Refugee Appeal Process
The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is empowered to determine the refugee claims of those foreign nationals who claim refugee status from within Canada. If the RPD rejects a claim, an appeal may be made to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) where a decision will be made whether to allow or deny the appeal. This is a paper appeal and most cases are decided without a hearing.
Presenting an appeal to the RAD
Appellants need to present the right documentation to the RAD in order to enhance the chances of a successful appeal process. To help refugee appellants understand the process of appealing the RPD’s decision, IRCC has provided information sessions in three of their regional offices. Refugee appellants can attend the information sessions to understand how to maintain an efficient appeal process.
You cannot appeal to the RAD if:
- You are a designated foreign national (DFN)
- Your claim is considered to have no credible basis by the RPD
- Your claim is manifestly unfounded according to the RPD
- Your claim was either withdrawn or denied because it was abandoned
- Your claim was referred to the IRB before the new refugee protection provisions were put in place
Responding to the Minister’s appeal
There are cases where a claimant is granted refugee protection by the RPD but the Minister of Immigration seeks to appeal that decision. You have a right to respond to such an appeal. Failure to respond will lead to a decision being made by the RAD based on the Minister’s documents as well as the RPD record. It is important to respond and make sure that the RAD will review your response.
Follow these simple steps to respond to the Minister’s appeal:
- Submit a “Notice of Intent to Respond”
- Prepare your respondent’s record
- Provide the two documents above (The notice of intent to respond and respondent’s record) to the Minister and RAD. These items should be submitted not more than 15 days after receiving the Minister’s appeal letter.
- RAD will require evidence of having provided the notice to respond and respondent’s record to the Minister.
- Any documents that you will be forwarding to any of the respective parties should be in the right format
- Make sure all documents are submitted on time
Failure to follow the RAD’s guidelines, your response to the Minister’s appeal will not be considered.
How to win your appeal
To win any kind of immigration appeal, you need to show that the decision made by the Refugee Protection Division is wrong in law or in fact. Providing adequate documentary evidence is critical in helping you to win your appeal. Always provide copies to the Minister’s counsel as well as the RAD. All documents must be received at the stipulated dates. Understand your rights during the appeal process and have proper legal counsel by your side to provide the best advice.