The pursuit of refuge is a fundamental human right, and Canada, recognizing its commitment to humanitarian principles, has established a robust system to provide protection for individuals facing persecution or danger in their home countries. The refugee claim process involves a thorough examination of the claimant's case to determine if they meet the criteria outlined in the Geneva Convention Refugee definition. This definition encompasses individuals with a well-founded fear of persecution based on factors such as race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

The process

The journey towards obtaining refugee status in Canada begins with the submission of a claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The claim undergoes meticulous scrutiny, with adjudicators evaluating it against the Geneva Convention Refugee definition. Despite the thoroughness of this process, cases may face rejection for various reasons.

The Refugee Appeals Division (RAD)

When a refugee claim receives an unfavorable decision at the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), applicants have the recourse of appealing to the Refugee Appeals Division (RAD). Serving as an administrative tribunal, the RAD re-evaluates decisions to ensure fairness and accuracy in the asylum process. The appeal process provides a critical opportunity for claimants to present new evidence or address errors that may have occurred during the initial assessment.

Eligibility to Appeal

You are ineligible to challenge the rejection of your refugee protection claim by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) if:

  1. You hold the status of a designated foreign national.
  2. You voluntarily withdrew or abandoned your refugee protection claim.
  3. The RPD decision explicitly states that your claim lacks a credible basis or is manifestly unfounded.
  4. Your claim was initiated at a land border with the United States and was referred to the RPD as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement.
  5. The Minister submitted an application to terminate your refugee protection, and the RPD decision either approved or dismissed that application.
  6. The Minister submitted an application to annul the decision granting your refugee protection, and the RPD decision either approved or dismissed that application.
  7. Your claim was referred to the RPD prior to the relevant provisions of the new system took effect in December 2012.
  8. Your refugee protection claim was deemed rejected under Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention due to an order of surrender pursuant to the Extradition Act.


Submitting your appeal:

You are required to submit your notice of appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) within 15 days of receiving the written justifications for the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decision. Ensure you furnish three hard copies (or a single electronic copy if submitted digitally) of your notice of appeal to the RAD Registry located in the regional office that issued your RPD decision.

Finalizing your appeal:

To complete your appeal process, it is essential to provide your appellant’s record to the RAD no later than 45 days after obtaining the written reasons for the RPD decision. Submit two hard copies (or a single electronic copy if submitted digitally) of your appellant’s record to the RAD Registry in the regional office responsible for your RPD decision.


The RAD may confirm or set aside the PRD’s decision, may replace it with a different decision or may remand it back to the RPD for a new hearing.


Legal representation plays a central role in navigating the complexities of refugee appeals. Individuals facing rejection benefit immensely from the guidance of experienced immigration lawyers specializing in refugee law. These legal professionals assist applicants in understanding the grounds for rejection, strategizing an effective appeal, and presenting a convincing case before the RAD. Moreover, they can aid in gathering additional evidence to substantiate the refugee claim and ensure compliance with procedural requirements.


Refugee law is dynamic and subject to frequent updates. Lawyers specializing in this field possess the expertise to stay abreast of legislative changes, ensuring that appeals align with the most current legal standards. Their knowledge enhances the chances of a successful outcome for claimants navigating the intricate landscape of refugee appeals in Canada.


In conclusion, the pursuit of refugee status in Canada involves a rigorous process, and the Refugee Appeals Division (RAD) serves as a crucial avenue for redress in case of unfavorable decisions by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Eligibility criteria for appeal are precise, and understanding these is vital for those seeking refuge. The appeal process demands meticulous adherence to timelines and documentation requirements, underscoring the significance of legal representation. Navigating this intricate landscape requires not only an understanding of the legal intricacies but also a commitment to staying current with the dynamic refugee law landscape. Legal professionals specializing in refugee law play a pivotal role in guiding applicants, strategizing effective appeals, and ensuring compliance with procedural intricacies. Their expertise becomes indispensable in presenting a compelling case before the RAD and adapting to the evolving landscape of refugee law. In the pursuit of refuge, legal representation emerges as a key ally, enhancing the chances of success for individuals navigating the complexities of the refugee appeals process in Canada.

Kozyrev Law is your dedicated partner in navigating refugee appeals, offering comprehensive guidance and expert advocacy to individuals facing rejection. Our seasoned immigration lawyers specialize in refugee law, ensuring a clear understanding of rejection grounds, strategizing effective appeals, and presenting compelling cases before the RAD. Trust us for evidence compilation, meticulous adherence to legal standards, and unwavering support throughout the complex appeals process. Choose Kozyrev Law for a steadfast ally committed to maximizing the chances of a favorable outcome in your pursuit of refuge.

Note: The information presented in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is recommended to refer to official government publications and guidelines for accurate and up-to-date information. For obtaining legal advice tailored to the specific circumstances of your case, it is advised to consult with a qualified professional.

Request A Free Consultation
Take the first step towards a brighter future for your family - talk to our family lawyer in North York now.

    Disclaimer: Any information on this website does not constitute legal advice

    What Are Clients Saying?

    Valeriy Kozyrev was a true beacon of hope in what my family believed was an outright impossible situation. His professional and knowledgeable presence in the end was all that was needed for us to finally get the new beginning we had been hoping for. My family is eternally grateful for his service and support!
    Ivy Sabeghi
    Mr Kozyrev was fantastic in presenting our immigration appeal. He is very knowledgeable and super easy to work with. Thank you so very much.
    Karin Sousa
    Best recommendation. Professional services.
    Alexander Leontiev
    Shirin dokht


    With effect from March 1, 2021, the word ‘custody’ has been replaced by concepts which are more centered with the relation with the children, such as decision making responsibility, parenting time and contact. Let’s dive into this topic today from a family lawyer perspective. Decision making responsibility When two partners separate, a question of care […]
    September 11, 2023
    5 months
    First of all, let’s determine the general term. For the purpose of child support, a child is someone who: Any person who is qualified under these requirements, is a ‘child’ entitled to child support from his/her parents. This is the situation in which you might need to ask for the help of a family lawyer.  […]
    September 5, 2023
    6 months
    Who is a spouse according to Ontario common law? Spousal support is payable to, but not limited to, a spouse. As stated, spousal support is not contingent merely upon a matrimonial bond. Other cases in which a person can claim spousal support are, either when the parties cohabited with each other for more than 3 […]
    August 27, 2023
    6 months