Claimant's Important Instructions

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This document provides you with important information regarding the Notice to Appear you received when you made your claim for refugee protection. It also includes other important information that you must take note of, including the following:

  1. You have a right to be represented by counsel at your own expense, but counsel chosen must be available on the date fixed for your hearing.
  2. You are responsible for obtaining and providing to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) any documents that may support your protection claim. You must make arrangements now to get these supporting documents without delay.

About Your Notice To Appear For A Hearing

You will have received a Notice to Appear that contains the information of one of the two examples below depending on whether you made your refugee claim in Canada at a port of entry or from an inland office. Identify which Notice to Appear you received. Then read the Important dates section that relates to the example of your type of Notice to Appear.

Refugee claim made at:

A port of entry
(at a land border crossing, airport or seaport)

Notice to Appear for a Hearing section 3 & 4 

[Alternate format]

The image illustrates a form.

[Refugee Protection Division Rules, subsection 3(4)]

In the claim for refugee protection of:

Take notice that you must present yourself at:

The Immigration and Refugee Board

[full address where hearing is to be held]

#1 on , 20    at     for the purpose of attending a hearing of your claim for refugee protection. You must be present and ready to proceed at the start time that has been set. If you do not appear at the hearing fixed for your refugee claim your claim may be declared abandoned.

#2 Special Hearing date if you did not attend the hearing of your claim:

If you fail to attend the hearing on the date indicated above, you must appear on (original hearing date + 5 working days) at 9:00 am, at the same location indicated above, to explain your failure to attend the hearing. Otherwise, your claim may be declared abandoned. If you did not attend the hearing on your claim because of medical reasons, a medical certificate is required. The medical certificate must contain the information set out in the Claimant's Guide. If the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decides not to declare the claim abandoned, the RPD must start or continue the proceedings on the day the decision is made or as soon as possible after that day. Therefore, you must be prepared to proceed with the hearing of your claim immediately following the special hearing.

#3 Providing the Basis of Claim Form:

The RPD must receive your completed Basis of Claim Form no later than 15 days after the date your claim was referred to the RPD. If you fail to provide your completed Basis of Claim Form on time, you must appear at a special hearing with your completed form. For the date and time of your special hearing, please refer below.

#4 Special Hearing date if the Basis of Claim Form is not received on time:

If the RPD does not receive your Basis of Claim Form on time, you must appear on (5 working days after the due date of the BoC) at 9:00 am, at the same location indicated above, to explain why your Basis of Claim Form was not received by the RPD within the specified period. If you do not appear, the RPD may declare your claim abandoned. If the RPD is satisfied with your explanation and your claim is not declared abandoned, the hearing of your claim will take place as scheduled.

An inland office
You will receive this form from the Citizenship and Immigration officer when your refugee claim is referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Notice to Appear for a Hearing section 

[Alternate format]

The image illustrates a form.

[Refugee Protection Division Rules, subsection 3(4)]

In the claim for refugee protection of:

Take notice that you must present yourself at:

The Immigration and Refugee Board

[full address where hearing is to be held]

#1 on           , 20    at     for the purpose of attending a hearing of your claim for refugee protection. You must be present and ready to proceed at the start time that has been set. If you do not appear at the hearing fixed for your refugee claim your claim may be declared abandoned.

#2 Special Hearing date if you did not attend the hearing of your claim:

If you fail to attend the hearing on the date indicated above, you must appear on (original hearing date + 5 working days) at 9:00 am, at the same location indicated above, to explain your failure to attend the hearing. Otherwise, your claim may be declared abandoned. If you did not attend the hearing on your claim because of medical reasons, a medical certificate is required. The medical certificate must contain the information set out in the Claimant's Guide. If the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) decides not to declare the claim abandoned, the RPD must start or continue the proceedings on the day the decision is made or as soon as possible after that day. Therefore, you must be prepared to proceed with the hearing of your claim immediately following the special hearing.

Important Dates

Information regarding all Notices to Appear

1 - The date of your refugee protection claim hearing: This is the first date on your Notice to Appear. If you did not or cannot go to your hearing for medical reasons, please see the Claimant's Guide for instructions.

  • You can have someone come with you to help you present your case. This person may be a friend or relative for example, but they cannot charge you a fee or ask for any other type of compensation to represent you at your hearing at the RPD. You may also choose to hire counsel to represent you.
  • However, only counsel who is a member in good standing of a provincial law society (lawyers and paralegals), of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council can represent you at your hearing at the RPD and charge a fee. If you decide to hire counsel, you must pay this fee yourself.
  • If you decide to hire counsel to represent you, you should do so immediately. If you do not have enough money to pay for counsel, you may contact the legal aid office in your province to find out what help, if any, is available. A list of legal aid offices is included in the Claimant's Kit you received.
  • If you do ask someone to help you at your hearing, they must be available on the date your hearing is scheduled. Unless you retain counsel and inform us within five days of receiving the date for your hearing, the RPD will not change the date to accommodate a counsel who is not available to represent you on the date fixed.

