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Refugee Appeals

Refugee Appeals

Our practitioners at Cougar have the knowledge and the experience to prepare your refugee appeal and to provide effective and vigorous representation before the Refugee Appeal Division and the Federal Court.

You have 15 days from the date you receive the decision refusing your refuge claim to initiate the appeal process so that your removal order can be automatically stopped. Failing to file the appeal in time allows your removal order to become enforceable.

Upon hiring Cougar, we will immediately contact the Refugee Board to obtain a transcript of your refugee hearing. Having a transcript of the hearing will allow our lawyers to review the mistakes that the Board Member has made and formulate your grounds of appeal effectively and persuasively.

The Refugee Appeal Division

The Refugee Appeal Division (‘RAD’) gives most claimants a chance to prove that the Refugee Protection Division decision was wrong in fact or law or both. It also permits claimants to introduce new evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the Refugee Protection Division process.

The appeal is paper-based, but oral hearings are permitted in some cases. Decisions on most appeals are expected within 90 days unless an oral hearing is required.  However, over the past year, these timelines have been extended to over one year. Failed claimants before the RAD can still ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision.

Refugee determination involves a complex process of applying a legal definition to facts about country situations that can be interpreted in different ways. Decision-makers do not necessarily come up with the same answer, which can result in serious inconsistencies. 

Cougar immigration and refugee practitioners have the necessary experience to identify these inconsistencies on your refugee appeal based on a review of the relevant case law and legislation.

Please note, however, that not all claimants can appeal the decision rejecting their claim for protection to the RAD. Claimants who are barred from pursuing an appeal before the RAD may instead seek a judicial review before the Federal Court.

To determine whether you can appeal your negative refugee decision or to obtain more information on pursuing an appeal before the Refugee Appeal Division, please contact Cougar to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled immigration and refugee lawyers.

Refugee Claims

If you or someone you know is in Canada and is afraid to return to their country of nationality or former habitual residence, you are familiar with the anxiety caused by the knowledge that you may not be able to remain safely in Canada forever. Fortunately, if you are already in Canada, you may have the ability to claim Refugee protection here and have your claim adjudicated by a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent tribunal. A claim for refugee protection will be determined following a formal, quasi-judicial proceeding at which all of the evidence that you have to support the reasons why you can’t go back to your home country will be considered. You’ll have the right to be represented by counsel as well as the right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf.

At the conclusion of your refugee hearing, if it is satisfied that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your country of nationality or former habitual residence on the basis of your race, religion, membership in a particular social group or your political opinion, you will be granted this protected status in Canada. This means that you may not be asked to leave Canada and return to the country in which you fear persecution, except in very limited circumstances. This protection from the return of “refoulment” is invaluable, as it will grant you the legal right to apply for permanent residence status from within Canada and eventually become a Canadian Citizen.

In the event that your refugee claim is denied, you may have a right to appeal that refusal to the Refugee Appeal Division or to seek leave for judicial review against that refusal in the Federal Court of Canada.

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