You are not required to have counsel represent you in your appeal or when you respond to a Minister's appeal. However, you may decide that you want counsel to help you. If so, you must hire counsel and pay (see Legal Aid below if your are unable to pay legal fees) their fees yourself. Whether or not you hire counsel, you are responsible for your appeal or your response to the Minister's appeal, including meeting the time limit. If you miss the time limit, the RAD may decide the appeal without further notice.
Who can represent me?
If your counsel is charging you a fee or receiving other payment, then they must be one of the following:
- a member in good standing of a provincial law society (a lawyer or a paralegal, in a province that allows paralegals to be members of the law society);
- a member in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or
- an immigration consultant who is a member in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council.
If your counsel is not charging a fee or receiving other payment, that person can be anyone, including a representative of a non-governmental organization, a friend, a relative or a community member you trust. In this case, you must complete the form entitled
Notice of Representation Without a Fee or Other Consideration, and send the form to the Minister and the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) as soon as possible. If the Minister intervened in your Refugee Protection Division (RPD) hearing, you must send the form to the address of counsel for that Minister. If the Minister did not intervene, then you must send the form to:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Reviews and Interventions Office
25 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2
What is a designated representative?
A designated representative is a person who is responsible for protecting the interests of a child less than 18 years old or of an adult who is unable to understand what the appeal process is about. The designated representative is also responsible for explaining the appeal process to that person.
In the case of children less than 18 years old, the designated representative is usually the child's parent. However, another family member, a legal guardian, a friend or a worker from a social services agency can also be the designated representative if they meet the requirements set out in the
If you or your children had a designated representative at the
RPD, then that person will continue to be the designated representative until the Minister's appeal is finished. However, you can ask the
RAD to change your designated representative. You must include the contact information for your current designated representative, and any proposed change of designated representative, in your notice of intent to respond.
If you did not have a designated representative at the
RPD but need one for the
RAD, you or your counsel must tell the
RAD in writing immediately. You must explain why you need a designated representative and include any supporting evidence you have.
The provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador, offer immigration and refugee
legal aid services.