When Are Admissibility Hearings Held?
There are two main ways in which a person could find themselves with an order to appear at an Immigration admissibility hearing. First, in some cases, if you attempt to enter Canada at either a land or air border, the CBSA may have reason to believe that you should not enter the country. In some cases you may be provided with an opportunity to appear before the Immigration Division of the IRB and explain why you ought to be allowed to enter. A member will then decide if you are admissible – that is, whether or not you may enter or remain in Canada.
The second way you may find yourself ordered to an admissibility hearing is where you are already in Canada either illegally, on a visa or as a Permanent Resident, and are alleged to have committed an act which would potentially render you inadmissible to Canada. Where a Board member finds that you are inadmissible, you may be removed from Canada subject to exercising your appeal rights.
Who may attend the Admissibility hearing?
You will be required to attend the hearing. In addition you may have your counsel present to assist you to present your case. There will be opposing counsel present who will present the case of the Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA). Sometimes witnesses are called to provide evidence in support or against your case.
What is the Purpose of the Admissibility Hearing?
The IRB member in charge of the hearing is tasked with deciding whether you should be allowed to remain in the country or leave. The decision is based on the oral evidence provided at the hearing as well as documentary evidence which you or the Minister may have submitted.
The member may provide his or her decision and reasons at the end of the hearing or sometimes the decision will be reserved and provided at a later date in writing.
If the Board member decides that you should be allowed to enter or remain in Canada then you will be determined “admissible” to Canada.
If the Board member decides that you should not be allowed to enter or remain in Canada then you will be determined to be inadmissible to Canada and a “removal” order will be issued against you. There are three types of Removal Orders:
- Departure Order
If you are issued a Departure order you must leave Canada within 30 days of the order being issued. However, in order to prove you actually left within the required time you must obtain a “certificate of departure” from the CBSA. These certificates can be obtained at exit port such as an airport. If you fail to depart within 30 days or do so without a Certificate of Departure” then the order automatically turns into a Deportation order. If you leave Canada under a Departure Order, you may return to Canada at any time in the future so long as you follow the proper procedure.
- Deportation Order
Deportation orders are issued for more serious where a person has committed a crime, or breached the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. If you receive a Deportation order you may not return to Canada without written permission from the Minister.
- Exclusion Order
Exclusions orders are ordered where Immigration wishes to impose a penalty, but one which is less serious than a Deportation order. In these cases a person is usually barred from returning to Canada for at least one year and in some cases two years. A person who wishes to come back to Canada before the expiration of the Exclusion would require written permission from the government. Once the order expires you can return to Canada much like you would under a Departure order where you may return to Canada without special permission, subject to what every visa requirements may exist.
Are There Appeals from Admissibility Hearings?
May people can appeal their negative decisions to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). However, there are certain important exclusions. For example those convicted of a crime with a sentence of two years or more, may not be permitted to appeal. Those barred from appealing their orders are still entitled to seek a Judicial Review of the decision to the Federal Court of Canada.
Why Hire a Lawyer?
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations are complicated. The consequences of a negative decision are almost always going to be serious. Ensuring you are represented by someone familiar with the relevant laws and who clearly understands your goals is vital. Understanding the various options available to you and how best to achieve them is something you are most likely to gain with professional representation.
We at Levine Associates have been appearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board for more than two decades. When you retain our services we bring all that experience and know how to every case.