Decisions

​​​​​ A selection of IRB decisions is available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute's (CanLII) website.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is Canada's largest independent administrative tribunal. Every year, the Board renders more than 40,000 decisions on refugee protection and immigration matters.

About Board decisions

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, hearings before the IRB are generally held in public. A case may be heard in private when there is a serious possibility that the life, liberty and security of a person will be endangered if the proceeding is held in public, or for reasons of fairness or public security, as set out in section 166 of the Act.

When a case is heard in private, the decision and reasons are "sanitized". That is, all the information that could identify the person who is the subject of the proceedings is replaced by "XXX".

Refugee claims

Persuasive decisions

Persuasive decisions are decisions that have been identified by a division head (the Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division, the Refugee Appeal Division, the Immigration Division or the Immigration Appeal Division) as being of persuasive value in developing the jurisprudence of a particular division. These decisions are well written, provide clear, complete and concise reasons with respect to the particular element that is considered to have persuasive value, and consider all of the relevant issues in a case. Accordingly, members are encouraged to rely upon persuasive decisions in the interests of consistency and effective decision-making. This consistency also helps parties and counsel prepare for proceedings before the IRB, and may encourage early resolution without a hearing, where appropriate.

The use of persuasive decisions enables the IRB to move toward a consistent application of the law in a transparent manner. Their designation promotes efficiency in the hearing and reasons writing process by making use of quality work done by colleagues.

Decision makers are not required to explain their decision not to apply a persuasive decision.

VA9-02166December 2010 | RevokedNovember 2014
In this decision, the claimant asserts that he has been and will be persecuted by the Sri Lankan army, government officials and paramilitary agents associated with the Sri Lankan government if he returns to Sri Lanka because he is a member of a particular social group of 'young male Tamils from northern Sri Lanka'. He also claimed a nexus to the Convention grounds of perceived political opinion and nationality. | Notice of Identification

TA6-07453 ​May 2008 | RevokedNovember 2014
This decision has persuasive value in regard to claimants from Mexico seeking protection due to their fear that the Mexican state is unable to protect them from criminality by common criminals because of corruption within the police. The reasons cite the documentary evidence which relates to state protection and conclude with a finding that for such claimants, adequate state protection is available. | Notice of Identification

Refugee appeals

Reasons of interest

Following are links to select refugee appeal decisions that the IRB deems noteworthy for meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Decisions that model a practical or expedient approach to an issue;
  2. Decisions that demonstrate a novel or evolutional approach to an issue;
  3. Decisions that thoroughly assess a complex issue;
  4. Decisions that model excellence in reasons writing;
  5. Decisions that respond to a timely or emerging issue.

Decisions identified here will be prefaced by a short introduction. All published Refugee Appeal Division decisions are available on CanLII.

Decision No. MB8-19526August​ 2020

Clearly and concisely addresses an appeal of a US-born minor appellant and the concept of family unity, as it relates to refugee determination.

Decision No. TB8-24987August​ 2020

Outlines the legal principles associated with applications to reopen and applies them to the facts of the case.

Decision No. TB8-04091August​ 2020

Evaluates the admissibility of new evidence and the requirement to conduct a hearing under s.110(6) of the IRPA. It is a case involving bisexuality in Nigeria, in which the new evidence was crucial to the appeal. After holding a hearing on the new evidence, the RAD member substituted a positive decision.

Decision No. TB8-18620August​ 2020

Dismisses an appeal on credibility grounds. The underlying basis of the claim related to the Appellant’s asserted bisexual identity. The decision sets out the determinative issues clearly at the outset, and upholds RPD findings that went unchallenged on appeal. The decision also addresses a sur place element of the claim arising from evidence from LGBTQ organizations, which the RAD found was insufficient to overcome the serious credibility concerns.

