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Appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division

By Joel Sandaluk / Partner, Immigration Lawyer

Has your claim for refugee protection been rejected by the Refugee Protection Division [RPD] of the Immigration and Refugee Board?  If your refugee claim was unsuccessful, you may have the right to appeal that rejection to the Refugee Appeal Division [RAD]. Because strict deadlines apply to cases being appealed, it is imperative that you act quickly.

The RAD is a separate division of the Immigration and Refugee Board which is responsible for reviewing decisions to reject claims for refugee protection. Appeals are typically reviewed in writing only and it is very rare for the RAD to conduct an oral hearing.

Also, the RAD is subject to extremely strict deadlines. If you miss a deadline, you may miss out on your opportunity to appeal the refusal of your claim.  However, if your appeal is successful, the RAD may return the matter to the RPD for redetermination according to its instructions or substitute the RPD’s decision for its own and grant your claim for protection.

Frequently Asked Questions about RAD appeals
1. How do I know if I have a right of appeal to the RAD?
Although there are some limitations, many individuals who have had hearings before the RPD have the right to appeal their case to the RAD. Certain notable exceptions to this principle however are: individuals who have entered Canada at the US border and benefited from an exemption to the Safe Third Country Agreement, people whose claims have been found to be manifestly unfounded, people who have been excluded from refugee protection.

2. How much time do I have to file an appeal to the RAD?
There is a strict deadline, which runs 15 days from the day that you received the decision rejecting your refugee claim. If you miss this deadline, you may be unable to have your appeal heard at the RAD.

3. What kind of evidence can the RAD consider?
The RAD may only consider ‘new’ evidence that was not before the RPD because it was not previously available. Although the RAD does review RPD decisions, it will not simply re-examine the same evidence that was before the RPD. Similarly, when new evidence is submitted, it must be explained why this evidence was not before the tribunal at the time of the hearing of the refugee claim itself.

4. What else can the RAD consider?
The RAD is also able to consider whether the RPD committed errors of law in rendering its decision. This may mean that it rendered a decision that was unreasonable or illogical, or that they misapplied the relevant law on refugee determination.

Can Mamann Sandaluk LLP help me with my RAD appeal?
The litigation group at Mamann Sandaluk LLPl is very experienced at representing clients before the RAD. Being very experienced before the RAD as well as Federal Court, our lawyers have an intimate knowledge of the law of refugee protection in Canada. We also have a great track record for success in representing appellants at the RAD itself.

If your claim for refugee protection has been recently rejected, please call the lawyers at Mamann Sandaluk LLP without delay and schedule an immediate and thorough consultation in order to review the reasons for your refusal and determine whether the prospects of success on your appeal with that decision.

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