On December 15, 2012, the system for determining refugee protection claims made in Canada was changed to include new regulated time limits to hold a hearing (30, 45, and 60 days) for all new claims. At the time, there were nearly 32,000 claims—what the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) calls “legacy claims”— on the wait list from the previous system, which have been scheduled as capacity allowed.
The Board appreciates the difficulties that processing delays causes for claimants and their families. For this reason, in April 2017, the IRB announced the formation of a Legacy Task Force, to proceed with all remaining legacy cases by May 1, 2019. The Task Force started its work on May 8, 2017.
On June 20, 2017, the IRB Issued a
news release and produced a
YouTube video asking legacy claimants to
contact the IRB to schedule their hearing and update their information on the Intention to Proceed Form as needed.
The Task Force began hearing cases on September 18, 2017 and as of November 30, 2017, 4,444 legacy cases remain to be finalized. Of these remaining cases, over 200 have been decided and are in the process of being mailed to claimants, and another 979 claims are currently on the schedule for a hearing between December and May 2018, with more being added on an ongoing basis. The remainder of the pending legacy claims will be heard and finalized as quickly as possible.
The Task Force is asking all claimants who have not contacted the IRB to schedule their hearing to do so as soon as possible so that your claim can be finalized.
Ready Tours for Refugee Claimants
The IRB collaborates with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to help refugee claimants prepare for their upcoming hearings through Ready Tours. These tours are free of charge and are held in our
Montreal offices. For more information, please contact the NGO who is organizing the Ready Tours in your region.
- Legacy claimants should update their information on the Intention to Proceed Form as needed.
- Legacy claimants will continue to use the Personal Information Form (PIF)
- You should review the information found in the
National Documentation Package which pertains to your claim.
- You must always inform yourself of what you need to do in relation to the IRB, including attending a hearing to explain your situation and tell your story. An IRB decision-maker will decide if you should be granted refugee status.
- You have a right to be represented by counsel in your hearing at your own expense. However, many provinces offer legal aid services. This may include providing legal information, advice, assistance and representation for eligible claimants. For detailed information on services and eligibility, please contact the
legal aid delivery entity in your province.
- Legacy claimants who have any further questions should contact the Legacy Office at 1-833-534-2292.