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Inadmissibility to Canada

Inadmissibility to Canada can be by way of two ways by either denying entry to Canada by way of refusing a visa (Criminal, Medical, Misrepresentations security risk reasons) or preventing an individual from obtaining a Permanent Residence Status (Criminal, Medical, Misrepresentation or failure to maintain their residency requirements)

Grounds for inadmissibility:

  • Medical Inadmissibility
  • Criminal Inadmissibility
  • Misrepresentation
  • Residency obligation
  • Organized Crime
  • Security Risk
  • Violated Human Rights

Your Inadmissibility to Canada can be overcome with the help of the highly skilled lawyers at JSM LAW who will help and guide you every step of the way to provide strong arguments in support of your application.

Refugee Appeals

Have you applied for a refugee claim, but have it rejected, JSM Law can help you appeal a Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD). The appeal can be made if a mistake has been made as to question of fact, of law, or of mixed fact and law.

How to Appeal a decision made by the RPD?

This is a two-step process:

  1. Applicant must file a Notice of Appeal with the RAD no later than 15 days after the written reasons for the negative decision of the RPD was received.
  2. Applicant must perfect the appeal by providing the Appellant’s record to the RAD registry no later than 45 days after the Applicant has received the negative written reasons for the RPD decision.

NOTE: Appeals to the RAD will not accept new evidence unless it did not exist or was not available at the time the RPD made their decision. RAD usually makes the decisions based on the information provided and will not hold an oral hearing. However, sometimes the RAD will allow an oral hearing to take place when there is an issue regarding the credibility of an Appellant.

The RAD after deciding on the Applicant’s appeal can either:

  1. Dismiss the appeal
  2. Allow the appeal and send it back to RPD for redetermination
  3. Allow the appeal and substitute new reasons for the decision

Applicants that CANNOT Appeal to the RAD

  • Designated foreign national
  • If Applicant withdrew or abandoned their refugee protection claim
  • The Minister made a decision that ceases the Applicant’s refugee protection claim and the RPD decided to allow or reject that application
  • The Applicant’s claim for refugee protection was rejected as per Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention because there was an order of surrender under the Extradition Act
  • Applicant made their claim at the land border with the United States of America and the claim was referred to the RPD as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • The Applicant’s claim is not considered to have credible basis by the RPD
  • The RPD decides that the Applicant’s claim is manifestly unfounded

What happens if the Appeal is dismissed by RAD?

If the RAD decides adversely in the appeal, the Applicant can further appeal to the Federal Court of Canada within 15 days of receiving the decision. JSM LAW will help you throughout the process.

Federal Court Appeals

Majority of the decisions made by the Immigration, citizenship or refugee authorities can be challenged by applying for a Judicial Review in the Federal Court of Canada. When this happens, a Federal Court will review the decision to decide whether the decision was lawfully made and can overturn the decision if they find a legal error.


Applications for leave and for judicial review to the Federal Court must be made within 15 days of refusal made in Canada, or 60 days of a refusal made outside Canada.

An application for leave and for judicial review is a two-step process:

  1. The Court will review the submissions in writing and decide whether to allow a “leave” for a hearing. If the Court is convinced that the Applicant has a case that might be successful, they will grant the leave. If the Court is not convinced that the case has any meri, they will dismiss the appeal without reasons
  2. Once the leave has been granted, the Court will set a date for hearing of the application for judicial review/ provides timeless for production of the tribunal record and filing by parties of any additional documents. The hearing will give the Applicant or their counsel a chance to present their legal arguments orally before a judge. The Immigration department will have an opposing counsel who will argue that the case should be dismissed. The Judge will render his decision once the hearing has been completed and decide whether the application is granted or not.

Issues the Court Considers when deciding on a Federal Court Appeal

When deciding on an appeal in the Federal Court, the reasonableness and fairness of an administrative decision are generally what the Court will consider and whether the decision was made in accordance with the law. When the court finds a reviewable error, it will overturn the decision and return the case to the tribunal to be redetermined by a different decision maker. The Court may not consider new evidence and will likely base their decision on the evidence that was actually before the lower tribunal. The court will consider whether the decision was reasonable and made using a fair procedure which determines whether the decision of the lower decision maker will be overturned.

Further Appeals

Sometimes, the Federal Court judicial review is unsuccessful which will have an applicant wonder what the next steps would be. A Federal Court of Appeal will require a Federal Court Judge to certify a question of general importance in their decision for the Court of Appeal to consider. Since these considerations will only be certified if it relates to a novel legal issue, only a rare number of cases have been successful to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal. The standard of review is an overriding error for factual findings and correctness for issues of law. A decision of the Federal Court of Appeal can further be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. A certified question is not required to make an appeal however, an Applicant must obtain a leave before an appeal can be made. There must be a palpable existence of a legal issue of national importance.

A decision of the Federal Court of Appeal can further be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Sponsorship Appeals

When an application is refused for a Canadian Citizen or permanent residents to sponsor their family members including their spouse, partner, child or parent for permanent residence in Canada. The Canadian citizen or permanent resident has the option of appealing the decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). IAD will review the immigration department decisions and act like a court to decide whether the decision should be overturned.


  • If you are a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident whose application to sponsor a family member under the family class has been refused by Immigration, refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

NOTE: Family class means a foreign spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, parents, grandparents, or children.


Sponsorship appeals are not allowed where the foreign applicant is found to be inadmissible due to the following:

  • Serious Criminality
  • Organized Criminality
  • Security grounds (terrorism, etc.)
  • Violations of human or international rights
  • Misrepresentation (applicable only for parental sponsorships)


After receiving a refusal letter from the IRCC rejecting the claim for the Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident to sponsor their family member, they have 30 days to appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division.

