Step 2: Prepare your case

Important : If you filed your appeal on or after January 14, 2023, please read the important changes about the disclosure in the Send your disclosure section below.​

Terms you need to know

As the person making the appeal, you are called the appellant. The Minister who wants to remove you from Canada is called the respondent. The Minister is represented by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). This person is called the Minister’s counsel. You and the Minister are the parties to the appeal.

The person who hears your appeal and makes a decision is a member of the IAD tribunal.

An Early Resolution Officer (ERO) is an IAD employee who is available to give you information to help you prepare your case. An ERO does not give you legal advice. You can contact an Early Resolution Officer for any questions you might have regarding your appeal.

Your role as the appellant

When you appeal, you are the one who must prove that the decision should be changed in your favour. The evidence you can use to prove your case comes from:

  • what you say at the hearing
  • what your witnesses say
  • information in the documents you submit

To win your appeal, you will try to show how the law and evidence support your case. The Minister’s Counsel will try to show how the law and evidence do not support your case.

Read the appeal record

When the IAD receives your Notice of Appeal, it will ask the Minister to send the information in your sponsorship file. This is called the appeal record. The Minister has 30 days to send the appeal record to you and the IAD.

If you filed your appeal before January 14, 2023, the Minister has 45​ days to send the appeal record.

In the appeal record you will find the reasons why you were issued a removal order and other information that will help you prepare your case. It is important that you read the appeal record. The appeal record is part of the evidence.

Send your disclosure

This only applies if you filed your appeal on or after January 14, 2023.

Documents and other information can help you prove your case. Providing documents is called disclosure of evidence.

The IAD and the Minister's counsel must receive your disclosure (or a statement that you do not want to provide documents) no later than 60 days after you have received the appeal record. You will receive a letter from the IAD to confirm the due date for your disclosure. You must provide all the documents you want to use in your case before the due date. If you need more time to submit your disclosure, you should make a request and explain why you need more time.

To prepare the documents, follow the steps in the guide Preparing and disclosing documents for your appeal.

No disclosure provided

You must tell the IAD in writing if you do not want to provide documents for your appeal. If you or your counsel do not send disclosure or do not inform the IAD that you do not intend to send disclosure, the IAD can dismiss your appeal or declare it abandoned. This would mean that your appeal is over and the original decision that you are challenging does not change.

Late disclosure

If you disclose documents late, you may not be allowed to use them at the hearing unless the member who is hearing your appeal allows it. You will need to explain why these documents are late and why they are important to your appeal. The member will consider factors such as:

  • were you able to provide the document on time?
  • are the documents relevant to the issues in your appeal?
  • what is the reason for the delay in providing the documents?

Documents in response to evidence

You may provide a document in response to evidence provided by another party. You may do so even if the due date for disclosure has passed. You must provide this document in response no later than 30 days before your hearing date. The member hearing your case will assess if this document is in response to another document.

Preparation meeting for self-represented appellants

If you are representing yourself or have an unpaid counsel, you will be invited to a virtual meeting with an Early Resolution Officer (ERO). The ERO's role is to inform you about how to prepare your disclosure and for the next steps in your appeal.

We have prepared helpful guides for you that explain how to prepare your case. Choose the guide that applies to your situation:

It is important to read the guide because it describes the type of information that will help support your case.