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At the Hearing

The purpose of the hearing is to verify WHO you are and WHY you need protection here.

What will happen at the hearing:

  1. Introductions: The Presiding Member will introduce everyone in the room and explain the hearing process to you. You will be asked to swear an oath promising to tell the truth. If you want to swear on a Holy Book from your religion, bring one to the hearing room.
  2. Questioning: The Presiding Member, the Minister’s Counsel (if present), and your counsel (if present) will ask you questions about the legal issues that are important to your particular case.
  3. Witnesses: if you have witnesses, they will speak next.
  4. Comments: At the end of your hearing, the Member will give your counsel or you an opportunity to explain in your own words why you think the evidence shows that you meet the definition of “Convention refugee” or “Person in need of protection.”
  5. Decision: The decision maker may make a decision orally at the end of the hearing, or she may take more time. In both cases, you will receive “A Notice of Decision” in the mail.

You will be asked questions about anything you stated in the BOC and why you fear to return to your home country. They may also ask about how you came to Canada.

The hearing will last approximately 3.5 hours. You have a right to legal counsel e.g. a lawyer, to represent you during the Refugee Hearing.

If you do not speak English of French fluently, the IRB will provide an interpreter.

You must inform the IRB of your choice of language or dialect AT LEAST 10 DAYS BEFORE the hearing so they can make arrangements.

If you do not understand the interpreter clearly or you feel the interpretation is not accurate, you should tell the IRB member immediately.

By law, IRB hearings are held in private. Your personal information is private and confidential. This information can only be shared under strict rules or given to others only after you have given permission. It will not be shared with the authorities of your home country.