The IRB’s Legacy Task Force clears its backlog

News release

April 30, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s Legacy Task Force is on track to eliminate the pending inventory of legacy refugee claims.

Following reforms to the refugee protection system in 2012, close to 32,000 refugee claimants remained pending from the former system, which became known as “legacy” claims.  By spring, 2017, some 5,500 legacy claims remained.  Recognizing the challenges that these delays posed for claimants and their families, the IRB established the Legacy Task Force with the mandate to finalize all remaining legacy claims within two years.

Today, only a relatively small number of claims remain, which are either suspended, have already had a hearing and are awaiting a decision, or are scheduled to be heard between now and July 2019.

The Task Force has worked closely with the counsel community and other stakeholders to schedule and hear legacy claims as efficiently as possible while ensuring fairness and quality of decisions.


“Following changes made in 2012, 32,000 people who had requested Canada’s protection were left in limbo for years. We took action to clear the backlog with a comprehensive plan to cut timelines and to help protect the most vulnerable people in the world. Thank you to all those who worked hard to make this happen.”

- The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“I am very proud of the Legacy Task Force for their hard work over the past two years and for achieving this important milestone. Their efforts also meaningfully contributed to the IRB rendering quality decisions on almost 35,000 claims for refugee protection this past year, resulting in one of the most productive years in the history of the Board.”

- Richard Wex, Chairperson, IRB

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Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

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