Depending on a number of factors including your country of origin and whether you made your refugee claim at a port of entry or once you were already in Canada, your Refugee hearing would be scheduled within 30 to 60 days of your claim. 20 days before this hearing, you are required to submit your forms and all documents you would like to rely on in favor of your application. Late submissions can be made but it cannot be guaranteed.
At the hearing, a Board Member, who would have a copy of all the documents you submitted, would ask you questions in order to determine whether or not to grant you protection in Canada. It is rare for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to send a representative to these hearings but sometimes there will be a CIC representative present and they will ask you some questions as well.
It is very crucial that your story is clearly presented to the Board Member and that your answers are coherent and consistent. It is highly recommended that you have a lawyer represent you at this hearing so that they can ensure your full story is presented to the Board Member and if there are any apparent inconsistencies in your answers, they can clarify your answers by asking you further questions or by pointing the board member to relevant information in the documents. You can have an interpreter at the hearing so that you understand the questions put to you and answer them clearly and fully without difficulty.
The hearing usually lasts between two hours to half a day. Some hearings do last longer and sometimes a second hearing date may have to be scheduled to complete the hearing. The Board member may either give an oral decision immediately after the hearing or post a written decision letter to you or your lawyer on a later date.