An Alternative Dispute Resolution at the Immigration Refugee Board – Withdraw?

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The Immigration Refugee Board  Appeal Division (or IAD) offers an Alternative Dispute Resolution in addition to a hearing.  An ADR is  offered to those cases of  refused spousal and sometimes, refused parent cases where the issues seem straightforward.  Straightforward cases are often characterized by only one issue, that is not related to admissibility.

Some sophisticated clients of the immigration department file their own applications and some also attend the ADR session without representation.  Such clients are perhaps emboldened by the Immigration Refugee Board  website which states,   counsel can be any person, including a trusted friend or community member.  I have trusted friends who are good with computers, but wouldn’t want them representing me at an immigration tribunal who can decide that my spouse may  never be able to live with me in Canada.  Similarly, the reference to “community member” is an invitation for persons within an ethnic group to be exploited by others within the same ethnic group;  usually those within the same group with more advanced English or French language skills can wrongfully state  to the IAD that they are not collecting a fee for their representation.   The recourse for incompetent advice from such persons is minimal.

Self-represented cases at the ADR stage often lead to disappointment because of the lack of preparation; such self-represented candidates have a strong conviction that their marriage is real, or that their income is sufficient to support their parents but often lack the experience to configure sufficient evidence in an appropriately clear and compelling manner.   Similarly, such self-represented candidates have not been given instruction as to how to best present their oral responses at the interview.

Withdrawing an appeal after an unsuccessful Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR” is one possible course of action.  The other one is to continue onward with a full hearing.  The option of proceeding with a full hearing can be the logical choice, particularly if the option of re-filing an application may lead to a refusal.  Refiling an application is  not suitable if the  visa office would simply refuse a re-filed application, thus compelling you to proceed to the IAD for a second time.  Sometimes visa offices treat re-filed applications like refried beans, without a strong presentation of relevant, and new  facts.

On the other hand proceeding to a full hearing constitutes a last chance in terms of having an appeal at the IAD; generally speaking after the IAD refuses a case, it cannot hear it again unless there are significant changes in the facts of the case.  If you’re at the crossroads of what to do after a refused ADR, or have just received a refusal of your spouse’s  or parent’s case, contact Chaudhary Law Office.

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