Immigration Appeal Board Act (Canada) (1967)


Following a broad government reorganization of the immigration bureaucracy in Canada, the Immigration Appeal Board Act was passed, creating the Immigration Appeal Board. It provided the first independent review process of all official decisions regarding deportation and family-sponsored application denials, guaranteeing immigrants due process protections.
Following the Liberal Party’s return to power in 1963, a full review of immigration procedures was undertaken, leading to a massive reorganization of governmental agencies and policies, including the Government Organization Act (1966), the immigration regulations of 1967, and the Immigration and Appeal Board Act. After another Liberal-sponsored study, in 1966, the Department of Manpower and Immigration issued a white paper recommending greater emphasis on economic need and less on family sponsorship. With the combination of greater selectivity, the right to apply for landed immigrant status while in the country, and guaranteed review of deportation cases, the backlog of cases before the board grew dramatically. By 1973, Minister of Manpower and Immigration Robert Andras reported that “many persons who appealed a deportation order could count on a 20- year stay in Canada while awaiting the outcome.” In order to solve the problem, an amendment to the act was passed in 1973, abolishing the automatic right of appeal while providing amnesty for those who registered within 60 days. The revisions were supported across the political spectrum and led to 39,000 immigrants from more than 150 countries being granted landed immigrant status.

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