Appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)
You don’t have to agree with the decision of the refugee judge who refused your Canadian refugee claim. You can appeal their decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) under some circumstances.
At Rameh Law Firm, we understand your circumstances; and have the experience and expertise to help prepare a strong appeal and offer effective and spirited representation before the RAD and the Federal Court.
You have 15 days only from the day the judge decided to reject your refuge claim to file your appeal. It’s important to act fast so that your removal order from Canada can be suspended, a failure to which it’ll automatically become enforceable.
Upon getting in touch with us, we’ll contact the Refugee Board of Canada immediately to acquire your refugee hearing transcript. With the transcript of the hearing, we’ll be able to review any errors in the decision and frame your appeal grounds persuasively and effectively.
The Refugee Appeal Division
- Gives a refugee claimant an opportunity to demonstrate that the decision by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) was erroneous in law and fact or both
- Allows claimants to introduce new evidence and testimonies (under special circumstances) that may not have been possibly available during the RPD process
The appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division is largely paper-based. However, some special circumstances may call for oral hearings.
Not every person whose refugee claim is refused, however, can appeal. RAD may deem a refugee claimant ineligible to appeal if:
- Their home country is designated as “safe.” These countries include the US, most EU countries, and the rest of the world, where the rule of law is generally upheld.
- The claimant is a designated foreigner (for example, a person who irregularly arrived by boat)
- The claim in question was abandoned or withdrawn.
- The Refugee Protection Division has sufficiently established that the claim was manifestly unfounded or lacked credibility.
- They have a decision on PRRA (pre-removal risk assessment)
- The person appealing the Refugee Protection Division’s decision came to Canada through the United States.
- The Immigration and a Refugee Board of Canada have allowed IRCC’s application for vacation or cession order of the applicant’s refugee protection.
The RAD appeal procedure
If you are appealing RPD’s decision, you must file the appeal with the Refugee Appeal Division within 15 days of getting the negative decision. You need to file three copies of the Notice of Appeal. You have extra 15 days to submit documents and arguments for the appeal.
- Within 30 days of receiving RPD’s decision, you must:
- Complete the Appellant’s Record
- Furnish RAD with two copies of your completed Appellant’s Record
- Appellant’s Records contains evidence, transcripts, and decisions used at RPD’s hearing, memorandum, and relevant authorities.
- Generally, the Refugee Appeal Division does not allow the introduction of new pieces of evidence. However, you may do so if you can establish that the evidence wasn’t understandably available or did not exist at the time of making the Refugee claim
- You have half a month to reply if Immigration Minister makes submissions against your appeal.
- Immediately file a reply to the minister’s submissions (or after the expiry of 15 days without a reply from you), the RAD will decide your fate with regards to your appeal.
What to do if the Minister is opposing your appeal
If the Immigration Minister is opposing your appeal, RAD will send you a notice of intervention. You will also receive copies of the minister’s evidence.
RAD allows the minister to provide evidence or documents against your appeal at any time before the final decision on your case is made. You can reply to the minister’s opposition to your appeal, but it’s not a must to do so.
A Reply Record is necessary if you decide to reply to the minister’s documents. The record (whose pages must be consecutively numbered) should contain the documents listed below:
- RPD’s hearing transcripts (all or part of them)
- Any other documentary evidence that may be crucial to the case
- Legal authorities- any case laws, statutes, or other legal authorities that may serve to support your reply
- A memorandum-you can reply only to what is contained in the Minister’s intervention documents.
The RAD’s decision
RAD can make its own decision hence substituting the earlier decision made by RPD. There are also cases where the RAD sends the case back to RPD for a fresh hearing.
If RAD finds that the RPD’s decision had no errors in fact or law, it will reject your appeal. Other than in rare scenarios where RAD may call you for a hearing, expect to receive RAD’s decision within three months of submitting your appeal.
However, you are free to apply for a Judicial Review by appealing the RAD’s decision to the Canadian Federal Court.
Ordinarily, it will need only one member to decide on a RAD appeal. In some cases, the chairperson of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada may issue orders directing that an appeal be heard by a three-member judge panel. A three-member panel’s decision is often binding on both a one-member panel and RAD.