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Judicial Review at the Federal Court of Canada
The Federal Court is Canada’s national court which hears and decides legal disputes arising in the federal domain. Immigration matters are dealt with as Applications for Judicial Review, which is narrower in scope than a full appeal. This means that the Court will only overturn in limited circumstances.
There is a 2 step process to have your matter heard at the Federal Court:
1. You must first file an Application for Leave and Judicial Review – this means that you are requesting permission to a Federal Court Judge to have your matter reviewed within a Judicial Review proceeding;
2. Should this permission be given (called “leave granted”), the Federal Court will then schedule a date for the Judicial Review hearing.
Just like the Immigration Appeal Division, a Federal Court Judge will not grant, issue or approve a Visa or application. The Federal Court will determine whether the decision of an immigration officer or a Board Member violated proper procedure or was reasonable or unreasonable. If the decision is determined to be unreasonable, the matter will be sent back for re-determination by a different officer or Board Member.
Any decision by a federal decision-maker can be judicially reviewed unless there is a first right of appeal. The refusals below can be directly judicially reviewed by the Federal Court of Canada:
• Federal Skilled Worker
• Canadian Experience Class
• Provincial Nominee Program
• Live-in Caregiver
• Work Permit
• Study Permit
• Temporary Resident Visa
• Humanitarian and Compassionate
• Pre-Removal Risk Assessment
• Request for Deferral
• Spousal Sponsorship Appeal
• Family Class Sponsorship Appeal
• Residency Obligation Appeal
• Removal Order Appeal
• Refugee Claim or Claim for Protection
During a Federal Court Judicial Review hearing, the individual involved in the matter may not testify. The Federal Court will only rely on documentation available to the immigration officer or to the Board Member at the time the decision was made. Your immigration lawyer will submit argumentation and case law and the opposing party, the attorney representing Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will do the same. The lawyers will argue the case in person before a Federal Court Judge who will make the final decision.