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Refugee Appeals 

The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is responsible for all appeals from the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Appeals to the RAD may be made where it is believed that the RPD’s decision contains an error on a question of law, fact, or both. Some people are unable to appeal their decision to the RAD in circumstances where:

  • They have been deemed a designated foreign national;

  • Their refugee protection claim was withdrawn or abandoned;

  • Their RPD decision notes the claim has no credible basis or is manifestly unfounded;

  • They made a claim which was referred as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement;

  • The Minister made an application to cease (end) or vacate (cancel) a person’s refugee protection, and the RPD's decision allowed or rejected that application;

  • The claim was referred to the RPD before December 2012;

  • The claim was deemed to be rejected under Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention because of an order of surrender under the Extradition Act.


The appellant is required to file a Notice of Appeal to RAD within 15 days of receiving the RPD's written reason, although an extension may be requested where fairness permits. Furthermore, the appeal must also be perfected no later than 45 days after receipt of same. The appeal is based on written submissions, and an oral hearing is generally not held. On appeal, the RAD may allow the appellant to submit new evidence in defined circumstances, such as, where the evidence arose after the claim was rejected; was not reasonably available; or could not have reasonably be expected to be presented at the time of the hearing. If new evidence is being submitted, a hearing may be held where there are credibility concerns central to the RPD’s decision that would reasonably influence the outcome the claim. Strong reasoning and compelling legal arguments are recommended to underpin an argument supporting one’s assertion of error on the part of the RPD. 

Once all submissions have been assessed, the RAD may confirm the decision, set aside the determination and substitute one of its own, or send the decision back for redetermination to the RPD with directions. If the RAD substitutes its decision allowing the appeal, the appellant will be granted protected person status and generally, may apply for permanent residence. 


Removal of Protection

Where a person has been granted protected person status, the Minister may apply for said protection to be removed through two processes: Cessation and Vacation.

Cessation generally occurs when a protected person has voluntarily reavailed themself of the protection of their country of nationality or acquired a new nationality, and enjoys the protection of that country. Protection may also be ceased where the reasons for which the refugee claim was sought have ceased; a person may be permitted to keep their permanent resident status where this is the case. If the application is allowed, the person's claim will be deemed rejected. The Minister may also bring an application for a vacation. This occurs where the Minister believes that the decision was obtained as a result of directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter. If the application if allowed, like cessation, the claim will be deemed rejected and the decision confirming refugee protection will be nullified.



Need Help?  Contact us for more information about appealing a refugee claim rejection to the RAD.

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