Building on the recent and successful experience of conducting virtual hearings the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) will now schedule virtual hearings for all appeals until further notice. This change will ensure continued access to justice while protecting the health and safety of all participants.
As a result, effective October 22, 2020, the IAD will:
- Schedule all new hearings virtually unless it is not appropriate for a specific case
- Convert hearings currently scheduled in-person to virtual when requested by an appellant, and;
- Increase the use of Microsoft Teams for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) conferences and other proceedings
Scheduling Virtual Hearings
The IAD will now schedule virtual hearings for all appeals using Microsoft Teams. This approach replaces the one described in the
notice dated July 17, 2020.
When scheduling, the appellant will continue to have two business days to confirm the proposed hearing date. The appellant can also request an in-person hearing if they have specific concerns with holding the hearing virtually. The IAD will consider the circumstances of each request on a case-by-case basis.
Hearings that are currently scheduled in-person will remain in-person. However, appellants can request to convert an in-person hearing to a virtual hearing. Requests to convert to a virtual hearing must be made by email as soon as possible before the hearing.
When the Appellant does not have the Technology for Virtual Hearings
The IAD recognizes that not all appellants have access to the technology required to connect to a virtual hearing, such as a computer, smartphone, or internet access. Additionally, the option to join by teleconference may not always be suitable for some hearings.
In these cases, the IAD will accommodate the appellant by having the appellant or all participants attend the hearing in-person. The appellant must advise the IAD at the time of scheduling if they require such accommodation.
ADR Conferences and Other Proceedings
ADR conferences and other proceedings will be scheduled virtually. If this is not possible, they will continue to be conducted by teleconference.
For more information
If you have questions about this notice or need to make a request, please contact your
regional registry office.
Deputy Chairperson, IAD