IRB (IAD) Updates and ePost issues

Several new notices have been issued, the central points of which are (1) that all IAD Appeal Notices are due on or before August 4, 2020; (2) that the IAD encourages communication by email; and (3) a reminder that Toronto and Montreal offices are now (sort of) open. Also, some news, which…could be worse, on ePost. Thank you to Marianne Lithwick for her communications on these issues.

IAD Practice Notice on Resumption

The IAD issued a practice notice, “Practice Notice on Resumption of Time Limits at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)“, on June 29, 2020. The practice notice states that the IAD is providing an extension beyond what was previously offered; i.e. the original IRB-wide extension was 30 days from the Resumption Notice of June 19, 2020 (so July 19, 2020), but the IAD is granting an additional ~2 weeks.

The notice explicitly states: “[W]here the time limits for filing a Notice of Appeal fall between March 16, 2020 and August 4, 2020 inclusively, it must be filed no later than August 4, 2020.

This does not effect disclosure deadlines, which are stated to remain, as always, no later than 20 days before the hearing, or no later than 10 days before an ADR conference.

IAD Practice Notice on Email (January)

In its practice notice on resumption, the IAD encourages the use of email, and refers to its January 31, 2020 “Practice notice: communicating by email at the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)“. The email addresses are not in the practice notice itself, nor on the contacts page nor any other central location, but are as follows:

Upon filing a Notice of Appeal with the IAD (which can be done by email at the above addresses) and consenting to receiving documents by email, two-way email communication will be possible. The practice notice indicates that the email address for Minister’s Counsel will be provided to appellants/counsel once this has begun (“All your emails must be addressed both to the IAD and the Minister’s Office. You can find these email addresses in the letter you received acknowledging your appeal”.)

Further instructions on formatting, etc, are contained in the practice notice.

State of ePost

Since June 22 or so, counsel have had read-only access to ePost. Despite indicating in its previous notices that people with existing ePost accounts could continue to use them (see e.g. RPD updates ePost Connect Practice Notice and The RAD is returning to business), it appears that re-registering, at least in part, will be required.

Counsel who have ePost Connect accounts with Canada Post, and were already using ePost – so, those who were locked out – do appear to need to sign up again (here). However, a new “conversation” may then be opened in the same ePost account.

If one wishes to begin receiving documents through ePost, a more complicated verification procedure must be followed, as set out in the “Instructions on how to sign-up to receive documents electronically from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada“.

The IRB has said it will update “stakeholders” on this process in the next few days.

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