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Judicial review
Judicial review

If your refugee claim is denied

Get a lawyer as soon as possible. If you do not take action, you could be deported very quickly.

If you are not eligible for an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), you can apply for a judicial review at the Federal Court.  Only a lawyer can represent you at Federal Court.

Who should apply for a judicial review?

Your Notice of Decision will tell you if you can appeal or if you are only eligible for a judicial review.

In general, the following groups should apply for a judicial review:

  • designated country of origin (DCO) claims
  • designated foreign nationals (DFNs) claims
  • claims that are withdrawn or abandoned
  • claims that are found to have no credible basis or are manifestly unfounded
  • claims that were started at the Canada-United States border as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), such as close family members in Canada
  • if the Minister has applied either to stop (“cease”) your refugee protection, or to cancel (“vacate”) the decision that allowed your claim
  • refugee claims that were sent to the IRB before December 15, 2012
  • RAD appellants can apply to Federal Court to review negative RAD decisions

How do I apply for a judicial review?

You need to apply for a judicial review within 15 days of receiving your Notice of Decision. The process is very complicated, so you should get a lawyer right away. Only a lawyer can represent you at Federal Court.

If you cannot get a lawyer in time, it is possible to start the process on your own. This is not recommended unless absolutely necessary to meet your deadline. Once the deadline has passed, you will lose your right to a judicial review unless a lawyer can apply to the Court for an extension of time..

Step 1: Prepare

Step 2: Apply

  • Within 15 days of receiving your decision, you need to file and serve the Notice of application with the Federal Court and the Department of Justice. If you do not meet this deadline, you lose your right to a judicial review.
  • If you do not have a lawyer, instructions are available on how you can file and serve the notice in either Toronto or Ottawa.

Step 3: Perfect your application for juridical review

  • 30 days after you file your notice, you have to submit your legal arguments and supporting documents. This step is called “Perfection.” If you do not perfect your application, your judicial review will be dismissed.

File and serve your application for a judicial review (Ottawa):

Take the copies of applications for judicial review to the Registrar's Office of the Federal Court of Canada. It is located at 90 Sparks Street (Sparks & Metcalfe), 5th Floor;

  1. You will have to pay a $50 filing fee;
  2. Once the Registrar gives your applications back with a court number, you have to take them to the Department of Justice.
  3. The Department of Justice is located in the Bank of Canada building on Sparks Street between Bank Street and Kent Street (across from Holt Renfrew);
  4. You leave one copy of the leave application at the Department of Justice and you get them to sign on the back of the other copies;
  5. Take one of the copies signed by the Department of Justice back to the Registrar's Office at the Federal Court and leave it with them; and
  6. Keep the other copies.

File and serve your application for a judicial review (Toronto):

Take the copies of applications for judicial review to the Registrar's Office of the Federal Court of Canada. It is located at 180 Queen Street West, Suite 200, (corner University Ave), 2nd Floor;

  1. You will have to pay a $50 filing fee;
  2. Once the Registrar gives your applications back with a court number, you have to take them to the Department of Justice.
  3. The Department of Justice is located in the Exchange Tower at 130 King Street West (corner York Street). Take the first set of elevators to the 19th Floor;
  4. You leave one copy of the leave application at the Department of Justice and you get them to sign on the back of the other copies;
  5. Take one of the copies signed by the Department of Justice back to the Registrar's Office at the Federal Court and leave it with them; and
  6. Keep the other copies.
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