FEDERAL COURT APPEAL OPTIONS FOR CANADIAN IMMIGRATION
The formal place that immigration appeals are made is the Federal Court of Canada. Most people choose to be represented by a lawyer at Federal Court.
The Federal Court is a court that has judges who are lawyers. Federal Court is strict, formal and has more complicated procedures. Federal Court involves a two step process. The first step is to file an appeal to get leave which is done by arguing your case by filing documents with no actual appearance at the Federal Court. In order to get leave to appeal you must prove there was a serious mistake made by the visa officer at the interview. If you succeed and get leave, you get the permission of the Federal court to go to step two which is the actual appearance at Federal Court in person to argue the case.
A typical case would be a skilled worker or business (investor, entrepreneur, self-employed) immigration applicant who goes to the interview at the Canadian Consulate or Embassy overseas, meets with a visa officer and fails the interview. The visa officer will issue a rejection letter setting out the reasons for the rejection. The applicant has a limited number of days (60) to respond and file a notice to commence a court action to appeal the case. If you miss the deadline generally you are not able to file an appeal. There are certain special circumstances and legal arguments that can be made that will allow you to continue even if you miss the deadline.
The general procedure for a Federal Court appeal is after the applicant files the Notice to start the action, the Respondent who is Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) files an appearance confirming they will oppose the appeal. The applicant receives a copy of the visa officer’s files containing documents filed and most importantly a copy of the interview notes made by the visa officer that have been inputted into the government computer. After a review of this material the applicant will file an applicant’s court record containing the written argument, photocopies of legal cases and law supporting the argument and the applicant’s affidavit that is a written document telling the applicant’s story.
The respondent CIC is represented by the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and they file their argument. The applicant has a chance to respond to the points made by the respondent in the respondent’s argument.
If leave is granted the Applicant gets to go to Federal Court to actually argue the case in person. This usually takes approximately 12-18 months from the date of commencing to appeal to get to Federal Court to argue the case in person. If no leave is granted the appeal is ended.
If you fail at Federal Court, you can also appeal to Federal Court of Appeal. If you fail at Federal Court of Appeal, you can also appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. For both Federal Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada you first must get leave to appeal.
Brian Edward Tadayoshi Tsuji
Canadian Immigration Lawyer
2800 Park Place
666 Burrard Street
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6C 2Z7
Tel:(604) 643-6496 Fax:(604) 605-3596