Receiving a negative decision of your immigration matter is stressful enough without having to navigate the complexities of having your matter heard at the Federal Court.
We have compiled the most frequently asked questions about this process. Though each case is unique and will inevitably involve complex circumstances, the below answers are intended to provide an overview of the process.
1. Can we provide the judge with new support for my refused refugee claim?
Answer: The Federal Court will not consider new evidence that was not provided to the decision-maker that refused your immigration application or refugee claim. The record that will be considered by the Federal Court will contain your entire record of the refused matter, either before the Refugee Protection Division or the Refugee Appeal Division, and be based on the legal arguments crafted by your lawyer.
2. Do I have to answers question again like in my refugee claim or spousal sponsorship interview?
Answer: No, you do not need to attend your Federal Court hearing. If your Application for Leave and for Judicial Review is granted leave, the hearing date set for your matter is one that must be attended by. your lawyer, not you. You are of course entitled to attend the hearing (in fact, most hearings are open to the public), but it is not required. Of course, if you are granted a new hearing, then you may be required to appear again before the tribunal re-deciding the matter.
3. How long until we get a decision from the Federal Court?
Answer: It depends. The timeframe for your matter is highly dependent on how long it takes a Federal Court judge to decide whether you have an ‘arguable case’, which means granting leave and providing you with a hearing date. If you are not granted leave, the process ends much sooner. If your matter does progress to a hearing, the time taken for a judge to provide a decision will also vary widely from case to case. Other factors that affect the timeline include obtaining written reasons if none were provided, and potential settlement discussions. Many cases are successfully resolved in approximately 6-8 months, but again, this ranges depending on the circumstances.
4. What will the Judge consider to decide my case?
Answer: In the majority of cases, the Federal Court judge will determine whether the previous decision was a reasonable one. What constitutes a reasonable decision will depend on a multitude of factors, and will likely be specific to the type of matter that was refused. Your lawyer will rely on case law to illustrate why the decision should be found unreasonable by the Court.
5. If the Court grants my matter, what happens next?
In most circumstances, the Judge will send your matter back to a different member of tribunal that decided your matter (e.g., Refugee Protection/Appeal Division, Immigration Appeal Division, visa office etc.) to be reconsidered. The Federal Court will not typically replace the decision of the tribunal itself.
Contact our firm for a personalized consultation to review your negative decision and discuss these issues as they may apply to your case.