Spousal Appeals

Appealing Spousal Sponsorship

There is a misconception that many people have which is that getting married is enough for their spouse to become permanent resident of Canada. Unfortunately, many times this is not the case. Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) sometimes deny a spousal sponsorship application and can do so for a number of reasons. 

If an application is refused, the sponsor has two options, well actually three options:  

​          i)    Rre-apply;

          ii)    File an appeal through the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD); and 

          iii)   Accept the refusal and live with the applicant in their country;


Whether you apply on you own or with the assistance of our team, if denied, you can always re-apply. However, you have to be aware that IRCC keeps a file of the previous refusal. You must address the reasons for the first refusal and explain all the discrepancies.


If an appeal is filed, then the sponsor must understand you may only get one shot at it. We usually recommend appealing the spousal sponsorship refusal, where the application was properly completed and the reasons for refusal were unfair. 

Family Class Sponsorships Appeals

One of the principal objectives of the Canadian Immigration program is to promote family reunification. A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may apply to sponsor a family member to become a permanent resident in Canada under the Family Class. Currently, 25%-30% of all new permanent residents to Canada are derived from the family class stream.

It will sometimes happen that an application to sponsor a family member is rejected by the immigration Department. Refusals occur for a number of reasons, the most common ones are that the sponsor does not have sufficient income to qualify as a sponsor, or the applicant is inadmissible to Canada due to criminality, misrepresentation, or health concerns. Most refusals of family sponsorship applications are made to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The IAD has equitable jurisdiction, which means that the judge may allow the appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds even if they are satisfied that the decision is correct in law. Most appeals are contested and owing to the volume of such cases at the Immigration Appeal Division across Canada, can take approximately 12-18 months to conclude.

Residency Obligation

In accordance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), Canada requires that all  permanent residents to be physically present in Canada for a minimum of 730 days out of every 5 year period. This means that as a permanent resident of Canada, you can spend a maximum of 3 years outside of Canada during that 5-year period. 

If you are inside of Canada and it is determined by an immigration officer that you have not met your residency obligations, the officer can issue a departure order.

If you are outside of Canada, and an immigration officer located abroad makes the determination that you have not met your residency obligations, they can inform you in writing that your permanent residence status has been revoked.

If you do lose your permanent resident status in Canada, you are able to submit an appeal. This appeal must be submitted within 60 days of receiving the decision. During the period of time that you are awaiting your hearing date, you may be able to apply for a Humanitarian and Compassionate Application, if you are able to prove the hardship and risk that you would face if you were forced to leave Canada.


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