Reasons for refusal

  • Genuineness of the relationship between the couple – the Immigration Authorities believe that the relationship between the couple is not genuine and/or they believe that the couple entered the relationship primarily for the purpose of immigration.
  • Insufficient funds to sponsor their parents – the sponsor is unable to meet the financial requirements needed to sponsor their parents
  • Criminal or medical inadmissibility
  • Misrepresentation in the Immigration Application

Citizenship Appeals

If an application is refused by the citizenship department then it may be appealed to the Federal Court within 30 days.

This is a two-step process:

  1. Applicant will apple for “leave” which consists of written submissions with the Court which will consider whether the applicant has an arguable case.
  2. Court will decide whether to grant a leave for judicial review and once granted, the applicant will have a hearing to present their legal arguments before a Federal Court judge.

What happens at a judicial review hearing?

The judicial review hearing will consist of the applicant or their counsel present their legal arguments before the judge. The opposing counsel who will be representing the citizenship department will be represented by their team lawyer who will present arguments why the appeal should not be allowed. After hearing the arguments, the judge will render a decision in writing either granting or dismissing the review application.

Since the judicial review is not a full appeal therefore no new evidence may be adduced and the Court is restricted to reviewing the decision of the citizenship authorities based on the evidence already present before them. The Court will only interfere with the decision of the citizenship department if there is an obvious flaw in the citizenship official’s reasoning.

Residency Appeals

As a permanent resident, a PR Card is a proof of status and needs to be kept valid in order to allow you entry in Canada if there comes a time when you need to exit Canada for any reason. The PR card is valid for 5 years. The PR card can only be renewed if you meet the residency requirement. In the event of an PR card being expired while outside of Canada, a travel document will be needed to re-enter Canada.

Loss of Permanent residence status is determined by an officer. If you have an expired PR card but want to enter Canada, you are still a permanent resident unless an officer makes that decision. However, applicants are still at risk of being exposed to uncomfortable questioning which may result in a loss of their Permanent Resident Status.

The residency requirement is 2 years (730 days) out of the previous 5 years to be physically present in Canada. If the residency requirement has not been met by the Applicant and the Immigration Authorities issue a refusal letter that stating that the applicant has lost their permanent residency, the Applicant can file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) within 60 days.


Applicant files a Notice of Appeal to the local office of the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) after which the immigration authorities will produce a tribunal record.

The IAD will review the record and evaluate if the case is straight-forward or simple enough to be resolved at an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) conference. An ADR is a conference between the Appellant and the lawyer for the Immigration department to see if the case can likely be settled without the need to go to a full hearing.

In the event that there is no ADR, or the ADR is unsuccessful, the case will go to a full hearing before an IAD judge. The hearings before an IAD are similar to a court hearing in that there will be a presiding Judge (Member), a prosecutor who will be representing the immigration department as well as the appellant and their counsel. It is an adversarial process and the Appellant must prove their case on a balance of probabilities. We can appeal the decision by challenging it on a legal basis that the immigration authorities assessed the time period incorrectly or if the decision is correct on law, we can challenge on basis of humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Humanitarian & Compassionate Considerations

Section 25(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows foreign nationals who are inadmissible or who are ineligible to apply in an immigration class, to apply for permanent residence or for an exemption from a requirement of the Act, based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations.

The application under the humanitarian and compassionate grounds is an exception from the usual requirements of IRPA.

The Applicant MUST:

  • Clearly indicate in your application the specific exemption(s) you are requesting
  • Provide all details related to your request including the reasons why you believe an exemption(s) should be granted on H&C grounds
  • Demonstrate that there are sufficient and compelling reasons for you to be granted an exemption allowing you to apply for permanent residence from within Canada


Examples of the factors that may be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • establishment in Canada
  • an inability to leave Canada that has led to establishment
  • ties to Canada
  • best interests of any children affected by your application (see following section for more information)
  • health considerations
  • family violence considerations
  • consequences of your separation from relative
  • factors in your country of origin (not related to seeking protection)
  • any other relevant factors you wish to have considered that are not related to seeking protection.

Best interests of the child

The best interests of any children directly affected by the decision made on your application will be taken into consideration in the assessment of your application.

Factors related to the best interests of the child may include but are not limited to the:

  • age of the child,
  • child’s establishment in Canada,
  • conditions in the country of origin that could impact the child,
  • medical needs of the child,
  • child’s education, or
  • child’s gender.

The best interests of a child do not outweigh all other factors in a case. The best interests of the child are only one of many important factors that will be considered by the decision maker.


When the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) establish that there is an issue with your immigration application, they will issue a letter called the Procedural Fairness Letter (PFL). This gives the applicant a chance to clarify and respond to any concerns that the IRCC has against your file.

Reasons for procedural fairness letters

There are a number of reasons why the IRCC will generate a PFL letter, the following are some examples:

  • IRCC has concerns with the genuineness of your marriage
  • Issues in relation to your admissibility to Canada on criminal grounds
  • You or a family member are facing medical inadmissibility concerns
  • Misrepresentation made on your application

Responding to a procedural fairness letter is crucial as this is a chance to address the concerns of the Immigration Authority in detail and it is also a chance to request a humanitarian and compassionate exemption.


JSM Law offers Legal Services to clients across Mississauga, Brampton, Toronto, Oakville, Hamilton, Milton, Burlington, North York, Caledon, Vaughan, Markham, Scarborough, Downtown Toronto, Richmond Hill, Newmarket, King, Halton Hills, and Greater Toronto Area.

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