The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)
The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is the division of the IRB that hears appeals of refugee matters. In addition, the RAD gives most claimants a chance to prove that the RPD decision or law was wrong and gives a chance to submit new evidence that was not available at the time of the RPD process. In most cases, the RAD make decisions without a hearing, based on the documents provided by the parties involved and the RPD records.
In order to maintain an efficient appeal process, the RAD arrange informational sessions that help refugee appellants better understand refugee claim process. The sessions are offered in three main regional offices: in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
REFUGEE CLAIM APPEALS
When a refugee claim is rejected by the RPD, a person may appeal to the RAD asking to review the decision. The RAD will decide whether to confirm or change the RPD’s decision. In most cases, the appeal is paper-based and decisions are made within 90 days.
Not everyone is eligible to appeal to the RAD. Claimants cannot appeal to the RAD if:
- They are from a designated country of origin
- Are subject to an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement
- The IRB decided that their claim is manifestly unfounded
- The IRB decided that their claim has no credible basis
- Their claims were referred to the IRB before the new asylum system comes into force and re-hearings of those claims as a result of review by the Federal Court
- Their refugee claim was withdrawn or declared abandonees
- Individuals who arrive as part of a designated irregular arrival
- They have cases in which the RPD at the IRB has allowed the Minister’s application to vacate or cease their refugee protection
- They have the deemed rejection of a claim because of an order of surrender under the Extradition Act
- They have a decision on a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA)
Note: All failed claimants can still ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision.
Appealing to the RAD
There are two main steps in appealing to the RAD: filling the appeal and perfecting the appeal. Once appellant receives the written reasons for the decision from the Refugee Protection Division, she/he has 15 days to file a Notice of Appeal.
From the day when written reasons were received, the appellant must perfect his/her appeal by providing the records to the RAD (within 30 days). The RAD will make a decision on the appeal within 90 days.
If a person is eligible to apply for a PRRA, she or he will have 15 days to fill out the application form (7 additional days are given if the application form and a guide are received by mail). During this time the removal order will be suspended. Applicant will have a chance to support his/her application by submitting written evidence and explaining the risks that applicant will face if he or she leaves Canada.
Reviewing the case, the officer considers the following:
- Risk of persecution as defined in the Geneva Convention
- Danger of torture, and
- Risk to life or the risk that may be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment
After reviewing the application for a PRRA, the officer may accept or reject it:
- If application is accepted, a person will become “protected person”, and may apply for a permanent residency.
- If application is rejected, a person must leave Canada. However, rejected applicants may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a review of the PRRA officer’s decision.