Responding to Procedural Fairness Letters

10th Feb 2011 Comments Off on Responding to Procedural Fairness Letters

Last updated on August 23rd, 2021

Where an applicant submits a complete application, but an immigration officer nonetheless has concerns regarding the merits of it, the immigration officer will often provide a fairness letter to the applicant.  This requirement has arisen from Federal Court of Canada jurisprudence which provides that the duty of procedural fairness can require that an applicant be given an opportunity to respond to a decision maker’s concerns when those concerns go beyond simply whether the legislation or related requirements are met on the face of the application.  When, for example, the applicant may be unaware of the existence or the basis of the concern, procedural fairness may require prior notice of the concern before a decision is made so that the applicant has an opportunity to try to disabuse the officer of the concern.  As the Court noted in Kaur v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 809, this is the case for both temporary and permanent residency applications.

In Asanova v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2020 FC 1173, the Court stated:

Even so, at a minimum procedural fairness requires that an applicant for a visa have an opportunity to participate meaningfully in the application process. Consequently, the duty of procedural fairness can require that an applicant be given an opportunity to respond to a decision maker’s concerns before a decision is made when those concerns go beyond simply whether the legislative or related requirements are met on the face of the application (Hassani v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2006 FC 1283 at para 24). When, for example, an applicant for a visa may be unaware of the existence or the basis of the concern,

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