Apply to the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review

Under Canada’s immigration law, you can ask the Federal Court of Canada to review immigration decisions.

There are deadlines to apply for a review. For example, if the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) rejects your claim for refugee protection, you must file an application for a Federal Court review within 15 days of the IRB decision. If you want to apply for a review, you may want to get legal advice as soon as possible.

A review by the Federal Court is a 2-stage process:

  • leave stage
  • judicial review stage

Stage 1: Leave

In the first stage, called the leave stage, the Court reviews the documents about your case. You must show the Court that the decision was not fair or reasonable , or that there was an error.

If the Court gives leave, it means it agrees to examine the decision in depth.

Stage 2: Judicial review

The second stage is called the judicial review. At this stage, you (with or without a lawyer) can attend an oral hearing before the Court and explain why you believe the original IRB decision was wrong.

Staying in Canada during the Federal Court’s review

The status of your removal order depends on which IRB division made the decision you’re asking the Court to review. For decisions made by the IRB’s:

  • Refugee Appeal Division
    • Your removal order is on hold. You can stay in Canada until the Court makes a decision.
  • Refugee Protection Division
    • Your removal order is not on hold. You may need to leave Canada.

Federal Court of Canada decisions

If the Court agrees with the IRB’s original decision and finds there was no error, you’ll have to leave Canada.

If the Court returns your case to the IRB, your case will be reconsidered. This does not mean the IRB will reverse the original decision.


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