What the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Does and Does Not Do

Note: This document is not a legal document. For precise, legal information, please consult the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Regulations, and IRB Rules.


  • Determine whether persons who have made a refugee protection claim in Canada, are refugees or not.
  • Hold admissibility hearings, at the request of CBSA, to determine if a person should be allowed to enter or remain in Canada; or should be ordered removed from Canada (issuing removal orders)
  • Conduct detention reviews, at the request of CBSA, to determine if there are sufficient reasons to continue the detention of the person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Hear appeals on immigration matters, such as appeals from refused sponsorship applications and appeals from removal orders.


  • Make refugee and immigration policies (CIC)
  • Receive refugee protection claims and decides whether they should be referred to the IRB for determination (CIC)
  • Deal with refugee protection claims made outside Canada (CIC)
  • Select immigrants, including deciding on sponsorship applications (CIC)
  • Issue visitors visas ("temporary resident visas"), work permits, student visas (CIC)
  • Issue Minister's permit ("temporary resident permits") (CIC)
  • Conduct pre-removal risks assessments (CIC)
  • Decide applications based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds (CIC)
  • Issue danger opinions regarding persons found to be refugees (CIC)
  • Issue security certificates (CIC and CBSA)
  • Grant Canadian citizenship (CIC)
  • Issue removal orders against non-permanent residents in certain cases (CBSA)
  • Arrest and detain people under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (CBSA)
  • Remove people from Canada (CBSA)