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My refugee claim was denied. Can I appeal?

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My refugee claim was denied. Can I appeal?
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Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
Government of Canada

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My refugee claim was denied. Can I appeal?
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Reviewed: 
December 4, 2019
Answer

If the Refugee Board rejects your claim, you might be able to appeal that decision at the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD). If you're eligible to appeal, you must show that:

  • the Refugee Board made one or more mistakes in its decision, or
  • there is new evidence that would have made a difference in the outcome of your claim.

It is very important that you have a lawyer to represent you with your appeal. This question gives you information about what your lawyer should do. It is not recommended that you try to do this on your own.

Eligibility

You can't appeal to the RAD if:

  • The Refugee Board decided that your claim has "no credible basis" or is "manifestly unfounded." This means that there was not enough evidence to support your claim or the Board Member didn't believe your evidence.
  • You made your claim at a land Port of Entry coming from the United States and you qualify for an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA).
  • The Refugee Board decided that you abandoned your claim. This can happen if you didn't attend your refugee hearing or didn't submit your Basis of Claim form on time.
  • You withdrew your refugee claim.
  • The Refugee Board granted the Minister's application for a cessation order or vacation order of your refugee protection status.
  • Your claim was referred to the Refugee Board before December 15, 2012.
  • The Federal Court ordered a new hearing after a successful application for judicial review that was made before December 15, 2012.

If you're eligible to appeal and you follow the rules, you can't be removed from Canada until after the RAD makes a decision.

If you're not eligible to appeal, you can ask the Federal Court to review the decision. A judicial review is different than an appeal. First you have to apply for permission or “leave” to appeal. And, if you get leave, the court can only look at evidence that you've already submitted. The court usually won't consider new evidence.

Time limits

You must file a Notice of Appeal Form within 15 days of receiving your written negative decision from the Refugee Board.

And you must file your Appellant’s Record 30 days after you receive your written negative decision. Your Appellant’s Record includes the negative decision, your legal arguments, and the evidence you’re relying on for your appeal.

Get legal help

A lawyer can help you decide:

These processes are all very complicated and have strict timelines. It's important to try to get legal help.

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