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Refugee Appeal Division

Overview of the Refuge Appeal Division

The Refugee Appeal Division (also referred to as the “RAD”) is a tribunal branch of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The Refugee Appeal Division hears cases regarding refused refugee claims at the Refugee Protection Division. The Refugee Appeal Division allows the claimant or in some cases the Minister the opportunity to prove that the panel at the Refugee Protection Division erred in fact or law or both in making their decision. The appeal is largely paper based and does not generally entail an oral hearing, although the Refugee Appeal Division may call for a hearing if they believe one is required on specific grounds. While the claimant may request an oral hearing, the Refugee Appeal Division is not required to oblige. As noted, if the Refugee Protection Division grants refugee status to an individual, the Minister retains the right to file an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division if they believe the Refugee Protection Division erred in their decision.

Am I eligible to file an Appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division?

In order to file an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division, you must be found eligible. Reasons you are ineligible to make an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division include but are not limited to:

a) If your claim was found to be manifestly unfounded by the Immigration Refugee Board

b) If your claim was found to have no credible basis by the Immigration Refugee Board

c) If you fall under an exception of the Safe Third Country Agreement.

d) If your refugee claim was withdrawn or abandoned

e) If the Refugee Protection Division has allowed the Minister to cease or vacate your refugee status

f) If your refugee claim was rejected because of an order to surrender under the Extradition Act

g) If you made a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Application and have received a decision on that application.

h) If your claim was started before 15 December 2012

What happens after the Refugee Appeal Division considers my claim?

The Refugee Appeal Division has the power to refuse the appeal, allow the appeal and remit the matter back to the Refugee Protection Division to re-hear the matter or to allow the appeal and substitute their decision in the place of the Refugee Protection Division.  The steps before the Refugee Appeal Division are generally as follows:

i) The Refugee Protection Division refuses a refugee claim.

ii) The claimant (or the Minister if they wish to appeal a positive decision from the Refugee Protection Division) files an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division.

iii) If eligible for appeal, the claimant and, if applicable, the Minister submits written submissions and evidence, including any new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the Refugee Protection Division hearing, to the Refugee Appeal Division advocating for an alternate decision.

iv) If no oral hearing is required, the Refugee Appeal Division will review all the submissions and evidence and render a decision.

v) The appeal is refused and a removal order is issued.


vi) The appeal is allowed and remitted to the Refugee Protection Division.


vii) The appeal is allowed and the Refugee Appeal Division grants the application and the claimant receives protected persons status and then applies for permanent residence in Canada.

If you have been granted protected person and permanent residence status, it is important to note that the Government may make an application to revoke or cease your status as a refugee for any of number of reasons, including travelling back to the country of refuge, obtaining and using a passport from the country of refuge, re-establishing yourself in the country of refuge and/or the reasons for which the person sought refuge have ceased. Your refugee status may also be vacated if you have been found to have misrepresented when you made your claim. For more information on refugee cessation and refugee vacation matters, please contact us.

What do to next?

If you want to know if you are eligible to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division, want to file an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division or have already filed an appeal to the Refugee Appeal division, and would like assistance, we encourage you to contact Bellissimo Immigration Law Group PC

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