Refugee Claimants Asked to Update Contact Information

News Release

June 20, 2017 – Ottawa – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is seeking the assistance from the media and stakeholders to spread the word to all refugee claimants who filed their refugee protection claim to the IRB before December 15, 2012, to contact the IRB and update their information. 

The IRB recognizes the importance of timely processing and appreciates the difficulties facing legacy claimants waiting for their claim to be heard. That is the reason the IRB recently announced a Legacy Task Force to provide dedicated support to the elimination of its backlog of legacy claims. The Task Force will work within current resource allocations to increase the rate at which it can process legacy claims, and will start to hear these legacy cases in September 2017. 

Refugee claimants who made a claim in Canada before December 15, 2012 should contact the IRB with their contact information:

Phone: 1-833-534-2292
Fax (Toronto): 1-416-954-1165
Fax (Montreal): 1-514-283-0164
Website:  Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada


“We understand how difficult it is for the people to have been waiting for a minimum of four years in the legacy backlog. Their lives and well-being are at stake and we are committed to start scheduling these cases as soon as possible.”

Mario Dion, Chairperson, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In December 2012, when the new refugee protection system was established, there were nearly 32,000 refugee protection claims pending from the previous system (legacy claims).

  • The IRB reallocated resources internally to ensure these legacy claims could continue to be heard and as of April 2017, nearly 27,000 (over 84%) pending legacy claims have been finalized, leaving approximately 5,500 legacy cases remaining.

  • The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) is facing a sustained increase in the number of new claims it receives. Global uncertainty threatens to reinforce this trend. With a target annual capacity of 17,500 finalizations and in the absence of a reverse in intake trends, the RPD anticipates its pending inventory will continue to grow and may exceed 37,000 pending claims by the end of fiscal year 2017–18.

  • In April 2017 the IRB announced the establishment of a Legacy Task Force, with a mandate to eliminate the remaining legacy backlog within two years. The Legacy Task Force will be hiring former RPD decision-makers who will start to hear legacy cases in September 2017. 

Associated Links


Media Relations
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

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