Refugee Hearings are Like Mini-Trials

Refugee protection hearings are heard by the Refugee Protection Division Division of the IRB and usually last for about 1/2 a day. Live witnesses are called to testify and are cross-examined. Documentary exhibits will be presented as evidence. There are particular rules and procedures that are required to be followed. It is highly recommended that you have the assistance of a lawyer.  

Appealing a Failed Refugee Hearing Can Be Challenging

The rules have unfortunately become very complex over when a failed claim can be appealed to the Refugee Appeal Division of the IRB. If the RPD determines your claim has "no credible basis or is manifestly unfounded" or the Minister successfully applies to cease your refugee protection, you might have no option but to seek judicial review before the Federal Court in order to challenge a claim refusal.

#1 Refugee Hearing Winning Tip: Bury the RPD in Supporting Documentation

Because refugee hearings are so short in duration, because the IRB can allow very compelling refugee claims without even holding a hearing, and because a Refugee Protection Division member of the IRB will carefully study a file prior to the holding of a hearing, burying the RPD in advance in documentation supporting a claim will best maximize prospects of success.

Documentation overkill starts with preparing an extremely detailed Basis of Claim (BOC) form. Don’t just stick to the available space in the standard form. Instead, prepare a Russian novel of names, dates and events that paints a painstaking picture of how the claimant came to be in Canada, exactly what persecution is being fled, and why the risk of that persecution is ongoing such that the home country cannot be returned to. The more the detail, the greater the credibility of the BOC.

Then support the BOC with lots of other documents. While original documents de


The firm has successfully represented a variety of clients before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board with bases of claims on issues like civil war in their home country, or threats of gender based violence. The firm represents clients at hearings held in either French or English, and can also deal with documents in-house that are in Spanish or Portuguese, in addition to working with translators and interpreters for other languages.

The firm’s Managing Lawyer has conducted hundreds of trials and appeals throughout Canada up to the level of the Supreme Court of Canada. His work around the world with international organizations like the UN, OECD, APEC, G8/G20 and World Bank, background in transnational criminal law with the Department of Justice Canada where he served as a Federal Crown Prosecutor, as well as with Global Affairs Canada where he was involved in arm control and disarmament work, makes the firm well suited to understand and assist individuals and families fleeing from persecution and desiring to make Canada their new home.