Decision No. TB9-20832August​ 2020

S​ets out a proper approach to claims involving gender-based violence, in accordance with the IRB’s Gender Guidelines. The RAD pointed to various ways in which the approach of the RPD did not comply with the Guidelines, particularly in the manner in which it questioned the Appellant. The RPD Member’s approach resulted in a breach of procedural fairness; the insensitive questioning re-traumatized the appellant and prevented her from presenting her case.

Decision No. TB8-00811August​ 2020

This decision thoroughly assesses identity and credibility findings in the case of an appellant with low literacy skills from Somalia. It applies Guideline 4 – Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution relating to sensitivity in questioning victims or witnesses of gender-based violence.

Decision No. TB9-24114June​ 2020

This decision examines the issue of cumulative discrimination amounting to persecution, in relation to Hungarian Roma refugee claimants. It includes an analysis of Federal Court jurisprudence and country conditions related to Roma in Hungary.

Decision No. TB8-30580June 2020

This decision outlines a situation in which an internal flight alternative (IFA) was found not to exist for the Appellant, who was a victim of domestic violence in Nigeria. The RAD found that there was no viable IFA because the agent of persecution had the means and motivation to find the appellant and had previously tracked down the appellant.

Decision No. MB8-00387June 2020

In this decision, the RAD highlighted the principle that refugee claimants cannot be expected to hide their sexual orientation in order to avoid persecution or other mistreatment. Citing Nwabueze​ 2019 FC 1577, the RAD found that an internal flight alternative (IFA) is not viable if an individual can only safely relocate by hiding their sexual orientation.

Decision No. VB9-01721June 2020

This decision provides an examination of a specific situation of criminality and internal flight alternative (IFA) in Mexico. It does not purport to address all situations involving criminality, nor does it address multiple potential IFA locations in Mexico. The decision also provides an example as to when a decision-maker may directly consider the issue of IFA without first addressing credibility concerns, as considered by the Federal Court in Dakpokpo 2017 FC 580.

Decision No. MB7-00072April 2020

This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention, taking into consideration the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ezokola, 2013 SCC 40. It is an appeal involving allegations of complicity with ISIS in Lebanon.

Decision No. VB9-02860April 2020

This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention. It is an appeal involving allegations of identity fraud committed in the United States by appellants from El Salvador. In the decision, the RAD found that the RPD's consideration of the sentencing range applicable to the offences in question was inconsistent with the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Febles, 2014 SCC 68.

Decision TB7-19851

This decision provides a useful conceptual framework of analysis for considering the issue of internal flight alternatives (IFAs) for persons fleeing non-state actors in Nigeria. It sets out a list of factors to consider related to the reasonableness of a potential IFA. These factors are: travel and transportation, language, education, employment, accommodation, health care, culture, indigeneship, and religion.

While this decision was formerly identified as a Jurisprudential Guide by the Chairperson, he revoked that designation due to evolving country information. The decision is now identified as a RAD Reasons of Interest due to the value of the framework of analysis, absent any of the factual findings. The framework includes the legal test for identifying a viable internal flight alternative as well as the seven factors set out at paragraphs 14-15 and 21-30. In this way, members may use the analytical framework to structure their assessment of the facts of each case as well as the most current country of origin information.

Decision No. MB7-10167
Decision No. TB7-15366
Decision No. TB7-12465

Decision No. VB6-03878

Decision No. VB8-04337
Decision No. VB8-05618

These latest RAD Reasons of Interest (RROIs) model a point-first approach to reasons-writing. Point-first writing is a reader-focused approach that improves the quality, simplicity and clarity of written decisions. By honing in on determinative issues and using overviews and headings to guide readers, the point-first approach leads to concise reasons that are quicker to write and easy to understand. RAD members are developing their point-first styles, so please have a look at these examples and stay tuned for more to come!

Decision TB7-12633

This decision models a practical approach to assessing credibility based on knowledge of the Falun Gong practice in China. The appellant was found not to be credible due to her inability to demonstrate a level of knowledge comparable to her alleged practice.

