What is ADR in Canada immigration? – Canada Immigration Programs

What is ADR in Canada immigration?

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A conference for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) conferee is held by the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) if it believes the possibility that your appeal can be settled with no oral trial. The objective is to resolve your appeal quickly, swiftly, efficiently, and fairly. If the conference goes well, then a hearing won’t be necessary.

The conference participants are:

  • You and your advisor, If you have one.
  • A representative of an agency called the Canada Border Services Agency, also known as”the Minister’s Counsel who is in the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Minister of Public Safety; and,
  • An Early Resolution Officer (ERO) or member of the IAD who acts as an impartial and neutral organizer of the conference.

There are exceptions to appeals that are chosen to be considered for ADR. If your request is accepted and you are selected, you will be sent a Notice to Show Up. This notice informs you of when and where your next conference will occur.

What makes the process of an ADR Conference different from hearings?

The ADR conference is an informal gathering. No IAD person is present to decide the appeal at the hearing. This is a chance for you and the Minister’s Counsel to agree to resolve the appeal without the need to argue the case during any hearing. The role of the IAD is to facilitate the discussion.

In the ADR gathering, both sides (that is, you, the counsel for the Minister) state the reasons why an appeal should be accepted or not. You’ll be asked questions. The ADR conference is expected to last around an hour, and typically only you will be asked questions. Hearings usually last at least three hours. Commonly, multiple witnesses are being questioned. It can take longer to obtain an appointment to hear. In addition, the IAD member is the judge and makes a final determination based on the evidence presented during the hearing.

What is the process for deciding which appeals are eligible to be considered for an ADR?

The IAD decides whether to accept appeals to be considered for ADR by examining the appeal files. A case is deemed appropriate to be considered for ADR when the IAD thinks there exists a chance of:

  • the Minister’s Counsel might be in agreement that your appeal be granted; or
  • You can decide to withdraw your appeal once getting a better understanding of your chances of winning your case in an appeal hearing.

If you decide to choose an appeal to be considered for ADR If you decide to choose ADR, the IAD might contact you either by phone or via email for additional details. In certain instances, the IAD could also reach out to the Minister’s Counsel to inquire whether the appeal is appropriate for ADR. In the final analysis, the IAD will determine if a request should go for the ADR conference or if it should be scheduled for a hearing.

Opting-in to ADR

You or the Minister’s Counsel may also make an application for either an ADR conference. This is known as “opting-in”, which could be beneficial if you have essential and new information that was not available when you initially appealed. To be able to opt-in ADR and participate in ADR, you need to make a written request explaining why you believe your appeal could be solved through an ADR conference and submit supporting documents or information. The request should also be submitted directly to the Council of Ministers. The IAD will then review the submission and decide whether or not the appeal is considered part of the ADR procedure.

 Opting out of an ADR

If you or the IAD decides to conduct an ADR to appeal, either the Minister’s Counsel can ask not to be a part of the ADR procedure if it is believed there is no likelihood of a resolution. The request should explain why the appeal isn’t suitable for ADR and be sent to the opposing parties.

Do I require an attorney, paralegal, notary, or immigration specialist?

This guide will assist you in comprehending the ADR procedure. This guide is NOT legal guidance. The process of appealing an immigration decision can become highly complicated. Consider whether you’ll need somebody to advocate for you.

You are entitled to be represented at your own cost. The representative you choose to use is known as your counsellor. If your counsel is charging an amount or another type of payment method, they need to be a current member of any among the Canadian organizations:

  • A provincial law society
  • the Chambre des notaires du Quebec
  • The College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (CICC).

This applies even if you’re filing an appeal outside Canada. You or your counsel must inform the IAD, the professional organization that your counsel is a member of and provide the member identification numbers.

 Employing an unpaid representative to act as your advisor

Your counsel is not required to be a compensated attorney, paralegal, or immigration advisor. They can be an unpaid acquaintance, family member, or even a respected person in the community you live in (inside or outside of Canada). It is your responsibility to notify the IAD whom your representative is without pay by filling in the Notification of Representative form with no fees or other considerations.

Whoever is representing you should be ready and willing to attend on the day you will hold the ADR conference.

Do I have to be in person?

It is possible to attend in person, through videoconference or by phone during the time scheduled. Because ADR can be informal, you should be present in person if you can. If you can participate via telephone or videoconference, please notify IAD at least ten days before the event.

What should I do to prepare for my next dispute resolution meeting?

It is essential to plan your ADR meeting ahead of time. Examine the refusal letter and appeal records, including any notes taken during the interview (if there were any) in the presence of an immigration official. Prepare to state why you believe that your appeal should be accepted. This may include addressing any errors you think were made when the decision or giving details to explain or clarify what issues were identified by the officer who refused your letter, as well as notes from the immigration officer. It would help if you described how the decision affects your family members and you and any other unique circumstances you may encounter.

