Making a complaint to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

​​​​Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint to the IRB about:

  • the conduct of an IRB member;
  • a person who represents a client at the IRB for a fee, but is not authorized by a law society, the Chambres des notaires du Québec, or the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council;
  • the conduct and services of an Interpreter.

Making a complaint about the conduct of an IRB member

You may file a complaint about the conduct of an IRB Member. Complaints must be made in writing to the Office of the Ombudsperson ​by ​email or by mail to this address:

Office of the Ombudsperson​
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Minto Place, Canada Building
344 Slater Street, 14th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario - K1A 0K1

A Complaint Form is available to help you submit your complaint, however complaints can be made without using this form.

Please read the IRB’s Procedures for Making a Complaint about a Member for the full details on this complaint process.

A complaint cannot be about what a member decides in a case. The law requires that when there is a concern about a member’s decision, the proper place for that to be dealt with is through an appeal either to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) or the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD), or to apply for judicial review at the Federal Court.

Also please note the complaint process is not meant to address questions such as lack of procedural fairness and natural justice.​ The complaint procedure is meant to address a members’ professional conduct, and whether or not the conduct of a member is in breach of the Code of Conduct for members of the IRB. In other words, it is about how members behave while exercising their duties. Please refer to sections 9 through 15 of the Code for those elements that could be the basis for submitting a complaint.

Note: The IRB does not accept anonymous complaints. If you would like to protect your identity from the Member you’re complaining about, please indicate that in writing, and your identity will be known only to the Ombudsperson If your identity must be revealed to provide a fair and fulsome investigation, the Ombudsperson will let you know.​

The reports of complaints made against Members and their disposition from 2018 onwards are now available.

Making a complaint about an unauthorized paid representative

If the counsel representing you before the IRB is not a lawyer in good standing with the bar of a province or territory; a notary in good standing with the Chambre des notaires du Québec; or an immigration consultant in good standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council, your counsel is therefore considered an “unauthorized representative”.

You may choose to be represented by a counsel who is an “unauthorized representative”, however, this individual is not allowed to charge you a fee (ask you for money or compensation).

If you have paid your counsel and they are “unauthorized”, you may choose to file a complaint with the IRB against your counsel. You must express your complaint about your counsel to the IRB member during your hearing.

For more information on the policy regarding unauthorized paid representatives, please see the IRB website.

Making a complaint about an interpreter

Interpreters are important contributors to the refugee and immigration system who interpret dialogue during the proceedings. Whatever is said in one language should be interpreted faithfully and accurately into the other language using the exact equivalent meaning and structure.

Please fill out this complaint form and send it to the attention of the Interpreter Unit of the regional offices where the incident occurred.

Making a complaint about interpretation

Complaints about interpretation should be made to the Member in the hearing room.