A selection of IRB decisions is available on the Canadian Legal Information Institute's (CanLII) website.

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is Canada's largest independent administrative tribunal. Every year, the Board renders more than 40,000 decisions on refugee protection and immigration matters.

About Board decisions

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, hearings before the IRB are generally held in public. A case may be heard in private when there is a serious possibility that the life, liberty and security of a person will be endangered if the proceeding is held in public, or for reasons of fairness or public security, as set out in section 166 of the Act.

When a case is heard in private, the decision and reasons are "sanitized". That is, all the information that could identify the person who is the subject of the proceedings is replaced by "XXX".

Refugee claims

Persuasive decisions

Persuasive decisions are decisions that have been identified by a division head (the Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division or the Immigration Appeal Division, or the Director General of the Immigration Division) as being of persuasive value in developing the jurisprudence of a particular division. These decisions are well written, provide clear, complete and concise reasons with respect to the particular element that is considered to have persuasive value, and consider all of the relevant issues in a case. Accordingly, members are encouraged to rely upon persuasive decisions in the interests of consistency and effective decision-making. This consistency also helps parties and counsel prepare for proceedings before the IRB, and may encourage early resolution without a hearing, where appropriate.

The use of persuasive decisions enables the IRB to move toward a consistent application of the law in a transparent manner. Their designation promotes efficiency in the hearing and reasons writing process by making use of quality work done by colleagues.

Unlike jurisprudential guides, decision makers are not required to explain their decision not to apply a persuasive decision.

VA9-02166(December 2010) | Revoked (November 2014)
In this decision, the claimant asserts that he has been and will be persecuted by the Sri Lankan army, government officials and paramilitary agents associated with the Sri Lankan government if he returns to Sri Lanka because he is a member of a particular social group of 'young male Tamils from northern Sri Lanka'. He also claimed a nexus to the Convention grounds of perceived political opinion and nationality. | Notice of Identification

TA6-07453(May 2008) | Revoked (November 2014)
This decision has persuasive value in regard to claimants from Mexico seeking protection due to their fear that the Mexican state is unable to protect them from criminality by common criminals because of corruption within the police. The reasons cite the documentary evidence which relates to state protection and conclude with a finding that for such claimants, adequate state protection is available. | Notice of Identification

Refugee appeals

Reasons of interest

Following are links to select refugee appeal decisions that the IRB deems noteworthy for meeting one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Decisions that model a practical or expedient approach to an issue;
  2. Decisions that demonstrate a novel or evolutional approach to an issue;
  3. Decisions that thoroughly assess a complex issue;
  4. Decisions that model excellence in reasons writing;
  5. Decisions that respond to a timely or emerging issue.

Decisions identified here will be prefaced by a short introduction. All published Refugee Appeal Division decisions are available on CanLII.

Decision No. TB7-07363

This decision considers a domestic violence claim through the lens of Guideline 4 - Women Refugee Claimants Fearing Gender-Related Persecution.

Decision No. MB6-06938

This decision considers the question of family unity and the best interests of the child in a case involving an American-born child of Haitian parents.

Decision No. MB7-22589

This decision provides a thorough analysis of exclusion under Article 1E of the Refugee Convention in the case of a Haitian claimant with permanent resident status in Brazil.

Decision No. TB7-12847 (Jamaica) and Decision No. MB5-03341 (Sri Lanka)
These decisions examine credibility findings through the lens of the Chairperson’s Guideline 9: Proceedings Before the IRB Involving Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.

Decision No. TB7-04608 (Turkey)

This decision provides a thorough overview of the political situation in Turkey as it relates to Hizmet followers.

Decision No. VB6-04568 / 1F(a)

This decision provides a thorough exclusion analysis pursuant to Article 1F(a) of the Refugee Convention.

Jurisprudential guides

Jurisprudential Guides are policy instruments that support consistency in adjudicating cases which share essential similarities. A Jurisprudential Guide serves to build a Division’s jurisprudence upon well-reasoned decisions.

  • TB7-19851 (July 2018)
    This Jurisprudential Guide addresses internal flight alternatives in major cities in south and central Nigeria for claimants fleeing non-state actors. Decision TB7-19851

  • TB7-01837 (May 2017)
    This Jurisprudential Guide looks at whether the treatment experienced by Ahmadis in Pakistan amounts to persecution, whether state protection is available and whether there is a viable internal flight alternative. Decision TB7-01837
  • MB6-01059/60 (February 2017)
    This Jurisprudential Guide looks at the availability of a viable internal flight alternative in India for claimants from Punjab. Decision MB6-01059/60
  • TB6-11632 (November 2016)
    This Jurisprudential Guide provides an analysis of the efficacy of the Chinese national computer network known as the Golden Shield Project and its impact on whether a person wanted by the authorities can exit China via an airport using a genuine passport. Decision TB6-11632
  • TB4-05778 (June 2016)
    The issue in this decision that forms the basis of the Jurisprudential Guide is whether a claimant/appellant who is a citizen of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is deemed to be a citizen of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Decision TB4-05778

Revoked jurisprudential guides

MB6-01059/60 (February 2017)
The availability of an internal flight alternative in India for claimants from Punjab. Decision MB6-01059/60

IRB decisions of public interest

Decisions of public interest