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  • Writer's pictureImmergity Immigration Consultant

Appeal Spousal Sponsorship Refusal

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

Appeal Spousal Sponsorship Refusal

Spousal sponsorship applications in Canada can be refused for various reasons. The specific cause for the refusal will be outlined in the refusal letter from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Understanding these reasons is the first step when facing a spousal sponsorship refusal.

Experiencing a spousal sponsorship refusal can be disheartening for couples seeking to reunite in Canada. Nonetheless, it's crucial to recognize that you have the right to appeal this decision.

Understand the Appeal Process

When a spousal sponsorship application is refused, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The sponsor must file the appeal within 30 days of receiving the refusal decision.

Before initiating the appeal process, it's crucial to understand the reasons for refusal and assess whether there are valid grounds for appeal. For instance, the IAD will consider appeals based on legal errors, procedural fairness, or humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Review Real-Life Examples and Case Law Citations

Examining real-life examples and case law citations can provide valuable insight into the appeal process and possible outcomes. Here are two such cases:

Example 1: Successful Appeal Based on Procedural Fairness

Situation: The spousal sponsorship application was refused due to concerns about the genuineness of the marriage. The sponsor argued that the visa officer's decision was unreasonable and that procedural fairness was breached.

Outcome: The Federal Court agreed that procedural fairness was breached, as the visa officer did not provide the couple with an opportunity to address concerns about their relationship's genuineness. The Court set aside the refusal and ordered a redetermination of the application by a different officer.

Example 2: Unsuccessful Appeal Based on Insufficient Evidence

Situation: The spousal sponsorship application was refused due to concerns about the genuineness of the marriage. The sponsor appealed the decision, arguing that the visa officer did not consider all the evidence provided.

Outcome: The Federal Court dismissed the appeal, as the sponsor failed to provide sufficient evidence to address the concerns raised by the visa officer. The Court found that the visa officer's decision was reasonable and based on the evidence presented.

Prepare for Your Appeal

When preparing for your appeal, consider the following steps:

  1. Gather additional evidence: Collect any new evidence or documentation that may help address the reasons for refusal.

  2. Seek legal representation: Engage an experienced immigration lawyer to represent you in the appeal process, as they can provide expert guidance and advice.

  3. Understand the spousal sponsorship requirements: Familiarize yourself with the criteria and ensure your application meets these requirements.

File Your Appeal

The sponsor must file a Notice of Appeal with the IAD within 30 days of receiving the refusal decision. Ensure all necessary documents and evidence are submitted with the Notice of Appeal, and consult with your legal representative throughout the process.

Attend the Spousal Sponsorship Refusal Appeal Hearing

Once your appeal has been filed, the IAD will schedule a hearing. During the hearing, you and your legal representative will have the opportunity to present your case, provide additional evidence, and address any concerns raised by the visa officer in the refusal decision.

To prepare for the hearing:

  • Review your case with your legal representative

  • Organize your evidence and documentation

  • Practice answering potential questions about your relationship and application

Await the IAD's Decision

After the hearing, the IAD will issue a written decision on your appeal. Possible outcomes include:

  • Allowed: The IAD finds in your favor, and your spousal sponsorship application is sent back to IRCC for further processing.

  • Dismissed: The IAD upholds the refusal decision, and your appeal is denied. You may have the option to seek judicial review in the Federal Court, depending on your case's circumstances.

Explore Alternative Options

If your appeal is unsuccessful, it's essential to explore alternative immigration options for your spouse, such as:

  • Express Entry: Canada's main economic immigration system, which includes programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class.

  • Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): Immigration programs run by individual provinces that target specific skill sets or occupations in demand in that region.

  • Study or work permits: These permits can provide temporary status in Canada and may eventually lead to permanent residency through programs like the Canadian Experience Class.

Understanding your spousal sponsorship application status is essential to manage expectations and prepare for the next steps. Whether you're awaiting a decision or have received one, it's beneficial to be informed and proactive. If in doubt, always seek advice from licensed professionals well-versed in Canadian immigration procedures.

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