Providing emotional and mental preparation for your IRB hearing.

Refugee hearings are complex and intimidating resulting in many refugee claimants experiencing anxiety, fear, and emotional anguish. Matthew House has developed the innovative Refugee Hearing Program (RHP) to assist claimants to prepare for their hearings before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

About Matthew House 

Matthew House is a nationally recognized leader in welcoming, assisting, and resettling newly arrived refugee claimants who would otherwise be homeless. In addition to our main reception house, we have three transition homes where particularly vulnerable residents, such as unaccompanied minors or single mothers, may stay and receive longer-term support.


Since opening in 1998, Matthew House has assisted close to 2,000 refugee claimants from 100 nations to settle in Toronto.

About the RHP (Refugee Hearing Preparation) Program

In 2013 Matthew House developed a refugee hearing simulation program in order to support our residents in preparing for their hearing.  As word spread about this program demand for it grew exponentially.  Thanks to generous grants, we have been able to expand this program to serve hundreds of refugee claimants beyond our homes. To date we have provided hearing simulations for more than 800 refugee claimants a year and are currently in the process of creating a “virtual” hearing model.

Funding for the RHP
The RHP is grateful to have received grants from the Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) and other private foundations and donors.  These grants have enabled the RHP to expand to benefit a larger number of refugee claimants in our city.  The LFO is funding an expansion of this program to assist refugee claimants “virtually” beyond the boundaries of Toronto.
Please reload

The RHP serves to provide refugee claimants with legal information without providing legal advice about their specific claim. This program is intended to prepare refugee claimants emotionally and intellectually through facilitating an experience to simulate the process of a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


RHP Participant, Claimant from Ethiopia

"Dear Coordinator and team members of the Refugee Hearing Program, I am happy to tell you that my IRB decision is positive...I found and witnessed that my participation in the mock interview was extremely helpful. My hearing/interview practice and feedback I got from your team members had a strong impact on my actual hearing. It enabled me to succeed in answering all the questions successfully. Both the content and scene of your interview made me feel confident across each stage of my actual hearing process. Please keep up your hard work."