This notice provides information on scheduling, the use of videoconferencing for hearings and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) conferences at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) as well as the introduction of virtual proceedings.
The IAD will continue to communicate with the parties by email to schedule hearings dates. Hearings identified as 3 hours or less will be scheduled for a virtual hearing. Hearings identified for more than 3 hours and those involving a designated representative will be scheduled for an in-person hearing.
Parties will have 48 hours to respond to the email and raise any specific issues requiring a change in the hearing mode as well as your availability for the date scheduled. The IAD will consider circumstances on a case-by-case basis.
In-person hearings will resume in Vancouver the week of July 20, 2020 and at all other Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) locations the week of August 3, 2020. To promote the use of physical distancing as well as the health and safety of all participants, the IAD will increasingly use videoconferencing to conduct its in-person hearings.
In order to ensure physical distancing, the IAD will limit the number of in-person hearings and may use more than one hearing room to conduct the hearing. In those cases, participants for in-person hearings will be in different rooms and connected by videoconference. Nonetheless, the appellant and appellant’s counsel will remain in the same room.
When at the IRB premises, individuals will be required to follow certain protocols that will affect how they access and move around the building, including the use of elevators and common areas. Details on these procedures will be included in your Notice to Appear and on the IRB website. Please read and follow these procedures carefully.
Virtual Hearings and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The IAD has recently conducted a pilot on virtual hearings. Participants are connected through MS Teams and the hearing is conducted by video. The pilot has been a success and the IAD will expand the use of virtual hearings. Starting in July 2020, the IAD will begin scheduling virtual hearings for suitable cases. You will be informed at the time of scheduling if your case has been selected for a virtual hearing. Details on connecting to the hearing will be included in the Notice to Appear.
ADR remains an integral part of the appeal process. Since April 2020 and for the foreseeable future, the IAD will conduct ADRs by telephone. When possible, the IAD may use MS Teams to conduct ADRs by video.
As the IAD moves to resuming its operations, we want to ensure that everyone’s health and safety is protected. The increased use of technology will permit the IAD to reach that goal.