Who will be at the hearing?
The claimants – All adult claimants, as well as children 12 and older, must go to the hearing.
Children under the age of 12 must go with adult claimants if the Immigration and Refugee Board says that they must be there.
Adult claimants with children under the age of 12 may want to check with the Board if:
- they have children under the age of 12, and
- they have not heard from the Board that their children do not need to come to the hearing.
Even if the Board says that children do not need to come to the hearing, claimants should talk to their lawyer about whether bringing their children may be helpful.
Children under the age of 12 must go if they are making a claim on their own, without an adult.
The Refugee Protection Division member – This is the person who conducts the hearing and decides whether to accept the claim.
The interpreter – A professional interpreter will be present if the claimant has asked for one. Interpreters are required to keep all information provided at the hearing confidential.
Counsel – A licensed lawyer, paralegal, or immigration consultant may represent the claimant. An unpaid representative may also represent the claimant.
Witnesses – Witnesses who will testify in support of the claim must go to the hearing.
Designated representative – Some claimants may have the support of a designated representative.
The Minister's counsel – If Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency is opposing the claim, counsel for the Minister will take part in the hearing. They will notify the claimant before the hearing and say why they are doing this. If this happens, the claimant will need to get legal help.