Canada's immigration and refugee system has three main parts:
All three are part of the Government of Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has overall responsibility for immigration and refugee matters. For example, CIC:
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) provides integrated border services, such as managing, controlling and securing Canada's borders, in support of national security priorities. For example, the CBSA:
The CBSA is part of the Government of Canada's public safety portfolio. It is an agency of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEP).
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters in Canada. The IRB:
The IRB is Canada's largest administrative tribunal. Although it reports to Parliament through the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the IRB is independent of both Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency.
The IRB makes decisions that affect the lives and liberty of the people appearing before it. These decisions contribute to the security of Canadians and the integrity of our immigration and refugee system.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is made up of three divisions:
The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decides claims for refugee protection made by people already in Canada.
The Immigration Division (ID) hears two types of cases:
The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) hears appeals on immigration matters. These include:
This publication provides an overview of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and what it does. It is not a legal document. For precise, legal information, please consult the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Regulations, and Rules of the Refugee Protection Division, the Immigration Division and the Immigration Appeal Division. You can find them on the IRB Web site at: www.irb-cisr.gc.ca.
Refugee Protection Division (RPD)
Through each division, the IRB generally strives to deliver a simpler and faster form of justice than that provided by the courts, but with no less attentiveness to the rigour of the law and its application to the particular facts of each case.
The IRB is a human rights tribunal, and the women and men who work at the IRB respect the human dignity of all those who come before it. The decision-makers in the RPD and the IAD are Governor-in-Council (GIC) appointees while the decision-makers in the ID are public service employees.
The IRB carries out its work in three regional offices in Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver:
the Central Region, responsible for Ontario, except for the Ottawa area;
the Eastern Region, responsible for Quebec, the Ottawa area and the Atlantic provinces; and
the Western Region, responsible for the Western provinces.
All three divisions hold hearings in these regions, supported by operational and adjudicative support. Internal and support services are managed at IRB Headquarters, located in Ottawa.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Library Square, 1600 - 300 West Georgia Street,
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 6C9
Telephone: (604) 666-5946
Documentation Centre (Immigration and Refugee Board)
Library Square, 17th Floor, 300 West Georgia Street,
Vancouver, B.C. V6B 1T4
Telephone: (604) 666-1285 or (604) 666-5945
"Authorized Representative" Information
Your counsel must complete a Counsel Contact Information Form and return it to the nearest IRB Registry office.