Operational Bulletin 484 (Modified) – May 27, 2013

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.

Processing work permits for Designated Country of Origin and Non-Designated Country of Origin refugee claimants

Summary

This operational bulletin is updated to reflect the new work permit validity periods as per the new in-Canada refugee system implemented on December 15, 2012.

Effective December 15, 2012, Designated Country of Origin (DCO) refugee claimants are not to be issued work permits under section 206 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) unless 180 days have passed since their refugee claim was referred to the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

Background

The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (PCISA; under Bill C-31) received Royal Assent on June 28, 2012. The PCISA added further reforms to the Balanced Refugee Reform Act (2010) such as the ability for the Minister to list DCOs. However, not all provisions came into effect at Royal Assent.

On December 15, 2012, the PCISA provisions regarding DCO refugee claimants came into force.

Guidelines

Under the new legislation, the Minister has the authority to identify DCOs. An up-to-date list of DCOs will be maintained on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website at www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/reform-safe.asp – archived.

DCO refugee claimants will not be eligible for an open work permit under section 206 of the Regulations.

Section 206 of the Regulations has been amended by adding the following:

206 (2) despite subsection (1), a work permit must not be issued to a claimant referred to in subsection 111.1(2) of the Act unless at least 180 days have elapsed since their claim was referred to the Refugee Protection division.

When assessing a work permit application from a refugee claimant who is a citizen or national of a DCO, the officer must check the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) and/or the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to determine if:

  • The applicant has been flagged as a DCO claimant (it will indicate ‘yes’ on the REF-CLM screen);

    and

  • Less than 180 days have passed since the person’s claim was referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

When both of the above apply, the applicant is not eligible for a work permit due to R206(2). The applicant should be advised that they may re-apply once 180 days have passed since their claim was referred to the IRB; or should the IRB approve their refugee claim. If the applicant is from a DCO, but has not been flagged as a DCO claimant in either FOSS or GCMS, they are eligible for a work permit.

When issuing a work permit to a DCO claimant for whom 180 days have passed, the permit should be issued for a maximum period of 6 months.

For non-DCO refugee claimants who were referred to the IRB under the new system (i.e. on/after December 15, 2012), the work permit should be valid for a period of 12 months from the date the applicant's claim was referred to the IRB.

For both DCOs and non-DCOs, subsequent renewals may be for periods of 6 months or less, depending on the circumstances of the applicant.

System Information

To process the decision in GCMS, Eligibility should be set to ‘Failed’ and Final Decision should be ‘Refused’.

The Refusal Reason code is: R206(2) DCO refugee claimant, 180 days not elapsed since claim.

The Refusal text for the letter is: The requirement of subsection 206(2) that an officer shall not issue a work permit to a foreign national if the foreign national is a claimant referred to in subsection 111.1(2) of the Act and 180 days have not elapsed since their claim was referred to the Refugee Protection Division.

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