Your Hearing Day

Hearings usually take half a day with a short break halfway through the hearing. Some hearings are shorter, and some longer, depending on the refugee claim. 

At the beginning of the hearing, the Member introduces everyone and explains the hearing process. You must promise to tell the truth.

The Member looks at all the exhibits (documents) that you sent in as evidence. They give each exhibit a number. The Member may also look at any original documents that you bring to the hearing.

The Member and your lawyer (if you have one) then asks you questions. If you do not have a lawyer, the Member may let you take more time to talk. The Minister’s counsel (if present) may also ask you questions.

If you bring any witnesses, they speak one at a time after you tell your story.

Finally, the Member asks you or your lawyer to explain why you think your claim should be accepted. The Minister’s counsel (if present) makes their comments last.

At the end of the hearing, the Member may tell you their decision to accept or reject your claim or they may say they will send you their decision in the mail.