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

The IRB-RAD gives most refugee claimants the opportunity to have the negative decision made by the IRB-RPD reviewed. If you receive a negative IRB-RPD decision you will be told if you are eligible to appeal to the IRB-RAD. It is strongly recommended that you get a legal representative to assist you with the appeal process.

Ineligibility to appeal

Reasons you may not be eligible to appeal the IRB-RPD decision to the IRB-RAD include:

  • The IRB-RPD decided that your refugee claim is manifestly unfounded
  • The IRB-RPD decided that there was no credible or trustworthy evidence provided to allow them to make a positive decision in your case
  • You entered Canada under an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • You previously withdrew or abandoned your refugee claim
  • Your refugee protection was “ceased” or “vacated” by the IRB-RPD. 

If your refugee claim was denied at the IRB-RPD and you are not eligible to appeal to the IRB-RAD, you may ask the Federal Court to review your negative IRB-RPD decision. See Judicial Review.

File a notice of appeal

To start the appeal process, you must:

  • Provide three copies (or one only if submitted electronically) of your Notice of Appeal​ to the Registry of the IRB-RAD
  • Every person appealing with you must be listed on the Notice of Appeal or a Notice of Appeal for each person appealing the decision must be provided to the IRB-RAD
  • After the Notice of Appeal form is submitted, you will receive an Acknowledgement Letter which confirms the receipt of your appeal notice, outlines your IRB-RAD Registry Office and contact information, shows the date you must file your Appellant’s Record, and explains the procedure.

File your appellant’s record

The Appellant’s Record is where you provide your arguments against the IRB-RPD decision.

To file your appellant’s record, you must:

  • Complete an Appellant’s Record
  • Provide two copies (or one, if submitted electronically) ​of your Appellant’s Record to the IRB-RAD
  • Read and comply with the instructions about what documents and information must be included in your Appellant’s Record, found in the Appellant’s Guide
  • Submit the following documents, in this order:
    • All or part of the transcript of the IRB-RPD hearing, if you want to use it in support of your appeal. Note that you are not required to submit a transcript. However, if you want to use one in support of your appeal, you must arrange to have it produced from the recording that was provided to you with the IRB-RPD decision. You also need to provide a statement that the transcript is accurate, signed by the person who made it.
    • Any evidence the IRB-RPD refused to accept at your refugee hearing. You may submit documents in support of your appeal, that the IRB-RPD refused to accept as evidence during or after your refugee hearing. Do not submit any documents that were used as evidence during your refugee hearing, as they are already included in your file.
    • A written statement explaining:
      • Whether you are submitting new evidence that did not exist or was not available to you when your refugee protection claim was rejected
      • Whether you are asking for an oral hearing to be held at the IRB-RAD
      • If you are asking for an oral hearing, whether you are also asking to change the location of the hearing; and
      • If you need an interpreter, the language and dialect, if any, to be interpreted.
    • Any other documentary evidence that supports your appeal
    • Legal authorities. This means any law, case law or other legal authority that supports your appeal.
    • A memorandum (no longer than 30 single-sided pages) which is a document that gives as many details as possible about:
      • The specific mistakes made by the IRB-RPD that you want the IRB-RAD to review
      • Where to find these mistakes in the IRB-RPD reasons 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 submitting your Appellant’s Record

Submitting your IRB-RAD appeal

You must send your appeal documents to the IRB-RAD Registry office that is located in the same region as the IRB-RPD Registry office that provided the notice of decision to you.

The IRB-RAD decision

The IRB-RAD Member reviewing your appeal has three options when making a decision:

  • Confirm the RPD decision (your appeal is rejected)
  • Change the RPD decision (your appeal is allowed), or
  • Send your case back to the IRB-RPD for a new decision with instructions to the new IRB-RPD Member.

The IRB-RAD will send you a written Notice of Decision, which includes reasons for the decision. A copy of the decision is sent to IRCC and CBSA.

If your IRB-RAD appeal is approved

If the IRB-RAD disagrees with the negative IRB-RPD decision and replaces it with a positive decision, you will receive protected person status and can apply for permanent residence.

If your IRB-RAD appeal is rejected

If the IRB-RAD rejects your appeal, the conditional removal order you were given when you first made your refugee claim will become enforceable 15 days after you are notified of the IRB-RAD’s decision. CBSA can start the process to remove you from Canada if you do not leave within 30 days, and 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 file this application on time, your removal order will be stopped.

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

If you haven’t been removed from Canada within one year of the IRB-RAD’s decision or one year from your application to ask for judicial review of the IRB-RAD decision, you will be eligible for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment .