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Refugee Appeal Division

Overview of the Refuge Appeal Division

The Refugee Appeal Division 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d) If your refugee claim was withdrawn or abandoned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.

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 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.

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 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 matters, please contact us.

What do to next?

If you want to know if you are eligible to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division or 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 Law Group PC

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What Our Clients Say
Bellissimo Law has been the greatest help we could have asked for our journey. Our case needed an appeal which was very well organized, documented and presented to the authorities. We received a positive decision on the case all because of the expertise of Mr. Bellissimo and team. Keely and John are great at responding all smart and stupid questions and the team is very prompt to answer emails. They have the entire process streamlined, right from extension to evidences which makes our job easier. We got the quotes from some of the other law firms too who are all good and had lower charges. We chose Bellisimo because they are the best and in the long term a few extra bucks won't matter but the results will. Highly recommended.
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
Vaibhav Chaturvedi
16:51 06 May 19
Our immigration process was handled by Bellissimo Law Group. The first consultation with Mr Bellissimo was very insightful. Ms Keely Anderson was particularly very helpful. She guided us through the process. I will definitely recommend this law firm. They know what they are doing. Thanks once again for guiding us through the process.
Dare Sokoya
Dare Sokoya
19:27 28 Mar 19
I greatly recommend Bellissimo Law Group. After a long time waiting, I will finally be reunited with my son here in Canada. We are very grateful for all the great, very professional services that they have done for my case. My personal thanks to Kelly Anderson and her group. More power to all of you!
michele medalla
michele medalla
23:36 04 Mar 19
I wish I’d found Bellissimo Law 9 years ago before taking the advice of a so called Immigration Consultant who led our family to a very costly near disaster in our quest to immigrate to join our family in Canada. Years later, in desperation, at a Procedural Fairness Letter stage internet research seemed to suggest Bellissimo Law may be the company to deal with our problem. From the first consultation with Bellissimo Law their extremely thorough, very focused telephone interview personified professionalism and reassurance. All subsequent dealings with any member of the team were of the same high standard. It was clear to us that Mario Bellissimo leads from the front and that his staff not only respect him but that they are trained to match his standards and caring approach. I believe it is very important to mention that although they seem expensive, when our particular problem resolved more quickly and easily than anticipated they refunded the money which had not yet been used. Thanks particularly to Keely, our lead person, and to all at Bellissimo. I will always, highly recommend Bellissimo Law. Keep up the good work. In less than 6 months all our worries are over. We are now permanent residents.
Patricia Forsythe
Patricia Forsythe
23:33 22 Mar 19
Very professional and very informative on the phone. Good to see that it is not all about money and more about relationship building. Highly recommended. Thank you!
Atabak Amirabrahimi
Atabak Amirabrahimi
17:19 16 Apr 19
Great service and successfully guided us through the immigration and citizenship processes. Terrific attention to detail, and created a terrific case for our application, which was successfully approved. Attached is a picture with the judge. A wonderful day. So proud to be a Canadian!
Carlos Berber
Carlos Berber
15:45 26 May 19
Bellísimo law group made a dream a reality. They help me throughout the entire process of becoming a Canadian permanent resident. Great service. I will definitely use their services again in the future. Highly recommended
Jose Rendon
Jose Rendon
01:01 29 May 19
We had a fantastic experience with Bellissimo Law Group. From Mr. Bellissimo to the entire staff, in particular Viola Gniadek, were professional, diligent, knowledgeable and available at all times. We thank the entire group for a successful resolution for my friend Catherine. I would highly recommend the firm for any and all of your immigration needs. Thank you all for a job well done!
Liliana Pelech
Liliana Pelech
14:53 01 Jun 19
I sponsored my parents in 2007 and I was refused in 2013 based on medical inadmissibility of my mentally challenged brother. I found Late Mr. Rotenberg as my original lawyer who passed away during the process. I was very disappointed as I was counting on his expertise to help me with my situation. Mr. Bellissimo was God send for me to help me with my case. I am very thankful that he took on my case. His team member Ms. Tamara Thomas worked with me and advised me with regards to the documents that I needed to obtain, they did extensive research on eligibility criteria of various social and health systems. They worked with me on the interview preparation. The time spend working with them was very targeted and very specific to address the Minister's concerns. They ensured there was no further waste in time or any delays. The way they presented my case and helped me win it only a world class Law firm can do that as there were times I was going to lose my hopes. I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone who is going through similar situation as mine with both hands down. Mr. Bellissimo and the team (Ms. Tamara Thomas) you guys are amazing and thank you so much again for reuniting me with my family in my beautiful dream country Canada.
Irshad Khan
Irshad Khan
17:46 04 Jun 19
They’re very professional and the advice was given 100% accurate. The lawyer Justin Toh didn’t rush at all. He took the time to answer all our questions in details. I’m very happy with their service.
Shah Alam
Shah Alam
21:15 09 Jul 19