Specialists in Immigration Litigation & Inadmissability
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Immigration Appeal Division

Has your immigration application to Canada been refused?
Have you been found to be inadmissible?
Bellissimo Law Group PC can help with appeals of negative decisions!

We represent hundreds of clients with appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division. The Immigration Appeal Division hears general appeals on issues such as failed sponsorship applications, removal orders and residency obligations.

The process for appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division differ depending on the type of decision being appealed.

Sponsorship Appeals

Failed sponsorship applications may be made by the permanent resident or Canadian citizen who supplied the application to sponsor in support of the foreign national’s application for permanent residence. These appeals must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the refusal letter. For years the process included an Appeal Record for the case being produced by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada no later than 120 days from the date requested.  There has been a concerted effort to produce those records sooner and to engage in a number of early resolution mechanisms that are still being fully developed and implemented. Also, where it appears that the appeal can be resolved without a formal hearing, the Immigration Appeal Division may suggest that the appeal proceed to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which involves an informal meeting of the appellant, the Minister’s Counsel and the Member of the Immigration Appeal Division.  Appellants counsel can also ask for ADR. If a decision is made at ADR, there is no need for a hearing. In all other circumstances, a hearing will be scheduled, following which the Immigration Appeal Division will decide to either allow or dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is allowed, processing of the application will be resumed by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada. 

Again, there are some persons who cannot file an appeal of a refused sponsorship application. This includes sponsors of applications for permanent residence involving persons who are inadmissibility to Canada on grounds of security, human or international rights violations, certain serious criminality, organized criminality or misrepresentation.

Removal order appeals

Persons who have received a removal order and who are permanent residents or permanent resident visa holders may appeal their removal to the Immigration Appeal Division. Convention Refugees or Protected Persons may also seek a removal order appeal. Appeals must be filed 30 days after receipt of the removal order. The Minister or the Immigration Division must then provide the record within 45 days of a request for same from the Immigration Appeal Division. Again, the Immigration Appeal division may suggest that the appeal proceed by Alternative Dispute Resolution, although this is rare and generally not applicable for removal order appeals but early resolution mechanisms to exist and at Bellissimo Law Group PC we examine its case in detail to determine what is the best appellate remedy. Where a hearing is scheduled at the Immigration Appeal Division, a decision will be made to either allow or dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is allowed, then the removal order will be cancelled and the person will be allowed to remain in Canada. If the appeal is stayed, then the removal is temporarily on hold and the person will be allowed to remain in Canada under certain specified conditions for a period of time. The appeal will then be reconsidered at the end of this period of time by the Immigration Appeal Division. At that time, the Division may decide to allow the appeal, continue the stay or dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is dismissed, then the person is removable from Canada at any time.

Residency obligation appeals

To maintain status, permanent residents are required to be physically present in Canada for at least 730 days over a 5-year period. Where a finding is made that the individual has not met these requirements, renewal of permanent residence may be refused and/or a departure order may be issued. If the decision is issued in Canada, then the permanent resident will have 30 days to file the appeal from the date of the departure order. If the decision is made by an overseas Canadian visa office (i.e. to issue a travel document), then the permanent resident has 60 days from the date of the decision to file the appeal.

Following the filing of the notice of appeal, an appeal record will be produced by the Minister within 120 days of the date requested. IAD member may suggest that the appeal be dealt with through alternative dispute resolution. Again, if alternative dispute resolution is successful, then a hearing will not be required. If it is not, then a hearing will be scheduled. There are two possible resolutions that can flow from the hearing of residency obligations appeal: 1) the appeal can be allowed, and permanent resident status will be maintained. If the appellant is not already in Canada when the appeal is allowed, then a travel document will be issued; 2) the appeal can be dismissed, and permanent resident status will be revoked. If the appellant is in Canada, a departure order that converts to a deportation order within thirty days will be issued.

How can Bellissimo Law Group PC help?

We have significant experience representing clients on appeals to the Immigration Appeal Division for decades. We can assist at all stages, including with preparation of the notice of appeal, the gathering and filing of required evidence, the preparation of submissions, preparation for witness testimony and in providing representation at the hearing itself. Our firm prides itself on the success we have achieved on appeals due to our thorough preparation of appeal files and our in-depth knowledge of the legislation and case law.  Please contact Bellissimo Law Group PC if you require assistance at the Immigration Appeal Division.

