1. Responding to a Minister’s Appeal

When the Minister appeals to the Refugee Appeal Division, the Minister is essentially having a positive refugee determination reviewed. The Minister must show that there were mistakes in the original refugee determination. These mistakes can be about the law, the facts, or both. The RAD will decide whether to confirm or change the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decision. It may also decide to send the case back to the Refugee Protection Decision for re-determination while giving the directions to the RPD that it considers appropriate.

If you were granted refugee protection by the RPD and the Minister is appealing that decision, you have the right to respond to the appeal and to file documents. If you decide not to respond, the RAD will decide the Minister's appeal on the basis of the Minister's documents and the RPD record.

In a Minister's appeal, the Minister is called "the appellant" and you are called "the respondent."

How will I know that the Minister is appealing?

The Minister can appeal the RPD decision to accept your refugee protection claim unless:

  • you are a designated foreign national;
  • you made your claim at a land border with the United States and the claim was referred to the RPD as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement; or
  • your claim was referred to the RPD before the relevant provisions of the new system came into force in December 2012.

When can the Minister appeal my case to the RAD?

You will know that the Minister is appealing when the Minister completes the steps below. Each step requires the Minister to send you a document within a specific time limit.

  1. Filing the appeal
    To file an appeal, the Minister must give you and the RAD a document called a notice of appeal. The time limit for this step is 15 days after the day on which the Minister received the written reasons for the RPD decision. Since the RPD sends its decision to you and the Minister at the same time, this means you should receive the notice of appeal within a couple of weeks of receiving the RPD decision.
  2. Perfecting the appeal
    To perfect the appeal, the Minister must give you and the RAD any supporting documents the Minister wants to use as evidence. The Minister may also give you and the RAD a document called an appellant's record. The time limit for this step is 30 days after the day on which the Minister received the written reasons for the RPD decision. Since the RPD sends its decision to you and the Minister at the same time, this means you should receive the supporting documents within a month of receiving the RPD decision.

    As soon as you receive a supporting document (any document other than the notice of appeal) from the Minister, the appeal has been perfected and your time limit to respond to the appeal begins.

Responding to a Minister's Appeal

If you choose to respond to the Minister's appeal of your refugee decision, you must:

  • submit a Notice of Intent to Respond
  • prepare your respondent's record
  • provide a copy of your notice of intent to respond and your respondent's record to the Minister and then to the RAD no later than 15 days after the day on which you receive a supporting document from the Minister;
  • give the RAD proof that you provided the notice of intent to respond and the respondent's record to the Minister;
  • make sure that all of the documents you provide are in the right format; and
  • provide your documents on time.

If you do not do all of these things, the RAD may not take your response to the Minister's appeal into consideration.

What language will be used in the Minister's appeal?

When the Minister files and perfects the appeal, the Minister will use the official language (English or French) that you chose to use in your RPD hearing. All of the documents you give to the RAD must be in either English or French. If your documents are in another language, you must have them translated into one of the official languages (English or French). You must provide the translations and a translator's declaration with your documents. The translator's declaration must include:

  • the translator's name;
  • the language the document was originally written in; and
  • a statement that the translation is accurate, signed by the translator.

Will there be a hearing?

In most cases, the RAD does not hold a hearing. The RAD usually makes its decision using the information in the documents that you and the Minister provide, as well as the information that was considered by the RPD decision-maker. If the Minister believes that there should be a hearing, the Minister will have to ask for one in the appellant's record and explain why a hearing should be held. If you believe that a hearing should be held, you should ask for one in the statement you provide as part of your respondent's record. The member may also decide that a hearing is needed in specific circumstances. If so, you and the Minister will receive notices to appear for a hearing.

The RAD generally makes its decision without a hearing, on the basis of the submissions and the evidence provided by you and the Minister. However, you or the Minister may also present new evidence that the RPD did not have when it made its decision. In certain circumstances, the RAD may order a hearing to consider this new evidence.

If the RAD decides to hold a hearing and you need an interpreter for the hearing, the RAD will provide one.