Act, Rules and Regulations


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) with jurisdiction to hear and decide cases on immigration and refugee matters. The IRPA sets out the core principles and concepts that govern Canada's immigration and refugee protection programs, including provisions relating to refugees, sponsorships and removals, detention reviews and admissibility hearings, and the jurisdiction and powers of tribunals.

The IRPA came into force on June 28, 2002.

On December 15, 2012, Canada's refugee determination system underwent significant changes as a result of the coming into force of amendments to the IRPA from the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, as well as related accompanying regulations.


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations relate to temporary foreign workers, students, the examination of persons seeking entry, permanent resident cards, residency obligations, family class, the selection of skilled workers and business immigrants, refugees, humanitarian and compassionate considerations, inadmissibility, detention and release, pre-removal risk assessments and other enforcement-related matters. These regulations, which came into force on June 28, 2002, have since been amended.

One significant amendment is the Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which set processing time limits for refugee protection claims at the Refugee Protection Division and appeals at the Refugee Appeal Division. These regulations came into force on December 15, 2012.

IRB Rules

Each set of divisional rules establishes the practices and required procedures for that division. The rules of each division are binding, although certain rules expressly grant discretion.

Rules provide direction to decision-makers and serve to direct users of the tribunals in their presentation of cases before the IRB. Subsection 161(1) of the IRPA, provides statutory authority for the rules.

The Immigration Appeal Division Rules and the Immigration Division Rules came into force on June 28, 2002.

The current versions of the Refugee Appeal Division Rules and the Refugee Protection Division Rules came into force on December 15, 2012.

The IRPA provides that the Chairperson and other members of the Board must swear the oath or give the solemn affirmation of office set out in the rules of the Board.

Rules of the Federal Court

Forward regulatory plan

A forward regulatory plan is a public list or description of anticipated regulatory changes or actions that a department intends to bring forward or undertake in a specified time frame. It is intended to give stakeholders greater opportunity to inform the development of rules and to plan for the future. It should be noted that this forward regulatory plan will be adjusted and updated over time as the IRB's operating environment also changes over time.

This plan provides information on the planned and potential regulatory initiatives that the IRB expects to bring forward. It also identifies public consultation opportunities and a departmental contact point.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting With Canadians websites.