Representation: Hearings, Appeals, Interviews and Investigations.
The Immigration and Refugee Board ("IRB") is an administrative tribunal and is responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugee matters. The IRB is independent from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ("IRCC") and from the Canada Border Services Agency ("CBSA"). In decisions that the IRB renders, IRCC is referred to as the Minister of Citizenship & Immigration and CBSA is referred to as the Minister of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness.
The IRB has four (4) divisions to hear and decide different types of immigration and refugee hearings:
Immigration Division ("ID") conducts admissibility hearings and detention reviews. This is first stage of the IRB's administrative tribunal process where the Foreign National or Permanent Resident's immigration status is determined and whether a removal order should be initiated.
For Foreign Nationals, they are subjected to this process if they have failed to comply with Canada's immigration laws, such as studying or working without authorization, over-staying the validity of their visitor visa, or have committed a criminal act.
Permanent Residents can be subjected to an admissibility hearing, if they failed to comply with their residency obligations, committing serious criminality, misrepresented on their initial immigration applications when applying for permanent residence or if they are considered a national security threat.
Immigration Appeal Division ("IAD) hears appeals related to family sponsorship refusals, removal order appeals, residency obligations appeals and appeals made by the Minister.
For Family Sponsorship Appeals, typically applications under the Spousal Sponsorship category are determined and refused by IRCC. Refusals are determined based on the relationship not being genuine or entered into for the purpose of acquiring immigration status in Canada. In other family sponsorship categories, such as a parental sponsorship, those applications are refused based on financial requirements on the part of the sponsor.
Removal Order Appeals are appeals made by Permanent Residents of Canada. A removal order can be issued against a Permanent Resident if they have misrepresented on their initial immigration applications or committed a criminal offence (depending on the nature of the criminal act).
Residency Obligation Appeals are made by Permanent Residents of Canada if they have failed to meet their residency obligations of remaining in Canada. When a Permanent Resident applies to renew their Permanent Resident Card and is refused, IRCC will issue a procedural fairness letter to the Permanent Resident to give them a second opportunity to explain their absences. Typically, IRCC makes a determination that the Permanent Resident has failed to meet their residency obligations and makes a recommendation to the Minister to have them removed from Canada.
Appeals by the Minister are made when the Minister has received a negative decision at the Immigration Division ("ID"). Typically the Minister may appeal a decision in cases where the presiding Member of the ID has ruled in favour of the Foreign National or Permanent Resident.
The Refugee Protection Division ("RPD") decides claims for refugee protection as well as cases involving loss of refugee status by way of cessation or vacation.
The Refugee Appeal Division ("RAD") considers appeals of negative decisions from the Refugee Protection Division.
Interviews and Investigations
If you are a Permanent Resident or a Foreign National who has been investigated and requested to attend an Interview by IRCC or CBSA, we provide representation to act as your authorized representative.
Interviews occur when IRCC makes a request to the Foreign National (typically in Spousal Sponsorship and Humanitarian & Compassionate consideration applications) to determine the merits of their immigration application.
Investigations by CBSA occur when they determine that the Permanent Resident or Foreign National has violated Canada's immigration laws, rules and regulations. Examples of these violations are:
Engaging in Serious Criminality
Misrepresenting on immigration or citizenship applications
Participating in Organized Crime
Viewed as a National Security threat
Typically, CBSA would issue a Determination Letter setting out the allegations made against the Permanent Resident or Foreign National. In CBSA's Determination Letter, they may give the Permanent Resident or Foreign National an opportunity to explain their side of the accusations made against them. CBSA normally requires a detailed submission with supporting documentary evidence from the Permanent Resident or Foreign National. The Permanent Resident or Foreign National is responsible to responding to CBSA's allegations and can have assistance from an authorized representative.