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The Refugee Claim Process

The Refugee Claim Process

Flow chart showing the key stages of a claim.

Your Refugee Hearing

Your Refugee Hearing

Take an online tour of a refugee hearing room in Toronto and find information to help you prepare for a hearing.

Ready Tour

Ready Tour is a free program that helps you prepare for your refugee hearing or an appeal at the Refugee Appeal Division. Register now.

Who can appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division?

A claimant who has been refused by the Refugee Protection Division may have the right to an appeal. A claimant who appeals a decision is called an ‘appellant’.

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration may be able to appeal a decision finding a claimant to be a protected person. In an appeal by the Minister, the protected person is called the ‘respondent’.

Some claimants do not have a right of appeal. For example, claimants do not have the right to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division in the following situations:

  • The refugee claim was started before December 15, 2012.

    Note: The law gives a right of appeal to some claimants who started their claims between August 15 and December 24, 2012. The government has said that this is a mistake and they are working to change this. Refused claimants in this situation should get legal help.

  • The claim was withdrawn or abandoned.

  • In its decision, the Refugee Protection Division said that the claim had “no credible basis” or was “manifestly unfounded.”

  • The claimant came to Canada from a safe third country. At the moment, this applies only to claimants who entered Canada from the United States. It is not yet clear whether the rule applies to all claimants who travelled to Canada from the United States, or only to those who made their claims at the land border between the two countries.

  • The Refugee Protection Division has made a cessation order or a vacation order taking away protected person status.

When there is no right of appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division, it may be possible to challenge a decision by applying to the Federal Court for a judicial review. Claimants in this situation should get legal help.

Last updated: Aug 6, 2015


All taxonomy terms:

All taxonomy terms: Letters

All taxonomy terms: Forms

All taxonomy terms: Fees

All taxonomy terms: Timelines

All taxonomy terms: Inadmissibility

All taxonomy terms: Proof of identity

All taxonomy terms: Applying for OHIP

All taxonomy terms: Special hearings