How do I apply for judicial review?

1. Fill out your notice of application

You must file a Notice of Application to ask the Federal Court for permission to review a negative decision. This permission is called “leave”.

To access the Notice of Application form, go to the Federal Court website and open Form IR-1 – Application for Leave and for Judicial Review.

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

If the Refugee Board tells you verbally that 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 (RAD) or ask for a at Federal Court.

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

The respondent is the federal government department that represents the decision-maker you're asking the Court to review. The respondent will be:

  • the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration if the decision was made by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), Immigration Division (ID), Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), a (PRRA), or a Humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) application, or
  • the Minister of Public Security and Emergency Preparedness if you're asking for judicial review of a CBSA decision 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

Courthouse closures during COVID 19

On January 18, 2021, the Federal Court announced that all courthouses in Ontario are closed until further notice. All documents must be filed with the court electronically through the Federal Court's e-filing system. Go here for more information.

Take your completed Notice and 6 copies to a Federal Court Registry office in Toronto. Outside of Toronto, check with your local registry for the correct number of copies you will need.

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.

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