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Papers written by Mario D. Bellissimo on the Immigration Appeal Division

Related Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):

Refugee Protection



Do I need to Appeal to IAD or Waive my Right of Appeal?

Q. I have landed in Canada with my family as permanent residents in May 1996, but I had to go back to India with my family in August 1996. In August 2002, I intended to return to Canada and wrote to the Canadian High Commission in India to clarify my status and issue me an Authorization to return. Since I had not received any response and telephonic discussion was not being entertained, I made a new application in December 2002, just for not losing my PR status. Now I received a response to my application for PR made in Dec. 2002 saying that we are still permanent residents who did not comply with the residency obligation and must sign a Consent to Decision of Residence and Waiver of Appeal Rights, to continue my application. Signing this document removes the PR status also waives the right of appeal of the removal of this status. They continue to say that if we believe we are still PRs, then we must apply for a Permanent Resident Travel Document. They gave us 30 days to provide a response. What is your advise in this case, please?

A. This is a frequent question that we receive. When you left Canada, under the old Act and Regulations, you still had to comply with the residency obligation, meaning at that time that you could not be out of Canada for more than 6 months within any 12-month period. Obviously, you did not comply with this requirement. When you applied for a RRP (Returning Resident Permit) in August 2002, the new legislation was in place as of June 2002, and this type of application was no longer available- hence no response from the visa office. At this point in time, as per the visa office’s letter, you must decide whether to apply for a travel document, which will be refused and then challenge the decision in court (IAD) or, just sign the waiver and continue with your new application. Without knowing all the details of your case, I believe it will be very difficult to demonstrate in court that you complied with the residency obligations and win your case. A permanent resident application may be the better option but consult with an immigration lawyer before any decisions.

Permanent Residence



Permanent Resident Application Refused

Q. This is regarding my brother-in-law’s application for permanent residency. He applied by himself and he was refused recently. He married my sister last month and we decided to apply again, but would need some guidance as we do not want him to be refused again. Both my sister and her husband have post-graduate degrees with considerable experience in their area of finance & business administration. I was wondering why he was refused?

A. It is very difficult to say definitively without reviewing the refusal letter. There may be a number of reasons for the refusal: lack of proper documentation, the degree granting schools are not recognized by the local government as an institution that can issue diplomas/ degrees, insufficient work experience, lack of language ability, etc. One other question that I would have is whether your brother-in-law has advised Immigration Canada about his change of status, after marrying your sister. You might want to consult a specialist regarding the possibility of challenging the refusal at the Federal Court of Canada if warranted. As for a new application, applicants must be very careful as the recent changes allow for only 38 eligible occupations for immigration to Canada without a job offer. So consult before applying to avoid another refusal. Also, a lawyer will review other immigration programs that might apply to your brother in law’s case. Good luck!

Important Immigration Court Decisions

Immigration Appeal Division Decisions



Family Class Appeals (IAD)

  1. Canada v. Chen (2014 FC 262)
    Key paragraphs: 20, 21, 22
  2. Aujla v. Canada (2014 FC 134)
    Key paragraph: 15
  3. Jiang v. Canada (2013 FC 413)
    Key paragraphs:11, 13, 14, 20, 23, 24
  4. Habtenkiel v. Canada (2013 FC 397)
    Key paragraphs: 25, 30
  5. Canada v. Mora (2013 FC 332)
    Key paragraphs: 33, 39
  6. Gill v. Canada (2012 FC 1522)
    Key paragraphs: 25, 32, 33
  7. Patel v. Canada (2012 FC 1389)
    Key paragraph: 35
  8. Russom v. Canada (2012 FC 1311)
    Key paragraphs: 24, 25, 26
  9. Abebe v. Canada (2011 FC 341)
    Key paragraphs: 37, 38, 39
  10. Ashraf v. Canada (2011 FC 1383)
    Key paragraphs: 57, 62, 63, 67, 68

What Our Clients Are Saying
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
Dare Sokoya
Dare Sokoya
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
michele medalla
michele medalla
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
Patricia Forsythe
Patricia Forsythe
23:33 22 Mar 19
Very professional and very informative on the phone. Good to see that it is not all about money and more about relationship building. Highly recommended. Thank you!
Atabak Amirabrahimi
Atabak Amirabrahimi
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
Carlos Berber
Carlos Berber
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
Jose Rendon
Jose Rendon
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
Liliana Pelech
Liliana Pelech
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
Irshad Khan
Irshad Khan
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.
Shah Alam
Shah Alam
21:15 09 Jul 19