Based on the backlog at the tribunal, our clients have experienced significant wait times for their hearings to be heard and decided. The IRB has been overwhelmed by new cases. This has been well reported in the news. Currently, most cases at the IRB are being postponed for “administrative reasons”. Please note that this does not put the case at risk and counsel do not have the power to set new hearing dates. Where an applicant or claimant has an urgent situation, counsel can make a request to the IRB for consideration.
Global News was in our office reporting on this issue. In case you missed it, here is a link to the story.
A reporter from Global, Timm Bruch visited our office to get more information about the wait times at the IRB. Here is an excerpt from his story:
The number of asylum seekers in Manitoba waiting to hear if they can stay in their new homes is going up.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, 40,000 asylum seekers are currently backlogged to have their refugee claims heard.
The number has skyrocketed in recent years due to federal funding, staff limitations, and an intense influx of those coming to Canada through non-border crossings in recent years.
Based on our numbers, this is a very serious issue and we are working with staff at the IRB.
Clarke said Tuesday many of his clients are feeling anxious due to the uncertainty the delay brings.
“While he’s waiting and doesn’t know what’s going on, he’s worried about what might happen,” Clarke said. “He’s worried he might have to go back, he’s worried about his family in his home country.”
24,000 claims are processed each year — up from 20,000 previously — but the Immigration and Refugee Board said on Tuesday that it’s just not enough.
The winter months in 2016 brought an influx of asylum seekers to Manitoba’s borders, and the number in 2017 has already started increasing as the weather gets colder: 45 people have already crossed into the province this month, just ten days into October.
We work closely with the tribunal on all our files. For hearings and appeals, please let our office aware of your situation and we may be able to contact the tribunal. We treat every case as a unique situation and we advocate for our clients. We attend hearings at the IRB – all levels, including the RPD, the ID and the IAD – frequently and we assist clients with every type of immigration appeal.
If you or your contacts have upcoming hearings at the tribunal, please contact our office and we may be able to assist.