I have a refugee hearing and there’s an exclusion issue. What does this mean?

This information could apply to you if you're making a refugee claim or appealing a decision about your claim.

Refugee law includes some situations where you won't be able to get refugee protection. This is called exclusion.

The term “Minister” refers to either Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship or the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

The Minister gets involved in your claim or appeal if they believe there are reasons to exclude you from refugee protection. This is called a Ministerial intervention.

The Minister does not actually take part in your refugee claim but is represented by someone from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). That person is called Minister's counsel.

Minister's counsel may argue that your refugee claim should not be accepted because they don't believe that you're:

  • a , or
  • a .

Even if the Minister does not intervene, the Refugee Board member can still consider whether you're excluded from refugee protection.

If the Minister is not intervening based on an exclusion issue, read more in How do I prepare for my refugee hearing?

Get legal help

If the Minister is intervening in your refugee claim or appeal, it's important to get legal help before your hearing.

Your lawyer will know how to:

  • ask for an adjournment if you need more time to get ready for you hearing, and
  • respond to the Minister's .

Knowing how to respond to the evidence can be very complicated. You'll need legal help to explain either:

  • why the Minister's information is wrong, or
  • if the information is right, why you should not be excluded from refugee protection.
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