Spousal Sponsorship

Canada Spousal Sponsorship Refusal – Here Is How To Appeal


If you sponsored your spouse or family member to Canada and their application for a permanent residence visa was refused, then you can file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). 

An appeal provides an opportunity to explain why your visa application should be approved, and if it is for a family member, it is known as a sponsorship appeal. 

Learn below who can make an appeal, who cannot make an appeal and how to file an appeal. 



Who can appeal?

Suppose you are a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen who applied to sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, and IRCC denied your application. In that case, you can file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). 

Who cannot file an appeal?

If the person you sponsored was found inadmissible to Canada, then you cannot file for an appeal. It means they are not permitted to enter Canada for one of the following reasons:

  • Being convicted of a crime in Canada that resulted in a six-month or longer sentence in a Canadian prison
  • Committing or being convicted of a crime outside of Canada that would be punishable by a maximum prison term of ten years or more in Canada.
  • Getting involved in organized crime, such as smuggling people or laundering money
  • Posing a security risk, for example, by trying to overthrow a government or taking part in terrorism
  • Violating international or human rights (by committing war crimes, for example).

How to file an appeal? 

It is important to note that you will have 30 days from when your family member receives the IRCC refusal letter to file a Notice of Appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). 

To begin your appeal application, send the following to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD):

Ensure that you keep all your contact information up to date. In case of any changes, use the Notification of Client Contact Information form to inform Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). 

Hiring counsel for your representation 

Hiring paid counsel 

An immigration appeal can be difficult to navigate. While you can represent yourself, you may want to hire authorized counsel at your own expense. ‘Authorized’ means you must be a member of one of the following Canadian organizations:

Ensure that your counsel is “in good standing,” which means they are a member of a Canadian professional organization and permitted to practice.

Hiring unpaid counsel 

Your counsel doesn’t need to be a lawyer, paralegal, notary, or immigration consultant. Instead, your counsel can also be a friend, relative, or trusted community member. However, they cannot be paid or receive any compensation, such as a gift for their services. 

Additionally, an unpaid counsel could also be outside Canada. However, an unpaid counsel cannot be a witness at the hearing. 

Notifying IAD of your counsel 

Once you have found a paid counsel to represent you, use the Counsel Contact Information form to notify the IAD and inform them of the professional organization to which your counsel belongs. As well as include their membership identification number.

If you hired unpaid counsel, use the  Notice of Representation without a Fee or Other Consideration to inform IAD. 

Regardless of who represents you, your counsel must be prepared to respond to all IAD requests and attend your hearing or conference.

Source: Immigration and Refugee Board Of Canada