I have a refugee hearing and the Minister is taking part. What does this mean?

5. Learn what happens at an appeal hearing

If the Refugee Board refuses your refugee claim and you file an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), the Minister may intervene in your appeal.

If the Refugee Board accepts your refugee claim, the Minister who intervened may file an appeal of this decision to the RAD.

The Minister must file a Notice of Appeal within 15 days of getting the Notice of Decision and the written reasons from the Refugee Board. The Minister must also file an Application Record with their supporting documents and legal arguments within 30 days of getting the Notice of Decision.

Respond to the Minister’s evidence

To reply to the Minister's documents, you must send a Reply Record. This is due 15 days after you get the Minister's documents.

The Reply Record includes:

  • any additional documents that support your reply that you have not already included in your Appellant's Record, which should have the Refugee Board's decision, your legal arguments, and the you're relying on for the appeal
  • the law you're relying on that supports your reply
  • a memorandum that responds to the Minister's arguments and documents that refer to your evidence and the law

You can also include all or part of a transcript from your refugee hearing that supports your reply. But, it's not necessary to include a transcript. You can simply include a written statement that refers to the parts of the audio recording of your refugee hearing in your memorandum.

Send a copy of your Reply Record to the Minister and to the RAD with proof that a copy was sent to the Minister. The Reply Record must follow certain rules.

If you miss the deadline, you must include an application for an extension of time when you file your Reply Record. You must give reasons why you couldn't file it on time.

The appeal hearing

The RAD usually makes its decision in writing. Their decision is based on the documents that you and the Minister provide, and on the information from your Refugee Board hearing. The decision could be ready 90 days after the date that all your documents were filed. But sometimes it takes much longer.

Sometimes, the RAD will hold a hearing. If they decide to do this, you'll get a letter giving you the details. You might get a decision with reasons at the end of the hearing, or a written decision and reasons in the mail. If you get the decision and reasons at the hearing, the RAD must still send you a written decision in the mail.

The RAD can:

  • find a mistake in the Refugee Board's decision and send your refugee claim back to a different Refugee Board member for a new hearing,
  • disagree with the Refugee Board's decision and make its own decision, or
  • agree with the Refugee Board's decision that rejected your refugee claim.

Read more about how your appeal will be decided if the Minister intervenes.

If the Minister intervenes in your appeal or appeals the decision that gives you refugee status, it's very important to get legal help.

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