Navigating the refugee claim process can be complex, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information and resources below will help you understand how COVID-19 is impacting the refugee claim process and better prepare for your refugee hearing.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada – Refugee Protection Division (IRB-RPD) has expanded the methods for conducting hearings during the pandemic. You may have an in-person hearing, a videoconference hearing, a remote hearing, or no hearing at all. The IRB-RPD will tell you which format will be used for your case.
You may have questions about the refugee hearing process during the pandemic. These are some of the most common questions. If you have additional questions that are not answered here please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important steps are in place to keep everyone safe during the pandemic. Make sure you review all IRB safety procedures before attending your hearing:
Personal, practical, and legal support is important for your refugee claim, especially during the pandemic. Ensure you have downloaded the Refugee Hearing Preparation Guide in your language and for your city. The back of your Guide contains contact information for local organizations that can help you navigate the refugee claim process during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Attend a virtual READY Tour to learn what to expect at your refugee hearing and how to prepare. READY Tours allow you to visualize the hearing room, hear from an Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada – Refugee Protection Division staff member about what your hearing will be like, and ask any questions you have about the hearing process.
The IRB-RPD has made announcements about changes affecting the refugee claim process during the pandemic. These notices cover updates to how hearings are operating, timelines for filing important documents, and changes to the ways you can submit your documents. These are some of the most recent notices: