Immigration Appeal Division

Immigration Appeal Division

Attending an Immigration Appeals Division Hearing

This guide’s goal is to answer frequently asked questions so you may better prepare for your hearing at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). You may also watch a genuine Immigration Appeal hearing to learn more about the procedure. For dates, times, and locations of upcoming hearings, contact the regional IAD office in your area.

What is the Immigration and Refugee Board, and what does it do? 

An impartial tribunal is the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB or Board). The Immigration Appeal Division is the component of the Board that hears immigration appeals (IAD).

The IAD is not affiliated with Canada’s immigration department, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada). It’s also not affiliated with either the Canada Border Services Agency or Public Safety Canada. On appeals, the IAD makes independent decisions based on the evidence and the law.

You are referred to as the appellant because you are the one who is making the appeal. Depending on the nature of your appeal, the person opposing it could be the Minister of IRCC or the Minister of Public Safety. The Minister is referred to as the respondent in this case. The Minister is represented by the Minister’s Counsel, who is a lawyer from the Canada Border Services Agency. Your appeal is heard by a member of the IAD, who then makes a decision.

You will receive a Notice to Appear when the IAD is ready to hear your appeal. This letter informs you of the date and location of your hearing. If you are unable to appear on that date or are not prepared to submit your case, you must notify the Board as soon as possible. See

What if the hearing date is scheduled, but I am unable to attend?

When you file an appeal, you must demonstrate that the decision was incorrect. You can prove your point with evidence. Your witnesses, as well as the documents you submit, are all sources of evidence for you or your authorized representative. The Minister’s Counsel can also present evidence, interrogate you, your witnesses, and other witnesses, as well as make counter-arguments.

Do I require the services of an attorney, paralegal, notary, or immigration consultant? 

This article will assist you in comprehending the appeals process. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice. We attempt to keep our procedure as easy as possible so that those who aren’t lawyers may follow it. Even yet, a hearing on an immigration appeal can be fairly difficult. As a result, if you can afford it, we recommend that you engage an authorized representative.

At your hearing, you have the right to be represented at your own expense. Your counsel is the individual who represents you. Your lawyer must be a member in good standing of one of the following Canadian organizations if they charge you money or any other kind of payment:

⦁ a law society in a province
⦁ the Québec Chamber of Notaries
⦁ Canada’s Immigration Consultants Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

They are not barred from practicing because they are in good standing. In this situation, your lawyer is referred to as your “approved representative.” You can look up your counsel’s name using the links above, or call their professional association to ensure that they are in good standing.

Even if you are appealing from outside of Canada, this regulation applies. You or your counsel must inform the IAD about your counsel’s participation in a professional organization and provide their membership identification number.

Using an unpaid advisor as your legal counsel 

Your lawyer, paralegal, notary, or immigration counselor does not have to be compensated. They could be a volunteer, a family member, or a valued member of your community (inside or outside Canada). Fill out a form called Notice of Representation without a Fee or Other Consideration to tell the IAD who your unpaid representation is.
Regardless of who you hire to represent you, they must be available and ready to go on the day of your hearing.

Who will be present at my hearing on appeal? 

The Member who will decide your appeal will either be present in the hearing room or will be connected to it through videoconference. You’ll be seated at a table with your legal counsel, if you have one. There will also be a representative from the Minister’s Counsel.
You and the Minister’s Counsel can both bring witnesses to the hearing to testify (give evidence).

You or any of your witnesses can request that an interpreter be present in the hearing chamber. The interpreter is provided by the IAD.

Unless a party to the appeal applies for and obtains a confidentiality order, members of the public are entitled to attend immigration appeal sessions.

When and where will my appeal be heard? 

Suspension notification

Please notice that, as a result of hearing room renovations in response to the COVID-19 incident, the use of videoconferencing to connect witnesses remotely to hearings being place on IAD premises has been suspended. Instead, witnesses will be joined via teleconference.
Witnesses can participate in virtual hearings using Microsoft Teams through videoconference or teleconference.

The IAD’s default option for appellants and parties to participate in a hearing if they are unable to attend in person is videoconference. The IAD will ask you which application you want to use when you receive your Notice to Appear.

You will attend the hearing by phone if the videoconference service is not available or is not appropriate for your case.
In the event that the videoconference service fails, you must provide the IAD with your phone number. Cellphones are less reliable than landlines. We recommend that you give us your landline number if you have one.

Because the time difference can vary throughout the year, double-check that you have the right time for the region in Canada where the hearing will take place. It is your responsibility to double-check. Make sure you’re ready to answer the phone 30 minutes before your hearing is set to begin.

When will my hearing on my appeal be held? 

If you have legal representation, they will work with the IAD to schedule a hearing.

If you are representing yourself, you will be contacted by the IAD and asked to attend a scheduling conference. You will meet with an Early

Resolution Officer (ERO), who is a qualified mediator who works for the IAD. The role of an ERO is to develop practical and effective solutions to resolve appeals or move them forward. On the date and time specified in the notice, you must attend your scheduling conference.

Depending on what is specified in the notice, the scheduling conference can take place in person or over the phone. Your appeal will be questioned by an ERO. The officer will provide you a date and time for your hearing if they are certain that your case is ready to be scheduled.

How to Request a Change 

Make contact with the IAD to find out when your appeal will be heard and make a note of the dates. Write the IAD a letter. At the top of your letter, include your appeal file number.

Explain why you need to change your hearing date or time. You may want to examine Chairperson’s. Scheduling and Changing the Date or Time of a Proceeding when preparing your explanation, as it contains important information on the procedure of changing the date or time of a hearing.

What if your request is turned down? 

If you do not get a ruling on your request within two working days of the scheduled hearing day, or if the IAD receives your letter two working days or less before the scheduled hearing date, the IAD will proceed with the hearing. You can ask the Member hearing your appeal for a date or time modification at the start of the hearing. However, your request may not be granted, so be prepared to attend the hearing on that day if your request is denied. Even if you don’t want the hearing to take place on that day, you must bring all of your documents and witnesses.

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