Immigration Refusals & Appeals

Dealing with immigration refusals head on

After months of hard work and sometimes years of waiting patiently for an application to be finalized, nothing could be more heartbreaking than to receive a refusal. Suddenly, all of one’s hopes and dreams of coming to Canada or of being reunited with a loved one seem to be dissolve before one’s very own eyes. But despite the initial shock of a negative decision, there are number of legal options that an experienced immigration lawyer can pursue to turn a refusal into a positive decision. The key is to act fast.

Not every case has the merits of being appealed. Sometimes a refusal does not warrant an appeal. Instead, in certain cases it is advisable to simply reapply again under the same program. For example, an applicant under a Skilled Worker application who scored very little on an English proficiency exam, resulting in a final assessment well below the required 67 points would not make a good case for filing a Judicial Review to Federal Court, as it cannot be said that the visa officer erred in fact or in law. On the other hand, an applicant whose final score was 66 points might have a strong case, arguing that the visa officer failed to properly consider using their discretion to award the missing point. If a visa officer makes an outright mistake in fact, policy or law, fetters their discretion or behaves unreasonably during a personal interview, an appeal may be advisable.

Appeal Avenues

Presently, there are two legal avenues to pursue an appeal: The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and the Federal Court of Canada. Click on the links to learn more about them.