Appeal to the Immigration and Refugee Board – Refugee Appeal Division (IRB-RAD)

Most refugee claimants can appeal (ask for a review) to the IRB-RAD if the IRB-RPD rejects their claim. The IRB-RAD will tell you if you can appeal. Get a legal representative to help you.

Why you may not be allowed to appeal

You may not be able to appeal to the IRB-RAD if:

  • The IRB-RPD said you did not:
    • show them good reasons to need protection
    • give them evidence they could believe was true
  • You entered Canada as part of the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • You withdrew or abandoned a refugee claim earlier
  • IRB-RPD took away your refugee protection after giving it to you

If you are not allowed to appeal to the IRB-RAD, you may ask the Federal Court to review your claim. Ask a lawyer to look at options, including a “constitutional challenge.” See Judicial Review.

Do your notice of appeal

To start the appeal process, you must:

  • Fill in a Notice of Appeal form.
  • List everyone who is appealing or do a separate notice for each person.
  • Mail three copies of your notice of appeal​ to the registry of the IRB-RAD (or send one copy by email).
  • After you send in the Notice of Appeal form, you will get an Acknowledgement Letter. It has your IRB-RAD registry office and contact information, the date you must file your Appellant’s Record, and explains what will happen next.

Do your appellant’s record

The appellant’s record is where you explain why you do not agree with the IRB-RPD decision.

For your appellant’s record, you must:

  • Fill in an Appellant’s Record form.
  • Follow the instructions in the Appellant’s Guide about what documents and information must be included in your Appellant’s Record.
  • Send the following documents, in this order:
    • All or part of the record of the IRB-RPD hearing. If you choose to do this, you must ask to have a written transcript of the recording that you got with the IRB-RPD decision. You also need to send a statement that the transcript is accurate, signed by the person who made it.
    • Any evidence the IRB-RPD did not allow during or after your refugee hearing. Do not send any documents that you did use as evidence. They are already in your file.
    • A written statement explaining:
      • Whether the evidence you are sending is new evidence that did not exist or was not available to you when your claim was rejected,
      • Whether you are asking for a hearing to be held at the IRB-RAD and if you want to change the location of the hearing, and
      • If you need an interpreter, and the language and dialect.
    • Any other documents that support your appeal.
    • Any law, case law, or other legal document that supports your appeal.
    • A memorandum document (no longer than 30 single-sided pages) that describes:
      • The mistakes made by the IRB-RPD that you want the IRB-RAD to review
      • Where to find these mistakes in the IRB-RPD document or in the recording or transcript of the hearing
      • What decision you want the IRB-RAD to make
  • Review the IRB-RAD Appeal Checklist before sending in your appellant’s record.
  • Mail two copies (or one copy by email) of your appellant’s record to the IRB-RAD.

Send in your IRB-RAD appeal

You must send your appeal documents to the IRB-RAD Registry office in the same region as the IRB-RPD Registry office that sent you the decision about your claim.

IRB-RAD decision

The IRB-RAD Member reviewing your claim can:

  • reject your appeal,
  • decide to give you refugee protection, or
  • send your claim back to a different Member at the IRB-RPD for a new decision.

The IRB-RAD will send you their decision and their reasons. They also send a copy of the decision to IRCC and CBSA.

If your IRB-RAD appeal is approved

If the IRB-RAD decides to approve your appeal, you are a protected person and can apply for permanent residence.

If your IRB-RAD appeal is rejected

If the IRB-RAD rejects your appeal, after 15 days you can no longer legally stay in Canada. CBSA can remove you from Canada if you do not leave within 30 days. You will need an authorization to return to Canada.

You may apply to the Federal Court for a judicial review of the IRB-RAD’s decision. If you do this on time, you do not have to leave Canada.

You might be able to apply to stay in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

You can make a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment if CBSA has not removed you from Canada:

  • within one year of the IRB-RAD’s decision, or
  • within one year after you applied for judicial review.