Lawyers Who Represent You At Immigration Hearings
Whether you face denial of entry into Canada at the border or you face removal from Canada after visiting or living here, you likely feel apprehension regarding the next steps. Our admissibility hearing lawyers help you through the process. They look at your ability to remain in Canada as well as the best course of action to keep you here. The right representation is often the difference between the ability to stay in Canada and removal.
What Is An Admissibility Hearing?
An admissibility hearing is a quasi-judicial legal process. It is not a court trial. It is, however, an inquiry where the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) determine your ability to remain in Canada or not. There are two opposing parties: the person believed to be inadmissible to Canada and Minister’s counsel for the Government of Canada. Minister’s counsel states why the person believed inadmissible should not be allowed to enter or remain in Canada. The person believed inadmissible, or his or her counsel, responds to those allegations. After considering all the evidence, the member of the IRB makes a decision and then issues an order.
Next, the order either requires the person to leave Canada or allows the person to enter or remain in Canada. Admissibility hearings, while informal compared to court matters, are quite serious and have serious implications. As in all legal matters, always ensure the advancement of your best legal argument.
When Admissibility Hearings Occur
People need Admissibility Hearing lawyers in two types of scenarios. The first involves when someone attempts to enter Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) determines that they are inadmissible to Canada.
Second, when the person is already in Canada, and he or she is believed be inadmissible because she or he has failed in some way to comply with IRP, has violated human or international rights, has been involved in crime or organized crime, is a security threat to Canada, has engaged in misrepresentation or has a health condition that makes him inadmissible to Canada.
Common Reasons Why People Are Inadmissible
Criminal convictions or offences In Canada or Abroad
Criminal convictions make it difficult to enter Canada. Depending on the charge, the equivalency in Canada, the nature of the activity, a criminal record or charge is a serious barrier to entering Canada. Until granted criminal rehabilitation, do not expect success in entering or staying in Canada.
Member of criminal organization
Members of criminal organizations include people who are part of money laundering organizations, smuggling operations, human trafficking organizations.
People committing act of terrorism
As a general rule, the Government of Canada does not want people how commit terrorist acts within Canada.
The Canadian Government usually refuses entry to Canada to individuals found medically inadmissible on three grounds:
- a danger to public health,
- a danger to public safety, or
- when reasonably expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services in Canada. For instance, medical conditions anticipated to require more public funding than the average funding usually provided for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident often results in an allegation or finding of medically inadmissibility to Canada.
Non-Canadians who the government decides cannot financial look after themselves in Canada are not eligible to enter or stay in Canada. In some cases, admissibility hearing lawyers can prove that you are able to.
Misrepresentation in immigration application
If you make a misrepresentation on any application under Canadian immigration laws, then you risk inadmissibility and denial entry to Canada or the ability to remain here if already in Canada. As a general rule, not disclosing information may be considered similarly to misrepresenting information.
Detained Until The Hearing?
If immigration authorities decide that there is a chance you will not attend your hearing, or that you pose a risk to Canadians, then they may detain you until your hearing. In some instances, they detain individuals who lack the ability to prove their identity. Also if they suspect falsified identification documentation.
Burden Of Proof In Admissibility Hearing
In an admissibility hearing, it is the Immigration Minister’s Counsel who brings the application against an individual. Under Canadian law, this means that the Minister needs to prove the case against the individual. Specifically, it means that the Minister’s Counsel must prove that the individual is not admissible to Canada. The burden of proof is that on the balance of probabilities, the person is not admissible. In plain language, this means that anything more than 50/50 that a person lacks admissibility, they then face deportation.
On serious allegations, such as a person accused of being a part of a criminal organization, the burden is easier for the Minister’s Counsel. In those cases, the Minister’s Counsel only has to show that there are reasonable grounds to believe the person is part of a criminal organization. Most importantly, due to the burden of proof being so light it is important to hire an admissibility hearing lawyer to ensure proper representation.
Consequences of Admissibility Hearing Decisions
There two possible outcomes to Admissibility Hearings:
- A positive decision: This is the best outcome. It means that no further restrictions on staying in Canada (or entering Canada) apply.
- Receive a Removal Order to leave Canada.
Immigration authorities or the Immigration Refugee Board issue removal orders. There are three types of removal orders:
A Departure Order is the removal order with the least severe consequences. If the person subject to a departure order complies with the order within 30 days of when it comes into force, then the person will not face exclusion from Canada and could seek to return at any time as long as he or she complies with the normal visa requirements for nationals of their country. However, 30 days later the departure order automatically become a deportation order. It includes the very severe consequences set out below. It is crucial that individuals subject to departure orders get competent advice from a lawyer to understand when the order might come into force and to understand the consequences of failing to confirm departure before that date.
Deportation Orders are the removal orders with the most severe consequences. A person removed under a Deportation Order cannot return to Canada without first obtaining an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC). Deportation Orders are issued upon findings of serious criminality, national security concerns or upon finding that immigration status in Canada was obtained by directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts. Deportation Orders are also issued in certain cases where a person could be subject to multiple exclusion orders or if they have failed to leave Canada during the relevant period a Departure Order was in force.
A person subject to an Exclusion Order will be excluded from Canada between one and five years after confirming their departure, depending on the reason for the exclusion. Most violations of immigration laws and regulations, such as remaining without status, working or studying without authorization, and misrepresenting information will often result in exclusion order. While the Immigration and Refugee Board issues many exclusion orders after a hearing, immigration officers issue the majority of exclusion orders.
Removal orders should not be confused with “voluntary departure”. In many cases, an officer makes it clear that he or she does not intend to allow someone to enter or remain in Canada. They then choose to allow the person to leave without making him or her the subject of a removal order. A “voluntary departure” often significantly benefits the person concerned. It provides the opportunity to leave Canada and return after you address the officer’s concerns.
If are offered “voluntary departure” but want to stay in Canada, we strongly suggest you call Admissibility Hearing lawyers before rejecting the offer from the officer.
Appealing Hearing Decisions
If you self represented and face a denied application, an appeal process exists. This involves an appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division. Our immigration and litigation team assists clients with these appeals.
What Our Admissibility Hearing Lawyers Do For You
The process that admissibility hearing lawyers take in proving that you are admissible involves the following:
- Initial consultation meeting to allow the admissibility hearing lawyer to assess your case, issues and the best course of action.
- We then give you a list of papers to gather. Depending on your situation these papers include, reports, evidence of rehabilitation, medical documents, etc.. A requirement exists to provide all evidence at least 5 days prior to the hearing.
- As a part of the hearing, the admissibility hearing lawyer must prepare an affidavit. An affidavit is a written sworn statement that includes all the evidence to support your admissibility.
- Next, your lawyer drafts a brief or submission to the hearing members to support your case.
- In some cases, we determine that witnesses support your application. In this case we organize for them to attend the hearing. A requirement exists that we deliver the list of witnesses at least 5 days prior to the hearing.
- While preparing for the hearing, our immigration lawyers may apply for a temporary residence permit for you to remain in Canada.
Getting Help From Admissibility Hearing Lawyers
Although having a lawyer is not mandatory, often legal questions and issues need arguing during the hearing. You need to gather adequate supporting evidence. The Minister’s counsel will also be present at your hearing to ask you questions and make very solid arguments against you. We strongly recommended retaining experienced legal counsel to represent you in order to maximize your chances of success. Admissibility Hearing lawyers help.
If you face any order that removes you or a loved one from Canada, contacting our admissibility hearing lawyers right away is important. Our team is ready to help. We can be reached at 403-225-8810 locally in Calgary, Alberta or toll-free at 1-877-225-8817 or email us directly here.