How do I apply for judicial review?

1. Fill out your notice of application

You must file a Notice of Application for leave and for Judicial Review if you want to ask the Federal Court for permission to review a negative decision. This permission is called “leave to appeal”.

You must file your Notice within 15 days of receiving the negative decision with written reasons.

If you get a verbal decision from the Refugee Board that says your refugee claim is refused, wait until you receive the written reasons before you file your Notice. You have to decide whether you want to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division or ask for a at Federal Court.

If you receive a letter that says your H&C or PRRA application has been rejected, but it doesn’t include reasons, apply to the Federal Court for leave within 15 days of receiving the decision. Say in your application that you have not received the written reasons. The Federal Court will ask the decision maker to send the reasons.

Here is an example of a completed Notice of Application for leave and judicial review.

The respondent is the agency that represents the Department of Justice and defends the decision you’re asking the Court to review. The respondent will be:

  • the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration if you’re asking for judicial review of a decision made by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), a (PRRA), or an Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application, or
  • the Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness if you’re asking for judicial review of a decision made by CBSA to refuse your request to defer your removal from Canada.

Time limits

You can ask the Federal Court for more time to file the Notice. To decide if you should have more time, the Court will look at:

  • whether you asked for the decision to be reconsidered or you tried to challenge the decision in other ways,
  • the strength of your case,
  • the length of the delay,
  • the reason for the delay, and
  • whether an extension of time would be fair.

File your Notice

Take your completed Notice and 6 copies to a Federal Court Registry office.   

You must pay a $50 fee to file your Notice. You can pay by credit card, debit, or cheque made out to the “Receiver General for Canada”. You can also file the Notice and fee online, but you still have to get a paper copy from the Federal Court to give to the respondent.

You will have 30 days to give the respondent a copy of your Notice and your Application Record. This is called “serving the respondent”. You must serve the respondent so that they know about the case and can respond. There are rules that you must follow when you’re serving documents.  

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