Public policy concerning work permit restrictions for Designated Country of Origin Asylum Claimants

Background and Public Policy Considerations

Canada is committed to a well-managed migration system with an asylum system that is fair, provides timely protection to refugees, and helps remove failed claimants quickly. The Government of Canada has removed all countries from the Designated Countries of Origin list. This is another step toward improving the asylum system.

The original policy goal of the Designated Countries of Origin regime was to expedite the processing of claimants from countries generally considered safe, in order to deter misuse of the asylum system. Under the original provisions, claimants from identified countries were subject to shorter regulated hearing timelines, had limited access to post-claim recourses and were required to wait 180 days before applying for work permits. However, two evaluations of the asylum system, and changes to processing at the Immigration and Refugee Board, demonstrated that asylum claims from nationals of designated countries of origin were not being processed faster than other claimants. In addition, key elements of the regime have been struck down by the Federal Court for being contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Designated Countries of Origin list has been discontinued by Ministerial Order. While those who make a claim after the date of de-designation will no longer be subject to the 180-day bar on applying for a work permit, de-designation cannot apply retroactively for the purpose of the work permit restriction, which is based on whether a country was designated at the time a claim was made. This means that the work permit bar would continue to be in effect for those from countries previously on the list who made a claim in the last six months. To align with this designation change, claimants who are nationals of a Designated Country of Origin on the day on which their claim is made may now be issued a work permit immediately following the referral of their claim, without having to wait 180 days after the referral of their claim.

I hereby establish that there are public policy considerations that justify granting, under section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, an exemption from the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations listed below.

Conditions (Eligibility requirements)

Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the criteria and obligations listed below when a foreign national complies with the following conditions (eligibility requirements):

Provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for which a delegated officer may grant an exemption:

Coming into force and expiration
This temporary public policy comes into force on the signature date, and ends once processing of all applications who are eligible for this public policy is complete.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Dated at Ottawa, May 10th, 2019

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