Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

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Established in 1989, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (commonly referred to as Immigration and Refugee Board or simply the IRB), is an independent administrative tribunal that is responsible for making well-rounded and fair decisions on immigration and refugee matters.

The Act, Regulations and Rules[edit]

Matters are governed under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Act). In addition, there is the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and each division has its own rules: Immigration Division Rules, Immigration Appeals Division Rules and Refugee Protection Division Rules.

The Divisions[edit]

The IRB currently consists of four different divisions: Immigration Division, Immigration Appeals Division, Refugee Protection Division, and the Refugee Appeals Division.

Immigration Division[edit]

The Immigration Division (ID) consists of two main functions: to conduct admissibility hearings and detention reviews.

If Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) believes an individual has not followed or contravens the Act, they will ask the IRB to conduct an admissibility hearing, which will determine if the individual remain or enter Canada.

If an individual is detained or held for immigration purposes, the Immigration Division will conduct detention reviews. Detention reviews are done within certain time frames, set forth by the Act. A Member of the Immigration Division will determine if an individual shall be released from detention; releases can also be done by CBSA.

Immigration Appeals Division[edit]

The Immigration Appeals Division (IAD) hears appeals of immigration matters. These immigration matters are related to: sponsorships, removal orders, residency obligations or appeals made by (on behalf) of the Minister.

Refugee Protection Division[edit]

These Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decisions are determined for individuals residing in Canada. If the individual is residing outside of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada will make the decision.

Refugee Appeals Division[edit]

The Refugee Appeals Division (RAD) hears appeals of refugee matters.


The IRB will grant protection to an individual who is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

Convention Refugees[edit]

A convention refugee is an individual that has a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

  • Race;
  • Religion;
  • Nationality ;
  • Political opinion; or
  • Membership in a particular social group.

Canada is a signatory to the following United Nations conventions[edit]

  1. 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
  2. 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
  3. 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

How to make a claim[edit]

A claim for refugee protection can be made inland (CIC or CBSA office) or at a Port of Entry (Airport, border crossing).


A claim is not eligible if an individual has/is:

  1. already been granted refugee protection in Canada or in another country;
  2. previously been refused refugee protection in Canada;
  3. come to Canada from or through a designated safe third country and in which a claim for protection was sought; or
  4. a security or public safety risk, have violated human or international rights, serious criminality, or have been involved in organized crime.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]