2 - The date of your special hearing: This is the second date on your Notice to Appear.

  • If you did not go to your refugee protection hearing on the first date, you risk having your claim abandoned. You must go to this special hearing.
  • At your special hearing, you will need to explain why you did not go to your refugee protection claim hearing.
  • If the RPD does not accept your explanation, your claim will be declared abandoned.
  • The RPD may also declare your claim abandoned, without contacting you again, if you do not go to your special hearing.
  • If the RPD declares your claim abandoned, you will not be allowed to continue with your claim or make another claim in the future.

IF YOU CLAIMED REFUGEE PROTECTION AT A PORT OF ENTRY (a land border crossing, airport or seaport), an immigration officer has given you an Claimant's Kit.

This kit includes a Basis of Claim Form and other documents that you have to complete before the hearing date that appears on your Notice to Appear. If the Notice to Appear you received looks like Port of Entry example that is on the left on the first page, you must also comply with the two additional important dates about sending your completed Basis of Claim Form to the RPD. These steps must be completed within the time lines below which are BEFORE the hearing date of your refugee claim.

3 - The date that your Basis of Claim Form must be received by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD): To find out when your Basis of Claim Form is due, count 15 calendar days from the date you received it. If this date is a Saturday, a Sunday or a holiday when Refugee Protection Division (RPD) offices are closed, the due date is the next working day.

  • You must make sure that you include all your documents that support your claim. The Claimant's Guide tells you what documents you need to include with your Basis of Claim Form.
  • If you don't have the documents yet to support your claim, you need to make arrangements now to get them without delay.
  • You must either bring your Basis of Claim Form in person to the RPD registry office where your claim is being processed or send it by fax if your document is less than 20 pages or by courier. The addresses and fax numbers are found in the Claimant's Guide.

4 - The date in the section "Special Hearing date if the Basis of Claim Form is not received on time": If the RPD does not receive your Basis of Claim Form by the due date (15 days after the date you received it), you must go to this special hearing.

  • You must be at the hearing at 9 a.m. on the date and at the location shown on your Notice to Appear.
  • At your special hearing, you will need to explain why the RPD did not get your Basis of Claim Form on time.
  • If you do not go to your special hearing, the RPD may declare your claim abandoned without contacting you again.
  • If the RPD declares your claim abandoned, you will not be allowed to continue with your claim or make another claim in the future.

Avis au demandeur d'asile :
Une version française de ces instructions importantes pour le demandeur d'asile est incluse

給避難申請人的通知:
內含繁體中文版的避難申請須知

Értesítés az igénylő számára:
Ezen fontos utasítás magyar változatát is tartalmazza

난민신청자에 대한 통지
이 중요한 설명의 한국어판이 포함되어 있음

给避难申请人的通知 :
内含简体中文版的避难申请须知

ਦਾਵ੍ਹਾ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲੇ ਲਈ ਸੂਚਨਾ
ਇਹਨਾਂ ਹਿਦਾਇਤਾਂ ਦਾ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਤਰਜਮਾ ਸ਼ਾਮਿਲ ਹੈ

К сведению заявителя:
Русскоязычная версия данных важных инструкций прилагается

Xususin ku socota Qofka Dalabka Sameynaya:
Waxaa la socda qoraalkan oo Af Soomaali ku tarjuman

Aviso al solicitante de asilo:
Se incluye una versión en español de estas instrucciones importantes

உரிமைகோருபவருக்கான குறிப்பு:
இந்த முக்கிய வழிமுறைகளின் தமிழ் பதிப்பும் இணைக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது

تنبيه إلى مقدم طلب اللجوء:
ستجد طيه النسخة العربية مرفقة بهذه التعليمات الهامة

دعوے داروں کے لئے نوٹس:
ان اہم ہدایات کا اردو ترجمہ شامل کیا گیا ہے

Other Important Information

Your contact information: If you did not give your address in Canada to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when you made your claim, you must give it to the RPD and to CIC or to CBSA (whichever sent your claim to the RPD) no later than 10 days after the day you received your Notice to Appear for a Hearing. You must also tell the RPD and CIC or CBSA immediately, in writing, if your address or telephone number changes. If you do not provide your contact information to the RPD on time, the RPD may not be able to contact you and may declare your claim abandoned.

