Chairperson's guidelines

​​​​​​​​​​​​The Chairperson's Guidelines provide guiding principles for adjudicating and managing cases. They serve primarily as source of guidance for decision-makers, but also for the personnel supporting adjudicative functions. They may have an adjudicative or an operational content. While they are not mandatory, decision-makers are expected to apply them or provide a reasoned justification for not doing so. Within the IRB, Guidelines have generally been employed to achieve strategic objectives, as opposed to simply managing daily operations. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, in s. 159(1)(h), provides statutory authority for the Guidelines.


​Guideline 1 - Civilian Non-Combatants Fearing Persecution in Civil War Situations

The Guideline was issued in 1996 as a response to uncertainty over the correct approach to take in claims involving civil war situations. The “Non-Comparative Approach” recommended by the guideline was affirmed as the correct approach by the Federal Court of Appeal in Ali v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)​, 1999 CanLII 7416 (FCA). As the Federal Court of Appeal has resolved the uncertainty, the Guideline has not been widely relied upon by courts and the IRB. Revoking Guideline 1 removes a policy instrument that is no longer needed.
(Revoked ​January 5, 2022)​

Guideline 2 - Detention

These Guidelines deal with several topics, including long-term detention, the notion of "danger to the public", alternatives to detention, and evidence and procedure.
(September 2010 | Amended in June 2013 | Amended in April 2021​)

Guideline 3 - Child Refugee Claimants: Procedural and Evidentiary Issues

These Guidelines address the specific procedural issue of the designation of a representative and the more general procedural issue of the steps to be followed in processing claims by unaccompanied children. The Guidelines also address the evidentiary issues of eliciting evidence in a child's claim and assessing that evidence.
(September 1996)

​Guideline 4 - Gender Considerations in Proceedings Before the Immigration and Refugee Board

The revised Guideline 4 incorporates approaches and best-practices already well-established at the Board and which reflect expert advice, evidence-based developments in social science, and developments in law.​
(November 1996 | Revised in​ July 2022​)

Guideline 5 - Providing the PIF and No PIF Abandonment in the Refugee Protection Division

Guideline 5, released on October 30, 2003, provided details on how to deal with requests for extensions of time for submitting the Personal Information Form (PIF). With the refugee reform provisions of the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act in December 2012, there was no longer a PIF, and extensions of time for providing the Basis of Claim (BOC) Form were dealt with in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and the Refugee Protection Division Rules.

(Revoked December 15, 2012)  

Guideline 6 - Scheduling and Changing the Date or Time of a Proceeding

The purpose of this Guideline is to explain the process the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) follows before and during a proceeding to ensure fair and efficient scheduling of its proceedings. The Guideline applies to all three divisions of the IRB.
(April 2010 | Amended in December 2012)

Guideline 7 - C​oncerning Preparation and Conduct of a Hearing in the Refugee Protection Division

This Guideline changes the order of questioning by having the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) leading the inquiry in the hearing room. The purpose of this change is to allow the RPD to make the best use of its expertise as a specialist tribunal by focussing on the issues which it has identified as determinative.
(December 2006 | Amended in December 2012)

Guideline 8 - Concerning Procedures with Respect to Vulnerable Persons Appearing Before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

The intention of this Guideline is to provide procedural accommodation(s) for individuals who are identified as vulnerable persons by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
(December 2006 | Amended in December 2012)

Guideline 9 -​ Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and Sex Characteristics​

The purpose of this Guideline is to promote greater understanding of cases involving sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics (SOGIESC​) and the harm individuals may face due to their non-conformity with socially accepted SOGIESC norms in a particular cultural environment.​
(May 2017 | Revised in December 2021​)​