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FAQ Appeal Hearing

Where will my appeal hearing take place?

Your appeal hearing will take place at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The IRB is an independent tribunal. It is not part of the Immigration department, also known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (IRCC), and it is not part of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Who will decide my appeal?

A member of the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the IRB will decide your appeal.

Who will be at my appeal hearing?

The IAD Member, who will decide your appeal, will be seated at the front of the hearing room. You (the appellant) will be there with or without your counsel, depending on whether you chose to have someone represent you. There will also be a Minister’s counsel from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who may provide evidence, ask questions to you and other witnesses, and make arguments against your appeal. Any witnesses that you or the Minister’s counsel bring to testify (give oral evidence) will also be at the hearing. An interpreter will be there for you or any of your witnesses, if you have asked for one. Members of the public are also allowed to attend.

Do I need someone to represent me in my appeal?

You do not have to have someone represent you, but you may if you think that this will help your appeal. There are often legal questions that need to be argued in the appeal and you need to make sure that your case is well supported by providing enough evidence. You should also know that the Minister’s counsel will be at your hearing to question you and other witnesses, and make arguments against your appeal. If you have someone to represent you, such as a lawyer, immigration consultant, paralegal, or friend, relative, or trusted member of your community, that person must be available and prepared on the date of the appeal hearing.

How will I know when my appeal hearing will take place?

You will receive a notice from the IAD to appear for the scheduling conference (Assignment Court). You and your counsel, if you have one, must be there on the date and at the time stated in this notice to appear. At that time an IAD Member will ask questions, to make sure that your case is ready to be scheduled. If the member is satisfied that your appeal is ready to be scheduled, you will be given the date and time for your appeal hearing.

What will happen if my counsel and I cannot appear on the appeal hearing date?

When an appeal hearing date is set, you must be ready for the hearing on that date. If you can not appear on that day, you may make an application in writing to change the date or time of your hearing but an IAD Member will allow your application and make a change only if there are very good reasons. This is also called a postponement or an adjournment.

What if my witness is not in Canada?

If your witness is in another country, you may ask the IAD Member to allow that witness to testify at your appeal hearing by telephone. You must tell the IAD before the appeal hearing, and you must make sure that your witness can be reached by telephone at the time of your hearing.

When will I know the decision in my appeal?

The IAD Member may be able to decide your appeal and give reasons for the decision at the end of the hearing. If not, the Member will tell you that the decision and reasons will be sent to you by mail at a later date, usually no later than 90 days after the hearing. For further information, contact us.