the couple.
What kind of evidence will help you to present your case?
You need to gather documents and be ready to testify to demonstrate the closeness of your marital, common-law or conjugal relationship. Examples include letters and other messages, phone bills, photographs and videos, plane tickets, and receipts for money transfers.
You can also call your spouse or partner to testify at your hearing, or other witnesses who know about your relationship, such as your friends or family. They can do this in person, by videoconference or by telephone. You will need to prepare what questions you will ask your witnesses and what is relevant to prove your case. It is important to use your hearing time carefully as all hearings are limited in duration.
If the officer also questioned the documents you showed to demonstrate you were legally married, gather any documents and written arguments you have about the laws that govern marriage in the country where you married.
IAD can either allow your appeal or dismiss it.
If your appeal is allowed
The decision to refuse the permanent resident visa application is overturned (or cancelled) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will resume processing the permanent resident visa application. Your appeal is closed and the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) is no longer involved in the processing of your sponsorship application.
If your appeal is dismissed
The decision by IRCC to refuse the permanent resident visa application remains the same. Your appeal is closed at the IAD. You may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for leave (permission) for judicial review. The Court will either dismiss your application or return the case to the IAD for re-hearing.
Get in Touch for more information or for appealing at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).