In late 2012, a new Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board was created for refugee appeals. It is called the Refugee Appeal Division or RAD. However, not every failed refugee claimant can appeal to the RAD.
The main categories of persons who cannot appeal to the RAD are
- persons whose claims were referred to the Refugee Protection Division before the creation of the RAD
- persons whose claims have been found by the RPD not to have a "credible basis"
- persons who came to Canada from the United States
- persons from countries that the Minister has designated as safe. (Note: In July 2015 the Federal Court struck down this provision and the government is appealing it to the Federal Court of Appeal. So people in this category currently can appeal to the RAD.)
The exception that applies to people who came from the U.S. is not at all clear. The wording of this provision appears to deprive any claimant who arrived from the U.S. of an appeal to the RAD. However, apparently the government only intended this provision to apply to claimants who claimed at the border. In other words, claimants who entered Canada from the U.S. and claimed at an Immigration office inland can appeal to the RAD, including those who entered Canada illegally. This doesn't make any sense and is very unfair to people who followed the rules by claiming at the border. (Only claimants who have a relative in Canada can claim at the border.)
These complicated appeal rules make it essential that a failed claimant consult with experienced counsel.