Canadian Immigration News

How Do You Make an Appeal After a Spousal Sponsorship Refusal?

3 minute read
"Having your sponsorship application refused can be very disheartening. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You can still file a sponsorship refusal appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Nov 17, 2021
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Having your Spousal Sponsorship application refused can be very disheartening. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the end of the road. You can still file a sponsorship refusal appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). The IAD is responsible for hearing immigration-related appeals, including matters related to sponsorship, removal orders, and residency. However, preparing an appeal for the IAD can be overwhelming with the many deadlines, document requirements, procedural rules, etc. 

Who Can Make a Sponsorship Appeal?

To make a sponsorship appeal to the IAD, you must either be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who submitted an application to sponsor a family member for permanent residence in Canada and was refused by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Who Can Not Make a Sponsorship Appeal?

You can not make a sponsorship appeal if the family member you were trying to sponsor was found inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of Serious Criminality. Inadmissibility due to Serious Criminality involves:

  • Being convicted and imprisoned for 6 months or more in Canada
  • Being convicted of an offense outside Canada that would be punishable by a sentence of at least 10 years in Canada
  • Being involved in organized crime
  • Security grounds
  • Violation of human and international rights
  • Misrepresentation

How to File a Sponsorship Appeal?

You will be required to submit the following to the IAD within 30 days of receiving a refusal letter to make a sponsorship appeal:

  • A completed Notice of Appeal form
  • The refusal letter sent by the IRCC for the person you sponsored

What Do You Need to Know About Making a Sponsorship Appeal?


As mentioned above, you only have 30 days after receiving a refusal letter from the IRCC to submit an appeal to the IAD. The Minister will have 120 days after receiving the notice to issue you and the IAD with a Minister’s Record, also known as the “blue book.” You will have 20 days to submit all the required documents and evidence to support your appeal 20 days before the hearing date. This is known as the Appellant's Record. 

Appellant's Record: 

The documents and evidence gathered by you to support your case will be included in the Appellant's Record. It will typically contain:

  • A cover sheet
  • An index
  • Legal submissions
  • Affidavits
  • Supporting documents for the case including reports and articles from a third party such as medical reports, country condition evidence, letters of support, etc
  • Other documents that may support your case during the hearing

You can also resubmit any documents provided in the Minister’s Record. The important thing is to make sure that the Appellant's Record is organized to make sure there is easier evidence to support your case.

Attending the Hearing: 

The hearing at the IAD will be set up as a cross-examination. Your lawyer will ask you several questions to make your position clear and address the issues raised in the Minister’s Record. The Minister’s representative will do the same. The decision-maker may also question you in the middle of the matter or at the end. Once this is done, your sponsored spouse will have to go through the same process. Most hearings are given an allotted time of 7 hours. However, these hearings are usually wrapped within 4-5 hours.

Gather Witness: 

The IAD will allow you to bring any witnesses to support your case. However, you must decide if their presence is of any importance or does an affidavit from them do the job.

What Happens If Your Sponsorship Appeal Is Approved?

If the IAD allows your sponsorship appeal, then your sponsored spouse will receive their permanent residence, earlier refused by the IRCC. The role of IAD in your case will be done and your future dealings will be with the IRCC only.

What Happens If Your Sponsorship Appeal Is Dismissed?

If your sponsorship appeal is refused, then you still have an option to appeal to the Federal Court of Canada. However, be cautious because if your appeal is dismissed again, you won’t be able to make another appeal to the IAD. 

An IAD member may do any of the following after reviewing your refused file:

  • Request additional information from you or your immigration lawyer
  • Suggest an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) between you, the Minister’s counsel, and the IAD
  • Schedule another sponsorship appeal hearing
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