Policy instruments

​​Policy making in the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

The scope and scale of the task the IRB has in adjudicating a diverse range of immigration and refugee matters in four Divisions means that the Board cannot rely solely on the guidance that legislation and judicial decisions provide. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations provide general guidance, but leave much latitude for interpretation. Judicial guidance is also limited: IRB decisions are subject to judicial review by the Federal Court, but only with leave and the judicial review process does not resolve every ambiguity or gap in law or practice. Where it considers advisable, the IRB seeks to fill this gap through mechanisms it has generated to improve the quality of the justice it delivers. Its efforts in this regard constitute policy-making.

Policy instruments

Chairperson's guidelines

The Chairperson's Guidelines provide guiding principles for adjudicating and managing cases.

Jurisprudential guides

Jurisprudential Guides are policy instruments that support consistency in adjudicating cases which share essential similarities.


Policies are formal statements that explain the purpose and the mechanics of operational initiatives at the Board.

Chairperson's instructions

These Instructions provide formal direction that obliges specific IRB personnel to take or to avoid specific actions.