The File Review Process: Do all refugee claimants attend a hearing?

Any claim may be considered for the File Review Process (FRP). You may receive a notice from the IRB-RPD notifying you that your claim has been selected for the FRP, because:

  • A hearing is not needed in order to approve your refugee claim, OR 
  • A short hearing is sufficient to make a decision on your claim.

According to the IRB-RPD the following are considered when deciding if a country or claim type is appropriate for the file-review process:

  • Countries or claim types that have an acceptance rate of 80% or higher
  • Countries or claim types where identity is generally established by reliable documents
  • Countries or claim types where the evidence is not ambiguous regarding the risk generally faced by claimants
  • Countries or claim types where complex legal or factual issues do not often arise at the hearing.

The IRB-RPD will not decide a claim without a hearing if:

  • Your security screening confirmation has not yet been received from CBSA
  • A Minister’s Counsel intends to attend your hearing
  • A Notice has been sent under the IRB-RPD Rules notifying the Minister of a possible exclusion, inadmissibility or integrity issue in your claim
  • There are issues related to your identity that require further examination
  • There are serious credibility issues that arise from the documents in your file
  • Your claim is inconsistent with country information
  • After reviewing your file, the Member decides that there are complex legal issues or facts that require a hearing to resolve. 
If you are selected for the File Review Process

You or your legal representative will be sent a letter and asked to submit any remaining evidence in support of your claim, and to sign a confirmation form and return it with your evidence within 15 days.

After the IRB-RPD receives your confirmation form, your claim may be accepted without a hearing, if all the criteria for approval are still satisfied. If your claim is accepted without a hearing, a Notice of Decision will be sent to you or your legal representative. 

If the Member determines that it is not appropriate to make a positive decision based on the evidence in your file, or if you do not respond to the notification letter, you will be required to attend your scheduled hearing. If you had not previously been scheduled for a hearing, a Notice to Appear will be sent to you. You are expected to appear at a scheduled hearing if you have not received notice that a decision has been made on your refugee claim under the FRP.