Act, rules and regulations


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) with jurisdiction to hear and decide cases on immigration and refugee matters. The IRPA sets out the core principles and concepts that govern Canada's immigration and refugee protection programs, including provisions relating to refugees, sponsorships and removals, detention reviews and admissibility hearings, and the jurisdiction and powers of tribunals.

The IRPA came into force on June 28, 2002.

On December 15, 2012, Canada's refugee determination system underwent significant changes as a result of the coming into force of amendments to the IRPA from the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Protecting Canada's Immigration System Act, as well as related accompanying regulations.


The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations relate to temporary foreign workers, students, the examination of persons seeking entry, permanent resident cards, residency obligations, family class, the selection of skilled workers and business immigrants, refugees, humanitarian and compassionate considerations, inadmissibility, detention and release, pre-removal risk assessments and other enforcement-related matters. These regulations, which came into force on June 28, 2002, have since been amended.

One significant amendment is the Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, which set processing time limits for refugee protection claims at the Refugee Protection Division. These regulations came into force on December 15, 2012.

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting With Canadians websites.

IRB rules

Each set of divisional rules establishes the practices and required procedures for that division. The rules of each division are binding, although certain rules expressly grant discretion.

Rules provide direction to decision-makers and serve to direct users of the tribunals in their presentation of cases before the IRB. Subsection 161(1) of the IRPA, provides statutory authority for the rules.

The Immigration Appeal Division Rul​es, 2022 came into force on January 14, 2023 and the Immigration Division Rules came into force on June 28, 2002.​

The current versions of the Refugee Appeal Division Rules and the Refugee Protection Division Rules came into force on December 15, 2012.

The IRPA provides that the Chairperson and other members of the Board must swear the oath or give the solemn affirmation of office set out in the rules of the Board.

Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021 to 2023​​

Forward Regulatory Plans are publicly available lists intended to help Canadians, including businesses, Indigenous peoples and trading partners, plan for opportunities to provide their feedback during regulatory development and future regulatory changes. It briefly describes each regulatory initiative and includes information such as who may be affected by a regulatory initiative; regulatory cooperation efforts undertaken or planned; opportunities for public consultation; links to related information or analysis and contact information.

This Forward Regulatory Plan provides information on regulatory initiatives the IRB aims to propose or finalize in the next 2 years through pre-publication in the Canada Gazette, Part I and final publication in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Regulatory initiatives

Modernizing the Immigration Appeal Division Rules

For more information

Rules of the Federal Court