ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 440-E - August 15, 2012

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Processing Existing Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) Applications and Subsequent PRRAs that Are Subject to, or Exempted From, the 12-Month Bar

This Operational Bulletin has expired.


Effective August 15, 2012, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will begin to retroactively close existing Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) applications for which the 12-month bar applies.


The purpose of this OB is to provide guidance for the identification of the affected applications, data entry instructions for closing these applications and the procedures for informing the applicants.


On June 28, 2012, Bill C-31 received Royal Assent becoming the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (PCISA), amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. While most of the provisions of the Bill will come into force at a later date, certain provisions are now in effect, including those concerning the following bars to the PRRA:

  • Under subsection 112(2)(b.1) of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, a person may not apply for a PRRA if less than 12 months have passed since their refugee claim was rejected—or determined to be abandoned or withdrawn—by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) or the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
  • Under subsection 112(2)(c) of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, a person may not apply for a PRRA if less than 12 months have passed since their previous PRRA was rejected or determined to be withdrawn or abandoned by the RPD or the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism (CIC).

The retroactive application of this 12-month bar will come into effect with the granting of an Order in Council (OIC) on August 15, 2012. Another OIC will also allow the Minister to establish exemptions to the 12-month bar for certain foreign nationals.

The OIC will allow CIC to close PRRA and subsequent PRRA applications that are currently in its inventory for which a previous IRB or PRRA decision (rejected, abandoned or withdrawn) has been made within the last 12 months (August 15, 2011 to August 14, 2012) and for which a country exemption does not apply.

The countries that are currently exempted from the 12-month PRRA bar are the following: Central African Republic, Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria.

A. Instructions to close the affected PRRAs and subsequent PRRAs:

CIC is to close all PRRA applications that are currently in its inventory for which the 12-month bar applies.

For IRB decisions, the date of the decision is the date indicated on the written decision. This date could differ from the one in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) as there may be a delay in the IRB entering the decision in the system. This means that before closing a file, CIC must verify the paper copy of the RPD decision and ensure that the date of decision is within the period of time established above.

Note that the 12-month bar on PRRA does not apply to persons whose claim was rejected under Article 1E or 1F of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Such persons are eligible for PRRA as per usual process.

A112 (3) cases currently with Case Management Branch for determination are NOT to be closed, but remain open until a decision is rendered.

1) Recording the decision

Scenario NCMS FOSS FOSS Remarks
PRRA previously initiated and now subject to the retroactivity Conclude PRRA tree as may not apply for PRRA — PRRA bar from RPD  (FOSS instructions to follow) (FOSS instructions to follow)
A subsequent PRRA was received and it is now subject to retroactivity Conclude PRRA tree as may not apply for PRRA — PRRA bar from PRRA (FOSS instructions to follow) (FOSS instructions to follow)

These National Case Management System (NCMS) dispositions are available to close existing applications and are for use in the following stages:

  • Determining Type of Applicant for cases where type of applicant is not yet determined.
  • Pending PRRA Decision stage in the PRRA Decision event for non-112(3) cases.
  • Pending Risk Assessment stage in the ‘Risk Assessment’ event for 112(3) cases.

2) Informing the applicant of their PRRA closure:

Once CIC has closed the PRRA application, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will issue generic letters informing applicants that the PRRA application has been closed without an assessment as the one-year PRRA bar is in effect.

B. Instructions to process affected PRRA applications for which an exemption applies:

CIC will continue, as per usual process, to decide PRRA applications, which are currently in its inventory, for which a country exemption exists.

Note: the list of countries that are exempt from the 12-month bar (announced on August 15, 2012) applies only to cases for which an IRB or PRRA decision (rejected, withdrawn or abandoned) was rendered between August 15, 2011 and August 14, 2012. There are no exemptions to the 12-month bar for cases decided by the IRB or a Senior Immigration Officer (SIO) from August 15, 2012 onward. This means that for all IRB decisions made on or after August 15, 2012, the 12-month PRRA bar is in effect and they do not benefit from the exemption.

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