ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 436 - July 3, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

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Assisted Voluntary Return & Reintegration Pilot Program

Issue

The purpose of this Operational Bulletin is to provide all officers involved in the intake of a refugee claim, or the removal of a foreign national from Canada; specifically Border Services Officers (BSO) and Inland Enforcement Officers (IEO) in the Greater Toronto Area Region (GTAR), with guidance on changes associated with the implementation and launch of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) pilot program.

  • The AVRR pilot program has two primary objectives:
    • To provide a clear framework for failed refugee claimants to leave Canada voluntarily within a shorter timeframe, and
    • To alleviate pressure on CBSA’s regular removals program by working with an independent service partner to facilitate low-risk removals, thereby allowing for the reallocation of resources to higher priority, more complex removals cases.
  • The AVRR pilot program will offer eligible program participants with travel, pre and post departure counselling, and reintegration assistance delivered in-kind, upon return to their country of origin. In low-risk referred cases, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will assume responsibility for many of the activities related to a removal that are currently being conducted by IEOs, such as scheduling of a departure date, securing a travel document and confirming departure.
  • The AVRR pilot program will be in effect from June 29, 2012 to March 31, 2015.
  • The AVRR pilot program will be administered in the GTAR jointly by the CBSA and the IOM.
  • The AVRR pilot program is only available to Failed Refugee claimants in the region defined as the GTAR in ENF 34, who remain compliant and present a low risk to Canada.

Actions required by:

  • All Inland Enforcement Officers, particularly those in the GTAR, are encouraged to review ENF 34 for a detailed outline of policy and program procedures related to the removal of a foreign national from Canada under the AVRR pilot program.
  • Specific procedures related to Airline Liability (ENF 11) and Confirmation of Departure (ENF 15) have changed with the introduction of the AVRR pilot program for those enrolled in the program.
  • Additional changes are being introduced to PP1 at refugee intake. Border Services Officers, Inland Enforcement Officers and Immigration Officers within the GTAR will now be required to notify all foreign nationals who make a claim for refugee protection at a Port of Entry or Inland Office, about the AVRR pilot program and provide them with an AVRR brochure. No additional counselling on program details is required at this point by any officer.
  • For detailed information pertaining to the AVRR pilot program, its policy and procedures, Officers are to refer to ENF 34.
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