Sponsorship Appeals

If you have sponsored a family member whose 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. This is known as a sponsorship appeal (subsection 63(1) of IRPA).

The IRCC will sometimes deny an application for family sponsorship. This simply means that the IRCC has refused a Canadian citizen or permanent resident their request to sponsor a close family member to immigrate to Canada. In this case, the sponsor may file an appeal through the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board in Canada (IRB).

Who can appeal

You can appeal to the IAD if you are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen who made an application to sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada and the visa application was refused by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Who cannot appeal

You cannot appeal if the person you sponsored 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
  • Violations of human or international rights, or
  • Misrepresentation (unless the person you sponsored is your spouse, common-law partner or child)

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.

A simple breakdown of the sponsorship appeal process

Sponsorship Appeals
  • Step 1: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident is denied sponsorship of a close family member or spouse,
  • Step 2: The sponsor (appellant) files an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada within 30 days of receiving the decision,
  • Step 3: The appeal may be sent to the alternative dispute resolution to avoid a hearing,
  • Step 4: If the case is not set down for ADR, or goes to ADR but is not settled, the case will be scheduled for a full hearing,
  • Step 5: The appeal is either granted or dismissed. If it is dismissed, the IAD’s decision may be appealed to the Federal Court.
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The information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice. For detailed assessment of your situation contact an immigration professional.