Notice to Counsel
Family Class Sponsorship Appeals Involving Persons Directly Affected by the Sichuan Province Earthquake Disaster in China
Affected Cases at the Immigration Appeal Division
This notice to counsel concerns the scheduling of Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) appeals involving sponsored family members from China.
In the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Sichuan Province, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that it will give priority to the processing of existing and new applications of Family Class applicants under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act who are directly affected by the situation in China.
Similarly, these types of Family Class Sponsorship Appeals at the IRB will be processed as quickly as possible. If you are representing an individual whose case concerns a person from China who has been directly affected by this disaster, and have not already been contacted by the IAD to prioritize your case, you are requested to contact the IAD. The Division will deal promptly with requests for an earlier hearing date or an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Conference date. In cases where the Minister's counsel indicates that they may be willing to recommend allowing an appeal, the IAD expects that these appeals will be promptly resolved so that a final decision may be made without a hearing.
In addition to expediting scheduling, the IAD may also use its discretionary jurisdiction to deal with cases involving persons from China. In sponsorship appeals where the issue is not one of meeting the definition of sponsor or the definition of a member of the family class, the IAD has the power to allow an appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Where a hearing is completed but a decision not finalized, and a party believes that the current situation in China may affect the assessment of humanitarian and compassionate grounds, the party may make a written application to the IAD (copied to the other party) for permission to provide additional evidence or submissions. In these cases, the IAD will deal with such applications promptly.
We thank all counsel for their cooperation.