This involves making a claim; submitting the necessary documentation; attending a hearing; and finally, awaiting a decision.

Information concerning the procedures for Admissibility Hearings and Detention Reviews, as well as legal decisions and guidelines

Information on making a complaint about the conduct of a member, an unauthorized paid representative or an interpreter

During the Canadian immigration process, the difference between each government department you encounter may not be entirely clear to you. For example, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada differs from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and is separated into four divisions. This blog post discusses this administrative tribunal and its counterparts to understand better what to expect when you apply to immigrate to Canada.

The Immigration and Refugee Board is not the first government agency newcomers encounter

Most newcomers will interact with other Canadian immigration bodies before encountering the Immigration and Refugee Board, including the Canada Border Services Agency and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

Immigration Hearings lawyer would tell you when you first come to Canada. You will inevitably engage with officers at your port of entry. They are members of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

Canada Border Services Agency primarily overseas travel and trade flows into Canada and plays an enforcement role in immigration procedures. Specifically, the CBSA conducts detentions, deportations (also known as deportations), investigations of aliens, and information gathering related to overseas immigration. CBSA may also refer cases to Immigration and Refugee Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Immigration applications are sent to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (or IRCC), whether the application is made outside or within Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is a government agency primarily responsible for immigration and refugee affairs. It selects immigrants allowed to enter Canada, issues visitor visas, grants citizenship, and determines who is eligible for refugee protection. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada also refer cases to the Immigration and Refugees Board of Canada.

About the Immigration Services Agency

The Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board are Canada’s administrative Court. Administrative courts are court-like bodies that decide legal disputes. Although they are separate from the court judiciary, their decisions may be challenged in Court. We hear cases that fall under specific areas of law, such as immigration law. Administrative courts ensure that administrative hearings are listened to by decision-makers who are experts in the legal field.

The Immigration and Refugee Board decides on immigration and refugee issues. It also determines who needs refugee protection when referred by Immigration Canada, Refugees and Citizenship. However, it is entirely separate from Immigration Canada, Refugees and Citizenship.

How long does an immigration hearing take?

If the judge issues a written decision, this will usually take about one month but may be longer, depending on the workload of the particular judge. Altogether an appeal before the Immigration Appeal Division is likely to take between six months and two years.

What happens at an immigration hearing?

An Immigration Hearings Lawyer in Toronto can guide you in the process. In these hearings, immigration judges determine whether respondents should be ordered removed from the United States or granted relief or protection from removal (such as adjustment of status, asylum, cancellation of removal, or other remedies provided by immigration law) and permitted to remain in the country. 

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