I lost my refugee hearing and have to do a (Refugee Appeal Divison) RAD appeal – now what?
If you’ve received a negative decision on your refugee claim, don’t panic – there are lots of options ahead of you. And except in very uncommon circumstances, you cannot be removed from Canada while you file your refugee appeal division appeal.
In fact, you can continue to work, renew your work permit, receive assistance if required, and access Federal health care coverage. And, if done properly, you may have a great chance at succeeding at your appeal and being determined a refugee without another hearing.
The important thing is to make sure your appeal is handled correctly.
First, you must file a Notice letting the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division know that you will be appealing your case. You have 15 days from the day your received your refugee decision in order to file your Notice. Your lawyer should prepare the notice and file it for you.
Next, you should have your lawyer carefully review the negative decision and look for errors made by the decision maker. Errors are common but not every error will be enough to reverse the decision. It will help for your lawyer to review the recording of your hearing in order to identify errors and properly challenge the decision.
It is very important when doing and appeal, to see whether you can get new evidence to support your case. Once you have seen the negative decision, you will know some of the concerns that the decision-maker had. This will help you to determine what new evidence may assist you in winning your appeal. This evidence must be “new”.
That means that it only recently came into existence, it was in existence before your decision, but you didn’t know about it or you couldn’t retrieve it sooner. New evidence goes a long way to helping you win your appeal. Sometimes there has been new events or a change in circumstances and you will be able to get evidence that can assist you. This is key to being able to succeed.
You and your lawyer should discuss the new evidence to determine what would be helpful and what you may be able to provide. Don’t let someone tell you that they don’t need new evidence without providing a very good reason. Presenting new evidence is a lot more work for your lawyer, but it yields a far better chance of success.
Finally, never be afraid to ask to see your lawyer’s arguments. It’s always good to review the work so that you can offer your thoughts and so that you can understand what your lawyer is arguing for you. After all, it is your case and your life. Make sure you trust the person you hire to do the best work.