Step 2: Getting your appeal ready

Once your notice of appeal has been received, there are a number of actions that occur well before your hearing date.

Getting legal help

Immigration appeals can be quite complex. If you have not already done so, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer or immigration consultant to assist you with your appeal. Find out more about authorized counsel in the Getting Legal Assistance section.

Receiving the appeal record

In most cases, the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) will request the appeal record from the Immigration Division or the Minister, as the case may be. The appeal record contains all the information related to the decision to issue a removal order against you. The Immigration Division or the Minister must provide the appeal record to you and the IAD within 45 days from the date requested.

Requests for information

Either before or after receiving the appeal record, an IAD officer may contact you or your counsel to obtain additional information regarding your appeal. This will help determine if your appeal can be resolved without an oral hearing.

It is very important for you to provide all your contact information on time and advise the IAD if it changes.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

The IAD may suggest that your appeal be scheduled for an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) conference. It is suggested only for appropriate cases, and most removal order appeals are not appropriate. ADR is an informal meeting between you, the Minister’s Counsel and an IAD officer to discuss the case, clarify the issues and encourage both sides to agree on a decision. If ADR is successful, there is no need for a hearing.

For more information, the “Attending an ADR Conference at the IAD” guide is a good resource on what you can expect and how to prepare for an ADR conference.

IMPORTANT: The IAD can declare your appeal “abandoned”, meaning your appeal is finished, if:

  • You or your counsel do not respond to a request for information, or
  • You do not show up at an ADR conference that you were requested to attend.