Date issued: July 2009
Last reviewed: June 2013
As part of its enforcement of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may refuse to admit persons seeking to enter Canada and may order the removal of persons who have breached IRPA. In some cases, the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) can order persons who are in violation of IRPA to be removed. In certain cases, these removal orders may be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB.
The CBSA hearings officers represent the Minister of Public Safety at removal order appeal hearings before the IRB's Immigration Appeal Division. The IRB is an independent tribunal and its members are trained in immigration law. The Federal Court may review the Immigration Appeal Division's determinations.
IRPA allows certain persons to appeal removal orders made by CBSA officers or by members of the IRB's Immigration Division. The following persons can appeal to the IRB's Immigration Appeal Division:
Normally persons will not be removed from Canada until their appeal has been decided. If they have been removed from Canada, they may be permitted to return to attend their appeal hearing.
In certain situations, foreign nationals and permanent residents do not have a right to appeal. Persons may lose their appeal rights if a CBSA officer or a member of the Immigration Division determines that they are security threats or war criminals, or that they have committed crimes against humanity, were involved in organized crime or are serious criminals. A serious criminal is a person who has been convicted of a crime in Canada that may be punishable by at least 10 years in prison and for which a sentence of at least two years is given.
Persons who have been issued a removal order may appeal it if they believe that any of the following circumstances applies:
The CBSA, on behalf of the Minister of Public Safety, may appeal a decision of the Immigration Division only on the basis that the decision was wrong in law, fact or both law and fact, or if there was a failure to observe a principle of natural justice.
Members of the Immigration Appeal Division hear appeals. The CBSA hearings officers represent the Minister of Public Safety at removal order appeal hearings. The hearings are held in public and operate much like a regular court. However, rules of evidence are more flexible and Division members can consider any evidence they believe is credible and trustworthy.
The Immigration Appeal Division can take one of three actions following an appeal hearing:
The Immigration Appeal Division will impose the following mandatory terms and conditions when granting a stay of removal (other terms and conditions may also be imposed):
If, at the end of the period of the stay, the person has complied with the terms and conditions, the Immigration Appeal Division may allow the appeal and cancel the removal order. If the terms and conditions have not been met, the CBSA can apply to have the stay cancelled and the appeal dismissed. Once the appeal is dismissed, the CBSA will carry out the removal order.
Both the person concerned and the Minister of Public Safety may apply to the Federal Court for a review of an Immigration Appeal Division decision. They must first obtain permission (leave) of the Federal Court to make the request for review. If the Federal Court grants permission, it will then review the request and dismiss it or set aside the Division's original decision and order a new appeal hearing.