Last Updated on January 29, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

Section 72(2)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that a judicial review shall be filed within 15 days of a matter arising in Canada and 60 days on a matter arising outside of Canada.

Rule 6(2) of the Citizenship, Immigration and Refugee Protection Rules, S.O.R./93‑22 provides that a request for an extension of time shall be determined at the same time, and on the same materials, as the application for leave.

In Singh v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2021 FC 93, Justice Bell affirmed that extension request determinations should not be left to the judicial review but rather addressed at leave.  He further noted:

Having expressed my opinion regarding the approach to be employed, I will, nonetheless, decide the question of the extension of time. Time limits have a purpose. One of their clear purposes is to ensure evidence does not go stale. Another is undoubtedly, to ensure defendants or respondents can know with some degree of certainty the extent of potential claims outstanding against them. Given these and other considerations, the Courts have developed an objective and balanced approach to when motions for extensions of time will be granted. Generally, the moving party must demonstrate: a) a continuing intention to pursue the application; b) that the application has some merit; c) that no prejudice arises from the delay; and d) that a reasonable explanation for the delay exists. The underlying principle is that justice, according to law, must be done: Grewal v. Canada (Minister of Employment and Immigration), [1985] 2 FC 263 (FCA), 63 N.R. 106; Patel v. Canada (MCI), 2011 FC 670, [2011] F.C.J. No. 860 at para.12; Semenduev v. Canada, [1997] F.C.J. No. 70, 68 A.C.W.S. (3d) 916; Canada (AG) v Hennelly, [1999] F.C.J. No. 846, 244 N.R. 399 (FCA); Canada (MHRD) v Hogervost, 2007 FCA 41, [2007] F.C.J. No. 37; and Kiflom v Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 205, 315 A.C.W.S. (3d) 138.

In Singh Justice Bell held that an extension of time should not be granted in situations where the delay was not the result of an unanticipated or unexpected event, and especially in situations where prejudice to the visa officer would exist. Prejudice can be demonstrated by a visa officer not being able to remember the specifics of a file.