Decisions No. MB8-13243

This decision models a practical approach to assessing generalized risk versus personalized risk in a case involving criminality in Haiti. The decision focuses on credibility and the sufficiency of objective evidence.

Decision No. TB8-05173

This decision examines the issue of negative credibility inferences drawn from implausibility findings. It highlights that plausibility findings should be made "only in the clearest of cases.” In this appeal, the RAD has substituted a positive determination for the RPD’s rejection of a claim for refugee protection.

Decision No. TB7-07363

This decision considers a domestic violence claim through the lens of Guideline 4 - Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution.

Decision No. MB6-06938

This decision considers the question of family unity and the best interests of the child in a case involving an American-born child of Haitian parents.

Decision No. MB7-22589

This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1E of the Refugee Convention in the case of a Haitian claimant with permanent resident status in Brazil.

Decision No. TB7-12847 (Jamaica) and Decision No. MB5-03341 (Sri Lanka)
These decisions examine credibility findings through the lens of the Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.

Decision No. TB7-04608 (Turkey)

This decision provides a thorough overview of the political situation in Turkey as it relates to Hizmet followers.

Decision No. VB6-04568 / 1F(a)

This decision provides a thorough exclusion analysis pursuant to Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention.

Decision no. VB8-01757

This decision considers the principle of stare decisis (following legal precedent) and the jurisdiction of the RAD to give directions to the RPD in its reasons for decision.

Persuasive decisions

Persuasive decisions are decisions that have been identified by a division head (the Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division, the Refugee Appeal Division, the Immigration Division or the Immigration Appeal Division) as being of persuasive value in developing the jurisprudence of a particular division. These decisions are well written, provide clear, complete and concise reasons with respect to the particular element that is considered to have persuasive value, and consider all of the relevant issues in a case. Accordingly, members are encouraged to rely upon persuasive decisions in the interests of consistency and effective decision-making. This consistency also helps parties and counsel prepare for proceedings before the IRB, and may encourage early resolution without a hearing, where appropriate.

The use of persuasive decisions enables the IRB to move toward a consistent application of the law in a transparent manner. Their designation promotes efficiency in the hearing and reasons writing process by making use of quality work done by colleagues.

Decision makers are not required to explain their decision not to apply a persuasive decision.

TB7-16268March 2018 | Notice of IdentificationFebruary 2019
This persuasive decision outlines the steps that can be taken in an analysis of similar Basis of Claim narratives in a transparent and fair manner.

Jurisprudential guides

Jurisprudential Guides are policy instruments that support consistency in adjudicating cases which share essential similarities. A Jurisprudential Guide serves to build a Division’s jurisprudence upon well-reasoned decisions. 

  • TB7-01837 May 2017
    This Jurisprudential Guide looks at whether the treatment experienced by Ahmadis in Pakistan amounts to persecution, whether state protection is available and whether there is a viable internal flight alternative. Decision TB7-01837
  • MB6-01059/60 February 2017
    This Jurisprudential Guide looks at the availability of a viable internal flight alternative in India for claimants from Punjab. Decision MB6-01059/60
  • TB4-05778 June 2016
    The issue in this decision that forms the basis of the Jurisprudential Guide is whether a claimant/appellant who is a citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is deemed to be a citizen of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Decision TB4-05778

Revoked jurisprudential guides

  • TB7-19851July 2018
    This Jurisprudential Guide addresses internal flight alternatives in major cities in south and central Nigeria for claimants fleeing non-state actors. Decision TB7-19851
  • TB6-11632June 2019
    This decision provided an analysis of Chinese exit control procedures and the ability for those being sought by the authorities to exit China via an airport using a genuine passport. Decision TB6-11632
  • MB6-01059/60 November 2018
    The availability of an internal flight alternative in India for claimants from Punjab. Decision MB6-01059/60
IRB decisions of public interest

Decisions of public interest