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Immigration appeal: Learn about the eligibility and process

Canada receives hundreds of thousands of immigration applications every year from people seeking to study, work or permanently live here. However, not all applications are met with a favourable outcome. If you, too, received a negative immigration decision, you might be able to challenge it with an immigration appeal.

Want to learn if you are eligible for an immigration appeal and what’s the process to follow? Watch this conversation between New Canadians reporter Sarabpreet Kaur and Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant Petya Ignatova.

Whether you are struggling with a spousal sponsorship, permanent residence obligations, or a failed refugee claim, Petya advises you to be mindful of the deadlines.

Also watch: How Canada’s refugee determination system works

“There are different deadlines for different applications. The first and most important step for an immigration appeal is to know how much time you have to start it,” says Petya, who is also the owner of Advikus Immigration Consulting Inc. Find out more in the interview.

Video transcript:

Sarabpreet Kaur:
On New Canadians, we are going to talk about immigration appeals, and for that we have an expert, Petya Ignatova. She’s a regulated Canadian immigration consultant and owner of Advikus Immigration Consulting. Welcome Petya.

Petya Ignatova:
Thank you for having me today.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
So, when a person applies for an immigration program, sometimes the decision might not go in their favor. What can they do in such a situation?

Petya Ignatova:
Depending on the case, they have the right to appeal. They either go through the refugee appeal division or if they’re failed refugee claimants, or they go through the Immigration Appeal Division, if they want to appeal a remove order or they want to appeal sponsorship or they want to appeal residency obligations.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
Who all are eligible to make an immigration appeal? Are there any exceptions?

Petya Ignatova:
Not all immigration applications can be appealed. There are also certain groups that they cannot appeal. If there’s serious criminality involved, we cannot appeal. There are also certain deadlines that they need to meet. For example, somebody who wants to appeal the sponsorship, they have 60 days from the date they receive the refusal letter. While a removal order appeal has only 30 days.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
Could you please let us know some scenarios where the right to file an appeal can be used?

Petya Ignatova:
For example, somebody who is a permanent resident and right now they’re outside of Canada for whatever reason, they don’t have their PR card and they want to come back. In this case scenario, they need to apply for so-called travel document. And if they didn’t comply, if the officer finds that they didn’t comply with their residency obligations, which is 730 days within the last five years, they’ll get a refusal. So, they wouldn’t get the travel document at that moment. They need to appeal at IRB, Immigration Refugee Board, the Immigration Appeal Division, another case scenario foreign, national having a permanent resident visa and the port of entry, for whatever reason they were found in admissible, they would be allowed to cross the border, but they’ll be sent to an admissibility hearing. Then, they actually eventually will be fighting a removal order.

So, they can appeal that. As well, the spouse who is outside of Canada got a refusal for the permanent resident visa. So, the Canadian side or the Canadian spouse or common law partner can appeal the decision. If we have a spousal sponsorship from inside Canada, or common law sponsorship from inside Canada there is no such, right. People need to educate themselves or find the right professional. I would suggest going to Immigration Refugee Board website, there’s a lot of information. It’s a very simple language and everybody can understand it. Or they really need to do their research and find the right profession to help them.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
What would you say are some general steps in the process of an immigration appeal?

Petya Ignatova:
So, the first most important, is to know how much time you have to started. If we have a refugee appeal, for example, it’s only 15 days. We’re having a residency obligation appeal, So it’s 60 days. So it depends on the case. So the first step would be to submit a notice to appeal. And for this, you don’t need many documents. You just need for example, the refusal letter. And there is a form called notice to appeal. And then definitely you need to prepare for your hearing. Again, either you want to do it by yourself or you need to find a professional. After that, depending on the outcome, you might have other options.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
Okay. What would you suggest to people who are currently contemplating filing an immigration appeal?

Petya Ignatova:
So search for the best professional or search at least for legal aid or other organization they can help, if not, do it by yourself, but educate yourself first, do your homework. It’s complicated process. Gather your documents and yes, be positive.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
Finally, is there a way out for somebody whose appeal gets rejected?

Petya Ignatova:
One of the next step could be going to federal court for judicial review. Could be eligible for so-called humanitarian, compassionate permanent residence application. Really depends on the case, but definitely judicial review is for everyone.

Sarabpreet Kaur:
Thank you, Petya.

Petya Ignatova:
You’re very welcome.

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