Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada


The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is Canada's largest independent administrative tribunal. It is responsible for resolving immigration and refugee matters efficiently, fairly and in accordance with the law. The IRB decides who needs refugee protection among the thousands of claimants who come to Canada annually. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the IRB is made up of four tribunals, which are designated as "divisions":

  • Refugee Protection Division: The Refugee Protection Division decides claims for refugee protection made in Canada
  • Refugee Appeal Division: The Refugee Appeal Division considers appeals against certain decisions of the Refugee Protection Division to allow or reject claims for refugee protection
  • Immigration Division: conducts immigration admissibility hearings for certain categories of people believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from, Canada under the law and conducts detention reviews for those being detained by the Canada Border Services Agency under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Immigration Appeal Division: hears appeals of sponsorship applications refused by officials of Citizenship and Immigration Canada; appeals from certain removal orders made against permanent residents, refugees and other protected persons, and holders of permanent resident visas; and appeals by permanent residents who have been found outside of Canada not to have fulfilled their residency obligation; and appeals by the Canada Border Services Agency from decisions of the Immigration Division at admissibility hearings


Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
To find out who to contact, see Contact Us.

General email:


Justice Education Society Resources

Hearings: First steps

This video introduces the different tribunal processes, including mediation and settlement conferences.
Read the PDF.

Telephone hearings

Find out how to prepare to make an effective presentation for a hearing over the phone.
Read the PDF.

In-person Hearings

Watch a dramatization of what it’s like to make a case at an in-person hearing.
Read the PDF.

Written Hearings

This video describes the process for submitting your case in writing and what your submission must contain.
Read the PDF.

Preparing for a Hearing

If you have decided to move forward with the tribunal process, use this Tribunal Hearing Preparation checklist to help you get ready. You may also like to take a look at these videos and PDFs for more about how to prepare your case.