Operational Bulletin 487 - December 14, 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.

Replacement of the Protected Person Status Document

Summary

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will no longer issue the Protected Person Status Document as of January 1, 2013.

Issue

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act requires that protected persons be provided with a document indicating their status. As of December 17, 2012, protected persons can present a decision letter (Notice of Decision) from the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or a Verification of Status document from CIC as proof of status. These documents can also be used to apply for a refugee travel document from Passport Canada (PPTC). PPTC will be able to validate these documents using the existing validation portal with CIC.

Background

All protected persons in Canada are issued formal letters or documents that indicate their status.

In Canada, the Refugee Protection Division and the Refugee Appeal Division of the IRB issue Notices of Decision to individuals found to be Convention refugees or persons in need of protection.

Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) officers issue decision letters to individuals who receive a positive PRRA decision.

Elimination of Protected Person Status Document (PPSD)

As of December 17, 2012, CIC will no longer accept applications for PPSDs. The application kit is no longer available on CIC’s website. All applications for PPSDs received before December  17, 2012, will be processed by December 31, 2012. CIC will no longer issue PPSDs after December 31, 2012. PPSDs issued on or before December 31, 2012, are valid until their expiry date. Applications received on or after December 17, 2012, will be returned, with an explanatory letter.

Verification of Status document issued with positive PRRA

As of December 17, 2012, PRRA officers will issue a Verification of Status document in addition to the decision letter.

Individuals who received a positive PRRA decision prior to December 17, 2012, can apply for a Verification of Status document from CIC if they wish to apply to PPTC for a refugee travel document. The application for a Verification of Status document is online. There is no fee for this application if the individual is not yet a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Protected Persons recognized by the IRB

Protected persons recognized as such by the IRB will now be able to provide their Notice of Decision to PPTC as proof of their status. If they lose this letter, they may contact the IRB for a replacement.

These individuals may also apply for a Verification of Status document from CIC. The application for a Verification of Status document is online. There is no fee for this application if the individual is not yet a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

Positive PRRA decisions rendered as of December 17, 2012

As of December 17, 2012, Senior Immigration Officers making a positive PRRA decision will produce a decision letter and a Verification of Status document. These documents will be delivered to the client by the Canada Border Services Agency as per the usual process. Verification of Status documents are produced in the Global Case Management System. Instructions on how to produce a Verification of Status document can be found in the training workbook.

Positive PRRA decisions rendered before December 17, 2012

Protected persons who received a positive PRRA decision prior to December 17, 2012, may apply for a Verification of Status from the Query Response Centre, if they wish to apply for a refugee travel document. The application for a Verification of Status document is online. There is no fee for this application if the individual is not yet a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

The permanent resident card displays the immigration category, which is sufficient proof that the holder is a protected person for the purpose of obtaining a refugee travel document, when the category is “CR”.

CIC Validation Portal

CIC is modernizing how individuals determined to be protected persons by CIC or the IRB can demonstrate their status to PPTC. PPTC will use the existing Validation Portal it has with CIC to determine the validity of the Notice of Decision or the Verification of Status document.

If the CIC Validation Portal advises PPTC that the letter/document is valid and confirms the decision was positive, detailed biographic information, and in some circumstances a photo, will be provided to the PPTC staff performing the check, including the country of persecution and whether the individual has been designated as an irregular arrival.

If there are issues with the validation process, a manual validation process is in place to assist PPTC. In some cases, the individual may be directed to the IRB (Notice of Decision) or CIC (Verification of Status document) to obtain confirmation of their determination. This process is only for protected persons who have not yet become Canadian citizens.

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