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How to appeal a refused immigration decision

Sometimes when you apply to become a permanent resident of Canada by applying through one of the immigration classes, or if you have applied to become a refugee, Citizenship and Immigration Canada or the Immigration and Refugee Board will refuse you.

Just because you have been refused for permanent residency or refugee status, doesn’t mean that is the end of the road for you.

If your immigration application has been refused

If there is new or additional information that would be relevant and could change the mind of CIC, then you can send a new application.

If you were refused under the business or skilled worker immigration class, (and you cannot reapply because you have no new or additional information to add to an application), you would have to get a lawyer to file a judicial review with the Federal Court of Canada. This isn’t really an appeal but it is a venue open to you.

There are limited grounds on which you can appeal to the federal court if your immigration application was rejected. You need to consult with a lawyer before making the decision to file a judicial review with the federal court.

If you applied for family sponsorship, then you can file an appeal with the Immigration Appeal Division of Canada (IAD).

If you have been denied refugee status in Canada

If the Immigration and Refugee board has denied your claim for refugee status, you could file an appeal with either the Refugee Appeal Division or the Federal Court of Canada.

Refugee Appeal Division

If you have a failed refugee claim, then you can usually appeal to the RAD. There are very strict time guidelines by which you have to abide when filing the appeal. You will have very little time to appeal.

The RAD will usually review your failed refugee claim for errors in the decision or if there is new evidence, which was not available at the time.

Federal Court of Canada

You can apply to the federal court if you feel an error was made in the decision or that the decision was not fair or reasonable. You simply are asking for “leave” to bring your case in front of the court.

If the court agrees to give you leave, that means they will hear your case and will judicially review the failed refugee decision by the IRB. That means you and your lawyer will have to prepare submissions and attend court to argue why the original decision was wrong.

Immigration Appeal Division

If you are a foreign national, who may or may not be stateless, or a protected person you could appeal to the IAD if you have been issued a removal order. If you are a foreign national you usually have to have a permanent resident visa in order to be able to appeal here.

However, you cannot appeal anything but a removal order at the IAD, not a failed refugee claim. Furthermore you have limited rights for appeal at the IAD.

Pre-removal risk assessment

If you have been ordered removed from Canada, this is may be one last venue to stay. However, there are eligibility requirements and your eligibility is determined by an officer.

If you are eligible, you will be given an application form and guide. You will only have fifteen days to apply. If your PRRA is rejected, you can apply for a judicial review with the federal court.

Appeals and judicial reviews are extremely complicated legal and administrative matters and you will need to contact a lawyer for help. In fact, you cannot file a judicial review without a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be eligible for legal aid in the province or territory in which you are applying.

Read more:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Immigration Appeal Division