I am pleased to announce that as of July 9, 2018, nearly all Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) hearing rooms will be equipped with videoconferencing technology for the purposes of remote testimony. Videoconferencing is a more economical option for appellants over long-distance calling and has shown to allow for a more fulsome experience for the hearing participants.
As you may recall, in March 2017, the IAD launched a six-month Remote Testimony by Videoconference Pilot in its Central regional office to provide counsel the opportunity to use videoconferencing services (such as Skype) for participants who will testify remotely at a hearing.
In the fall of 2017, the pilot was extended in Central Region as well as expanded to both the Eastern and Western regions. Since that time, the IAD has been working towards videoconferencing becoming the default option for remote testimony as both the counsel community and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are in favour of this method of obtaining evidence.
Videoconferencing will now be the IAD's preferred method of contacting remote witnesses. Several applications will be available including Skype, Webex, Vidyo, ooVoo and Google Hangouts. Where videoconferencing is not available, testimony by telephone will be used and the IAD will directly call the witness without the need of calling cards.
To use videoconferencing, both the remote witness and the appellant or counsel are required to use their own accounts to the selected videoconference service and the IAD will provide the video equipment in the hearing room. If the appellant is overseas, the IAD will then use its own account from the hearing room to connect with the appellant.
Appellants or their counsel are encouraged to request the service in writing to the
IAD office in their region. For newly scheduled hearings, a
Confirmation of Hearing Needs form will be sent together with the notice to appear that can be used to indicate the needs of any remote participant.
For more information, please consult the
Questions and Answers page or contact your regional IAD office.
Immigration Appeal Division