What happens at the eligibility interview?
At the eligibility interview, a Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) officer decides if the claimant is eligible to have their claim heard. If they are eligible, the claim will go to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Learn more about eligibility.
The IRCC officer will give the claimant these documents:
- Refugee Protection Claimant Document (RCPD)
- Notice to Appear
Claimants have the right to be interviewed in English or in French and to get these documents in English or in French.
The Refugee Protection Claimant Document shows that the claimant has been found eligible for a refugee protection hearing. Claimants can show it to health care providers when seeking health care under the Interim Federal Health Care program. Showing the document may also help prove eligibility for other services that refugee claimants are entitled to get. The claimant should sign the Refugee Protection Claimant Document.
The Notice to Appear shows the date for the refugee protection hearing. If the claimant is from a designated country of origin, the hearing date will be up to 30 days after the date of the eligibility decision. For other claimants, the date will be up to 60 days after the date of the decision.
Note: If the claimant already has a lawyer, they should tell the officer which dates the lawyer can be at the hearing. These dates must be within the time limit.
The Notice also shows a special hearing date. This hearing happens if the claimant is in danger of losing their right to have their claim heard because they did not go to their refugee protection hearing.
Unless the claimant has a valid temporary immigration status in Canada, the officer also makes a conditional removal order. This order never comes into effect if the claim is accepted. If the claim is refused, the removal order takes effect.