Immigration and Refugee Board at a glance

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is Canada’s largest independent administrative tribunal. It is comprised of four tribunals or “Divisions” and is responsible for making well-reasoned decisions on immigration and refugee matters, efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law.

Refugee Protection Division

The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) hears and decides claims for refugee protection made in Canada in keeping with the international Geneva Convention, as implemented through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

A claim for refugee protection can be made in Canada by speaking to an officer from the CBSA at any port of entry upon arrival in Canada, or to an officer from either the IRCC or the CBSA at an inland office. The officer decides whether the claim is eligible to be referred to the IRB. If the claim is eligible, it is referred to the RPD to start the refugee protection process.

Refugee Appeal Division

The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) decides appeals from decisions of the RPD to allow or reject claims for refugee protection.

The RAD may decide to confirm or to change the RPD’s decision. It may also decide to send the case back to the RPD to hear it again, giving the directions to the RPD that it considers appropriate.

Private Proceedings (Unless an Exception Applies)

Immigration Division

At the request of the CBSA or the IRCC, the Immigration Division (ID), conducts admissibility hearings for foreign nationals or permanent residents believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from Canada under the law.

The ID also conducts detention reviews for foreign nationals or permanent residents detained by the CBSA to review the reasons for detention.

Detention reviews are held:

  • Within 48 hours of the start of detention or without delay afterwards.
  • Then, within 7 days of that first review.
  • After that, the ID reviews the grounds for detention at least once every 30 days until the person is either released or removed from Canada.

Immigration Appeal Division

The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the IRB hears appeals on immigration-related matters. There are several types of appeals that are heard by the IAD:

  • Appeals of family class sponsorship applications refused by IRCC officials.
  • Appeals of removal orders made against permanent residents, protected persons, and holders of permanent resident visas.
  • Appeals by permanent residents who have been found by an IRCC official outside of Canada not to have fulfilled their residency obligation.
  • Appeals by the Minister of Public Safety of decisions where the ID made a decision that a person is not inadmissible.

Public Proceedings (Unless an Exception Applies)