During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has continued to operate remotely. On April 7, 2020 the IRB issued a Practice Notice for “Special measures due to COVID-19” in which it announced it was suspending all in-person hearings until further notice, except for detention reviews and some admissibility hearings involving detained persons.
The Board is working towards a return to productivity that is based on two strategies: (i) expanding remote hearings across all Divisions to ensure continuity of its services during these unusual times and (ii) implementing measures including health and safety protocols to allow it return to the workplace and resume in-person hearings in the coming months, when it is safe and consistent with public health guidance.
To that end, effectively immediately the Immigration Division is undertaking the following measures:
- To allow members to finalize reserved admissibility hearing decisions, the ID registry is reaching out to the parties to determine whether any additional submissions or evidence has been provided since the closing of IRB offices.
- In addition to continuing to hold detention reviews and admissibility hearings involving detained persons, the ID is resuming the scheduling of certain other admissibility hearings by teleconference. In all cases, the ID will only schedule admissibility hearings for non-detained persons by teleconference with the consent of the parties.
Notice to parties: New initiatives being undertaken at the Immigration Division during the ongoing pandemic for more detailed information on these new measures.