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Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

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-founded and fair decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently and in accordance with the law. Established by an Act of Parliament, the IRB decides on refugee applications made by individuals who land in Canada and make an asylum claim to be in need of protection.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, regulations, and rulesEdit

Matters are governed under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. In addition, there are the "Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations", the "Immigration Division Rules", the "Immigration Appeals Division Rules", and the "Refugee Protection Division Rules".

Divisions of the boardEdit

The IRB consists of four divisions: Immigration, Immigration Appeals, Refugee Protection, and Refugee Appeals.

Immigration DivisionEdit

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

If the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) believes an individual has not followed or contravenes 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 by the CBSA.

Immigration Appeals DivisionEdit

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 DivisionEdit

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) makes determinations for individuals in Canada seeking protection. For individuals residing outside of Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada makes the decision.

Refugee Appeals DivisionEdit

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 RefugeesEdit

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

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

Canada is a signatory to the following United Nations conventionsEdit

  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 claimEdit

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

  1. has already been granted refugee protection in Canada or another country;
  2. has previously been refused refugee protection in Canada;
  3. has come to Canada from/through a designated safe third country in which a claim for protection was sought;
  4. has committed a crime against peace, war crime or crime against humanity, a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge, or acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.


The Chairperson of the board is Richard Wex, who was appointed to the position July 23, 2018.[1] Past Chairs include:

  • Mario Dion (2013-2018)
  • Brian Goodman (2007-2013)
  • Jean-Guy Fleury (2002-2007)
  • Peter Showler (1999-2002)
  • Nurjehan Mawani (1992-1999)
  • Gordon Fairweather (1989-1992)[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Minister Hussen announces appointment of Chair of the Immigration Refugee Board". Government of Canada. July 16, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Biographies". Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Retrieved December 12, 2017.

External linksEdit