The rejection of a spousal, common-law, or conjugal partner sponsorship application is one of the most heartbreaking immigration results. Worse, this outcome typically surprises people, as does the legal test. The good news is that such refusals can be legally challenged.

Spousal Sponsorship applications are demanding and time-intensive. Part of this complication is due to the Canadian government’s cautiousness to approve petitions due to applicants abusing the system’s loopholes.

Often, when individuals apply independently, the application is weak, causing visa officers to be skeptical of the relationship’s authenticity. Almost half of all self-filed spousal sponsorship applications are denied.

Additionally, rejections for Inland Spousal Sponsorship are not appealable, so reapplying is the only way to get another chance for approval. On the other hand, applications for Outland Spousal Sponsorship can be appealed within 30 days, or the judgment will be upheld.

If your application has been refused, contact a competent immigration agency as soon as possible. Bright Immigration’s top-notch immigration lawyers can assist you with your appeal to the IAD or Immigration Appeal Division.

Reasons for Rejection

The high number of refusals is primarily attributable to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada). The agency posts the forms online with instructions but does not provide clear insight into how complex and time-intensive the process could be, especially if the petitioners do it themselves.

For example, a returned application due to inaccurate or incomplete paperwork might cause months of delay. A permanent residency will also not be possible for more than two years. Unless a TRV visa is released before the application refusal, non-visa-exempt spouses will be unable to enter Canada for a minimum of 2 years.

However, even if you fulfill all of the criteria, you may be denied spousal sponsorship if the primary sponsor has a criminal record, poses a security risk, or has violated human or international rights.

Reasons for Filing an Appeal

Here are some of the circumstances making you eligible to appeal a spousal sponsorship rejection:

  • Incorrect refusal in law and fact: not utilizing the right forms, wrongly signing and date documents, and digitally signing forms they must sign on paper. 
  • Violation of procedural fairness or natural justice: the applicant wasn’t given a chance to reply to an officer’s concerns, violating their hearing rights.
  • Neglected H&C Considerations: Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations were not accounted for individuals deserving of permanent residence visas for compelling reasons.

Timeline for the Appeal

  1. After accepting the decision letter, you have one month to submit a duplicate of the IRCC’s rejection letter attached to the IAD office (either in Montreal, Vancouver, or Toronto).
  1. Upon receiving the appeal within the first four months, the IRCC provides the appeal record to the IAD member handling the appeal.
  1. An IAD member may do any of the following actions after reading the sponsorship refusal file and record:
  • Ask for further details: If you do not answer or your immigration fails to submit your counter, your appeal can be dismissed.
  • Recommend an ADR or Alternative Dispute Resolution: A meeting between the IAD, the sponsor, and the Minister’s counsel might be requested to clarify, debate, and resolve issues. Failure to attend this meeting means dismissal of your appeal. 
  • Set a hearing for the appeal: You will receive a Notice to Appear at least four weeks before the date of the hearing. Failure to appear in this hearing will cause the dismissal of your appeal. 

If the Sponsorship Appeal is permitted, the rejection of the Spousal Sponsorship visa application will be overturned, and the IRCC will proceed with processing the PR visa application once more. 

If the IAD dismisses the appeal, the applicant can appeal with the Federal Court to review the IAD resolution, which, in turn, can either allow the appeal, dismiss the appeal, or return the appeal back to IAD for another hearing.

Immigration consultants advise those travelling to Canada for Compassionate Travel purposes not to fear the process.
Spousal Sponsorship


Although the denial of spousal sponsorship is upsetting, it is vital to note that there are options for appealing this decision. An expert immigration lawyer can assess the reason for your application’s denial and recommend the best legal course of action for you and your family moving forward. This is why it’s so crucial to hire an immigration lawyer throughout the application process.

Our team of professionals at Bright Immigration is recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada and Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council. We value professionalism, integrity, and providing quality legal and immigration services to our customers. If you’re looking for professional help from a trusted firm, please contact us at or call 1-888-404-8472.

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