Counsel: If you decide that you want counsel to help you at your hearing

  • If you hire counsel or change counsel, you must immediately give the RPD and CIC or the CBSA (whichever sent your claim to the RPD) their name, address, telephone number, fax number and email address, if any, in writing. If your counsel is a member of a provincial law society, of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, or of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, you must also provide the name of the organization they belong to, as well as their membership identification number.
  • If you change counsel, it is your responsibility to make sure that your new counsel receives all of the documents you have to support your claim. This includes documents that you, the RPD or another party may have provided to your previous counsel.

Application to change the date or time of your hearing: If you want to change the date or time of your hearing, you must apply in writing immediately.

  • For more information on how to apply, see the Claimant's Guide and rules 50 and 54 of the Refugee Protection Division Rules.
  • The RPD must receive your application at least three working days before the date set for your hearing, unless you are applying for medical reasons or because of an emergency.
  • If the reason you want to change your hearing date is medical, you must attach a medical certificate to your application. The Claimant's Guide tells you what information needs to be on the medical certificate.
  • If you provided a copy of the certificate with your application, you must give the original to the RPD as soon as possible.
  • The RPD will only agree to change the date or time of your hearing if there are exceptional circumstances. For example, it may agree if you are a vulnerable person who needs accommodation, if there has been an emergency or if something happened outside your control and you did everything you could to continue with your claim.
  • Only the RPD can change the date and time of your hearing. Unless the RPD tells you to do something else, you must go to your hearing on the date and time shown on your Notice to Appear.
  • If you do not go to your hearing, the RPD may declare your claim abandoned.

Application to change the location of your hearing: If you want to change the location of your hearing, you must apply in writing immediately.

  • For more information on how to apply, see the Claimant's Guide and rules 50 and 53 of the Refugee Protection Division Rules.
  • The RPD must receive your application at least 20 days before the date set for your hearing.
  • If you apply to change the location of your hearing and do not receive an answer, you must go to the location shown on your Notice to Appear and be ready for the hearing.
  • The RPD will only change the location of your hearing if it is fully justified, taking into account the factors listed in Rule 53 and can be found in the Claimant's Guide.

Language of the hearing: Your Notice to Appear is written in the official language of Canada (English or French) that you have chosen for your hearing.

  • If you want your hearing to be in the other official language, you must tell the RPD in writing.
  • The RPD must receive your notice at least 10 days before your hearing.

Language of interpretation: If you want to change the language or dialect of interpretation that you chose when your case was referred to the RPD or, more recently, in your Basis of Claim Form, you must tell the RPD in writing.

  • Include the new language and dialect you want to have interpreted.
  • The RPD must receive your notice at least 10 days before your hearing.

Solemn affirmation or oath: At the beginning of your hearing, you must make a solemn affirmation, which is a promise to tell the truth and to give the best answers you can to the questions you are asked. If you would prefer to take an oath on a holy book, you will need to bring a holy book with you to the hearing.

Itinerant locations: If your hearing is to be heard in any location other than Montreal, Quebec; Toronto, Ontario; Calgary, Alberta or Vancouver, British Columbia, you will see on your Notice to Appear that you do not have a complete address that tells you where your hearing is to be held. Instead, you will have a message like this:

Immigration and Refugee Board
You are required to phone 1–8XX–XXX–XXXX within 5 days of receiving this notice to confirm the address of your hearing.
[City], [Province]

Commission de l'immigration et du statut de réfugié
Vous devez composer le 1–8XX–XXX–XXXX Pour l'adresse exacte de votre audience dans les 5 jours d'avoir reçu cet avis.
[Ville], [Province]

It will tell you that you must call a telephone number that is on the notice to get the exact address where you must go for your refugee claim hearing and also for the special hearings that are explained above. If you need to write to the refugee office that is dealing with your refugee claim, you must contact the address at the bottom of the Notice to Appear.

For more information, please see the included Claimant's Guide or contact the RPD Registry your claim was sent to. Foreign language versions are provided for information purposes only. In case of disparity, English and French versions take precedence.

RPD REGISTRY OFFICES

Eastern Region

MONTRÉAL
Guy-Favreau Complex
200 René-Lévesque Blvd. West
East Tower, Room 102
Montreal, Quebec H2Z 1X4
Telephone: 514-283-7733 or 1-866-626-8719
Fax: 514-283-0164

Central Region

TORONTO
74 Victoria Street, Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario M5C 3C7
Telephone: 416-954-1000
Fax: 416-954-1165

Western Region

VANCOUVER
300 West Georgia Street,
Suite 1600
Vancouver, BC V6B 6C9
Telephone: 604-666-5946 or 1-866-787-7472
Fax: 604-666-3043

CALGARY
225 Manning Rd. NE, 2nd Floor
Calgary, Alberta T2E 2P5
Telephone: 403-292-6620 or 1-855-504-6764
Fax: 403-292-6131