About Refugee Hearings

Your refugee hearing is the central event of the refugee claim process.  At your hearing, an Immigration and Refugee Board – Refugee Protection Division (IRB-RPD) Member will make a decision to accept or reject your refugee claim.

The IRB-RPD is an administrative tribunal, not a court. Although administrative tribunals may resemble courts, they are not part of the court system in Canada. An administrative tribunal is generally less formal and operates faster than the traditional court system.

The decision makers are called Members and are not judges. While judges in the court system have general knowledge about many areas of law, decision makers at the administrative tribunal are specially trained in making decisions on refugee claims.

Your hearing is your opportunity to tell your story. The hearing process is meant to help you tell your story and explain why you need Canada’s protection in a confidential, safe, and respectful environment.