The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is extending the time limit for perfecting an appeal to 45 days following the receipt of the written reasons for decision of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD).
A. Background and purpose
The extended time limit responds to a number of circumstances:
- the frequent inability of appellants to perfect their appeals within 30 days following the receipt of written reasons for decision of the RPD;
- the concerns of appellants that more time is needed to prepare an appellant’s record;
- the difficulties experienced by parties in gathering and preparing documents and other evidence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The purpose of this practice notice is to ease the burden on appellants, registry staff and members by allowing more time to produce an appellant’s record and by reducing the number of formal applications for extensions of time that need to be prepared, filed, and adjudicated.
B. Perfecting an appeal
To perfect an appeal, the person who is the subject of the appeal must provide two copies (one copy if electronic) of the appellant’s record to the RAD.Footnote 1 If the Minister is the appellant, they must provide the RAD with any supporting documents and may provide an appellant’s record.Footnote 2 The RAD Rules explain what must be included in an appellant’s record.Footnote 3
C. Current time limit
The time limit to perfect an appeal is usually 30 days after the day on which the appellant receives written reasons for the decision of the RPD.Footnote 4
The time limit for perfecting an appeal is extended to 45 days after receipt of the written reasons for the decision of the RPD. The day on which appellants are deemed to have received the RPD reasons is seven calendar days after the day the RPD reasons for decision were mailed.
An appellant who requires an extension of the time limit to perfect their appeal beyond 45 days must make an application in accordance with the RAD Rules.Footnote 5 However, this Practice Notice removes the requirement to include the appellant’s record in the application.Footnote 6 An appellant’s record may be included in an application for an extension of time to perfect an appeal but is no longer required.
E. Changes to the application of RAD Rules
In order to expand the use of electronic communication with the RAD and promote physical distancing, this Practice Notice temporarily removes (waives) the requirement in the rules for signatures on documents and RAD forms submitted in support of an appeal. For example, the RAD will not require appellant’s records to be signed nor will it require a signed affidavit or statutory declaration to accompany an application under Rule 37.
F. Scope of extension
This extension does not apply to the time limit for filing a notice of appeal. A notice of appeal must usually be filed with the RAD not later than 15 days after receipt of the written reasons for the decision of the RPD.Footnote 7
G. Informal requests for an extension of time to perfect an appeal are no longer accepted
The RAD will no longer accept informal requests by phone, email, fax, or in person for an extension of time to perfect an appeal. This includes communications indicating an intention to file the appellant’s record after the expiry of the 45-day time limit for perfecting the appeal.
If the time limit cannot be met, an application requesting an extension of time must be submitted to the RAD before the expiry of the time limit or without delay.Footnote 8 If no application is received, the RAD may proceed to dismiss the appeal for failure to perfect the appeal.
Subsection 159.91(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that the RAD may extend the time for filing or perfecting an appeal by the number of days necessary for reasons of fairness and natural justice. In addition, section 165 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that the RAD may do whatever is necessary for a full and proper hearing. RAD Rule 53 allows the RAD to change a requirement of a rule.
I. Effective date
This Practice Notice comes into force on September 28, 2020 and remains in force until further notice. Consequently, as of September 28, 2020, the time limit for an appellant to perfect an appeal is extended to 45 days after the day on which the appellant receives the decision of the RPD. Appellants who received their RPD reasons prior to September 28, 2020 must comply with the 30-day time limit.
Signed September 16, 2020
Deputy Chairperson, RAD