Designated Representative's Guide

January 2012

About this Guide

This guide is for persons who have been or are about to be appointed as designated representatives by a division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). It provides important information about the role and responsibilities of designated representatives.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

The IRB is an independent administrative tribunal composed of three divisions:

  • the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), which decides refugee protection claims made by persons in Canada;
  • the Immigration Division (ID), which holds admissibility hearings to determine if individuals may enter or remain in Canada, and conducts detention reviews; and
  • the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), which hears and decides appeals on immigration matters such as removal orders, sponsorship refusals and residency requirements.

Why appoint a designated representative?

The IRB appoints a designated representative where the person who is the subject of the proceedings is

  • a child under the age of 18 (a minor); or
  • an adult who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings.

The designated representative is responsible for protecting the interests of the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings, as well as explaining the process to them.

In the case of a minor, the designated representative is usually the child's parent, although another family member, a legal guardian, a friend, or a worker from an agency that provides such services can also act as a designated representative. In the case of a person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings, the designated representative can also be a family member, a friend or a worker from an agency that provides such services.

What requirements must you meet to be designated?

To be designated as a representative, you must

  • be 18 years of age or older;
  • understand the nature of the proceedings before the IRB;
  • be willing and able to act in the best interests of the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings; and
  • not have interests that conflict with those of the person you represent.

What are your responsibilities as a designated representative?

Your responsibilities as a designated representative for a minor or a person unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings include

  • deciding whether to retain counsel and, if counsel is retained, instructing counsel or assisting the represented person in instructing counsel;
  • making other decisions regarding their case or assisting them to make those decisions;
  • informing them about the various stages and procedures in the processing of their case;
  • assisting in gathering evidence to support their case and providing evidence and being a witness at their hearing if necessary;
  • protecting their interests and putting forward the best possible case to the Division; and
  • informing and consulting them to the extent possible when making decisions about their case.

Your role as a designated representative may vary.

The designated representative should inform and consult the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings when making decisions about their case. However, the role of the designated representative may vary, depending on the level of understanding of the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings. Minors will vary in their ability to participate in making decisions, depending on the type of decision that has to be made, their age and their maturity. Persons who are unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings may also have some ability to participate in making decisions, depending on the type of decision that has to be made and the nature and severity of their impairment.

A designated representative is not the same as counsel.

The division must designate a representative even when the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings has legal or other counsel.

You must meet the minor or the person who is unable to appreciate the nature of the proceedings as early as possible in the process to explain your role and responsibilities and to begin to assist them with their case.

Any questions about the role and responsibilities of the designated representative are to be directed to the IRB office where the case file is being processed.

Website: http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca

Office

EASTERN REGION

MONTREAL
200 René-Lévesque Boulevard West
Guy-Favreau Complex, East Tower
Montreal QC H2Z 1X4
Telephone no.: 514-283-7733
Fax no.: 514-283-0164

Area of responsibility:
QUEBEC (EXCEPT GATINEAU)
NEW BRUNSWICK
NOVA SCOTIA
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
NEWFOUNDLAND
NUNAVUT

OTTAWA
Canada Building
344 Slater Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 0K1
Telephone no.: 613-943-8630
Fax no.: 613-943-1550

Area of responsibility:
OTTAWA ON
GATINEAU QC 

CENTRAL REGION

TORONTO
74 Victoria Street
Toronto ON M5C 3C7
Telephone no.: 416-954-1000
Fax no.: 416-954-1165

Area of responsibility:
ONTARIO (EXCEPT OTTAWA)

WESTERN REGION

VANCOUVER
Library Square
300 West Georgia Street
Vancouver BC V6B 6C9
Telephone no.: 604-666-5946 or 1-866-787-7472
Fax no.: 604-666-3043

Area of responsibility:
BRITISH COLUMBIA
ALBERTA
SASKATCHEWAN
MANITOBA
YUKON
NORTHWEST TERRITORIES