 Providing documents

Documents can be crucial in proving your case and helping you win your ADR conference. If you haven’t yet prepared papers for your appeal or have additional documents to offer, you need to make them available a minimum of 10 days before your ADR event. There are many guidelines you must follow in preparing and disseminating documents. Learn what you must follow in the article on the preparation and disclosure of documents before the hearing.

The documents that will aid your appeal are contingent upon the nature of your refusal. The guide to preparing your request to the IAD provides a brief explanation of the most common kinds of rejections and the type of information that could be beneficial in defending your appeal. If your refusal differs from those described in the guide, You can contact the ERO designated for your ADR conference for general advice on how to structure your case.

Do I need witnesses to my event?

You are the only person to be interrogated at the ADR conference. Because ADR conferences are set for just an hour, there’s no time to ask questions of witnesses.

What should I do if I need an interpreter?

If you require an interpreter but haven’t yet requested one, you should write to the IAD a minimum of 10 days before your conference date. Indicate the dialect and language you require. IAD IAD provides an interpreter for free to you.

What if I am a Vulnerable Person?

Some individuals may experience challenges and require a particular approach when handling their case due to having suffered trauma and/or suffer from mental or physical illness or need help due to their age. Like everyone else who appears before the Board, vulnerable people are treated with care and respect. However, they are also handled following specific circumstances.

If you and your counsellor believe you are vulnerable, You should call the IAD’s office. IAD in your area. If you are a vulnerable individual, you might be granted administrative accommodations, including changes to the procedures. In this situation, the Board is bound by guidelines such as the ” Chairperson Guideline 8 Guidelines for Procedures concerning vulnerable persons appearing before IRB IRB”.

What if I want to have a designated representative?

If you are younger than 18 years old or over 18 but can’t comprehend the meaning of your ADR, is the person you are with, or must your attorney inform the IAD. The IAD may then decide to assign an appointed representative on your behalf. A designated representative isn’t like a counsel. Designated representatives are someone who is accountable for making decisions that are to best serve your interests and is responsible for explaining the ADR procedure to you. The Guide to the Designated Representative describes the role of a designated representative in more depth.

What’s going to be the main topic during the conference?

  1. The ERO will begin the meeting by introducing the role of participants and the ADR conference procedure.
  2. The ERO will be able to ask you questions about your case. Prepare to discuss why you believe your appeal needs to be ruled favourably for you. 
  3.  Be sure to know and understand what the main reasons for the refusal are. If you are unsure about the reasons behind the rejection, call the ERO before the conference.
  4. The Minister’s Counsel will be able to ask you questions.
  5. You can make a few final comments or provide clarification on any issue pertinent to your situation. If you are represented by counsel who can assist you, they will be able to clarify any questions.
  6. The ERO will sit down with Minister’s counsel to discuss if the appeal can resolve the issue without an oral hearing. On request, you may also consult the draw in private with the ERO. In these secret meetings, the ERO could also offer an opinion about the probability that the appeal will be successful in an appeal hearing.
  7. The Council of the Ministers will make their opinion.

What will happen if the Minister’s recommendation is in my favour?

  1. The ERO will draft the Agreement summary, explaining the reasons for the arrangement.
  2. The Minister’s Counsel will be reviewing the agreement.
  3. Your lawyer, should you have one, and the Minister’s counsel has to sign the agreement.
  4. Following this conference, members from the IAD will approve the agreement only if he/ they are satisfied with the recommendations.
  5. You will be given a final decision allowing an appeal.

What happens if I decide that the recommended result is not my favour?

  1. In the Minister’s counsel’s briefing, they will explain the reasons for their decision and then leave the meeting.
  2. You and your counsel must decide whether you want to withdraw your appeal or go for a hearing. The ERO will give you details to consider, such as an impartial evaluation of the likelihood that your request will be successful at an appeal hearing.
  3. If you decide to have an appointment, the ERO will inform you of the hearing process and the estimated wait time to schedule your hearing.

If I choose to proceed in my appeal, could any information learned from an ADR conference be applied against me?

No. The ADR process is private. It is the ERO or the Attorney for the Minister who can’t divulge information from the meeting with any member in the IAD who may decide to hear your case except in the following circumstances:

  • You accept to share the information with others or
  • They can get the information on their own (for instance, it’s accessible to the public) or
  • The information pertains to an offence under immigration law or
  • The matter is related to an infraction or a breach of IAD conduct guidelines.

We believe we have provided much useful information in this article to answer the question: What is ADR in Canada immigration. After the conference After the conference, the ERO will be asking you if you’d like the records you submitted to your ADR to remain in the file until the hearing. If you disagree with the request, the documents will be taken off your file.

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