Your Hearing Day

Take care of yourself

Take care of yourself the day before your hearing (i.e. make sure you get enough sleep).

Expect questions

Be prepared that you will be asked questions about your case. For example, if you did not immediately make an in-land claim, you may be asked why you did not make a claim earlier.

Variation among Members

The decision on your refugee claim is made by the Member at the IRB-RPD. Each Member is unique and brings their own history, interests, experience, and training to your case. The mood of your hearing may be very different from others you have heard about, based on the Member and you and your case. The Member’s decision should reflect a fair application of refugee law.

Be honest

It is better to say that you do not know information, or that you are unsure, rather than making information up. At the same time, you need to make an effort to give as much information as you can to help the Member understand your story.

 Working with an interpreter

The IRB-RPD will provide a professional interpreter in your language and dialect for your refugee hearing at no cost to you. Even if you understand English or French reasonably well, it is a good idea to have an interpreter present to avoid misunderstandings.  The role of the interpreter is to make sure that you and all the other participants in your hearing understand each other clearly.  Before your hearing starts, take the opportunity to speak with your interpreter to make sure that you understand each other well. When you are providing your testimony, you need to speak in short phrases in order for the interpreter to provide an accurate interpretation.

Virtual hearing

For virtual refugee hearings, make sure that you have:

  • Access to reliable, secure, high-speed internet that will allow you to video conference
  • Downloaded Microsoft Teams software
  • A quiet and private space to participate in your hearing.

Please note that currently all IRB hearings are scheduled as virtual hearings by default; however, hybrid or in-person hearings may be scheduled on request or at the discretion of the Board.