Inland spousal sponsorship appeal in Canada

Sometimes your spouse or common-law partner lives with you in Canada. Consequently, if you are an eligible sponsor, you may consider sponsoring them in their immigration application. Moreover, we call these in-Canada class or inland applications, among other names. What if the immigration officer refuses your application? Is inland spousal sponsorship appeal an option in Canada?

What is an inland spousal sponsorship?

Before discussing the right to appeal an inland spousal sponsorship, we need to know what an inland application is. You may sponsor your spouse or common-law partner under two programs: (1) inland or Canada Class; (2) outside Canada. Of course, you may only pick option (1) if your spouse or common-law resides with you in Canada. However, option (2) is open to all spouses and common-law partners, regardless of their country of residence.

Both the sponsor and the applicant must meet all the requirements. Therefore, I encourage you to read the following articles for more details:

Why an inland spousal sponsorship application?

Regardless of the right to appeal an application, people choose the inland spousal for the following reasons.

  • You and your spouse or common-law partner stay together while waiting for the outcome.
  • Since you are co-habiting, you expect a better chance of success (no credibility issues)
  • Your spouse or common-law partner may receive an open work permit.

Of course, co-habitation does not guarantee success, but it could enhance your chances.

The right to appeal an inland spousal sponsorship application

Under subsection 63(1) of IRPA, you can appeal the family class’s visa refusal. Consequently, you may assume in Canada class spousal sponsorship has the right to appeal. After all, it is a family class application. However, the problem is that subsection 63(1) limits the right to appeal to visa refusals only. When you are applying for an inland spousal sponsorship, you request a status change rather than a visa issuance. Therefore, this section does not apply to you.

Regardless, read Palma Izaguirre v. Canada (2012). The IRB decided they did not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal because it was an in-Canada class application. Furthermore, paragraph [7] of the IRB decision reads as follows:

[7] The applicant did not apply for a permanent resident visa. The visa is an authorization to enter Canada. The applicant applied to remain in Canada because he is already in Canada. Subsection 63(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act,[2] which gives the IAD jurisdiction in sponsorship matters, deals only with refusals to issue permanent resident visas. Therefore, the IAD does not have the jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Unfortunately, based on this landmark decision, the right to appeal for inland spousal sponsorship applications does not exist.

Other case laws that are similar to Palma Izaguirre v. Canada (2012):

  • Balla v Canada (Citoyenneté et de l’Immigration), 2014 CanLII 99928 (CA IRB)
  • Richard v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2012 CanLII 100918 (CA IRB)
  • Deoraj v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2004 CanLII 69612 (CA IRB)

Alternative options to an appeal

While an inland spousal sponsorship appeal is out of the question, you have two alternative options:

  1. You may file for Judicial Review. Of course, you need to hire a knowledgeable lawyer to represent you.
  2. Ask for the officer’s notes, and then based on their concerns, apply again. However, make sure you can address all the concerns this time.

Let us help!

If you would like to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner to Canada, consider contacting us. Of course, we handle both outside Canada and inland spousal sponsorship applications. Therefore, fill out the following form, and we will contact you as soon as possible. However, if you face an immigration challenge, consider booking a consultation session with me.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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