4. Go to your hearing
The (PRRA) oral hearing is also called an interview.
If you miss the hearing date, you’ll be given another date. If you miss this second date, your PRRA application will be declared and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will take steps to remove you from Canada.
The PRRA hearing is used to gather facts. It’s less formal than a hearing at the Refugee Board. The hearing isn’t recorded by IRCC. The officer doesn’t make a decision at the hearing. Legal arguments are not made during the hearing but are provided in writing after the hearing.
The IRCC officer will take notes during the hearing. It’s also important that you bring someone to take notes for you, and a lawyer or legal representative, if possible. You should ask the officer if you can record the hearing using your own device. A recording could be important if the decision is negative and you need to ask a judge to review the decision.
The hearing will start when the officer introduces themselves. They will also ask if you need an interpreter. If you can’t understand the interpreter, or if you have other concerns about the interpretation, tell the officer as soon as possible. Don’t wait until after the hearing to raise these concerns.
The officer should only ask you questions about the facts in your notice of hearing. Your answers to the officer’s questions could raise other questions if there are differences between your answers and your PRRA form, or other . The officer can ask you more questions if they have concerns about any of your evidence. The officer must tell you what their concerns are and give you a chance to explain.
Your lawyer or legal representative can ask questions during the hearing to help you explain your fears to the officer.
At the end of your hearing, ask the officer for a copy of their notes and offer to share a copy of your recording of the hearing. Then the officer and your legal representative will agree to a date when you must submit a summary of the evidence and the reasons you fear being removed to your country.
These written submissions will explain how the evidence supports your case, and how you meet the legal definition of Convention refugee or protected person. These are your legal arguments.