IRB issues a practice notice on the scheduling of virtual, hybrid, and in-person hearings

​The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB or the Board) has issued Practice Notice: Scheduling of virtual, hybrid, and in-person hearings at the IRB and it is now in effect for hearings to be held on October 18, 2022 or later.

The notice details how the IRB will build upon the success of its current virtual hearings model by providing additional capacity for both hybrid and in-person hearings. The model will allow for greater access to IRB facilities to help ensure access to justice, while still protecting the health and safety of all those who appear before the Board.

All IRB hearings are scheduled as virtual hearings by default. However, moving forward, the Board will offer three hearing formats:

  • Virtual hearings: All participants attend virtually using telephone or videoconferencing software such as Microsoft Teams from a remote location, such as their home or office. They use their own equipment (computer, tablet, etc.).
  • Hybrid hearings: If they do not have a suitable place or the right technology, participants can connect from an IRB office using an IRB computer. Other participants not attending from an IRB office use their own equipment to participate virtually from another location.
  • In-person hearings: The member and the parties attend in-person in one room at an IRB office or another place designated by the IRB. Other participants, such as interpreters, may participate in-person or virtually.

Important COVID-19 health and safety measures are already in place to protect hearing room participants, employees and visitors. The IRB will continue to monitor, evaluate, and evolve its hearings model in the coming months.

For full details on the hearings model and to find clear instructions for requesting a hybrid or in-person hearing from each IRB Division, please consult Practice Notice: Scheduling of virtual, hybrid, and in-person hearings at the IRB.