Immigration Operational Bulletin 663 – GCMS workarounds due to IRPA changes to the refugee claim process – June 21, 2019

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

GCMS workarounds due to IRPA changes to the refugee claim process


This operational bulletin (OB) contains information related to the use of the Global Case Management System (GCMS) for refugee claims in light of recent changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the de-designation of all countries on the designated country of origin (DCO) list. Specifically, this OB provides suggested workarounds to employ to allow refugee claims to be processed.


Not all required GCMS changes can be made in time to coincide with the coming into force of the IRPA changes found in the 2019 Budget Implementation Act (BIA). This OB outlines workarounds to use until the GCMS changes are made.


On April 30, 2019, the Minister made the decision to remove all countries from the list of designated countries of origin (DCO). As the concept of DCOs remains in the IRPA, no GCMS changes are being made at this time.

The 2019 BIA introduces a handful of changes to refugee claim processing. Some of these changes are reflected in GCMS; however, some require workarounds. The key changes impacting refugee claim processing are as follows:

  1. a new ineligibility ground [A101(1)(c.1)]
    • “A claim is ineligible to be referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) if … the claimant has, before making a claim for refugee protection in Canada, made a claim for refugee protection to a country other than Canada, and the fact of its having been made has been confirmed in accordance with an agreement or arrangement entered into by Canada and that country for the purpose of facilitating information sharing to assist in the administration and enforcement of their immigration and citizenship laws.”
  2. the elimination of the 3-day window for determining refugee claim eligibility as well as the deeming provision of section A100 (there is no longer a 3-working-day time limit on determining eligibility, nor is there a provision that claims for which eligibility has not been determined within this time frame are deemed referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board [IRB])

GCMS has been able to accommodate the inclusion of the new ineligibility in time for the coming into force of the changes to the IRPA. However, as the coming into force falls between major GCMS releases, and because certain changes could not be made before the coming into force, staff need to continue to populate some fields, despite the fact that these fields are no longer legally relevant.

GCMS changes before the 2019 BIA comes into force

As part of the changes required for refugee claim intake, 2 important GCMS changes were made on June 20, 2019, to prepare for the coming into force of the 2019 BIA. New refusal reasons (that is, ineligibility grounds) have been added, one for paragraph A101(1)(c.1), when making a negative eligibility decision, and another for paragraph 104(1)(a.1), when redetermining eligibility further to paragraph A101(1)(c.1).

At a future date, GCMS will

In the interim, workarounds need to be used.

Suggested GCMS workarounds

Until further notice, all new claimants should have the “DCO” value in GCMS marked as “No”. This is not retroactive, and existing claims should not be amended to reflect the current DCO list.

Though the 3-working-day referral rule no longer applies, there was insufficient time available to make GCMS changes. Therefore, the “Claim Referral By” field needs to be populated to promote a refugee claim. To avoid validation messages in GCMS that are no longer applicable, it is recommended that staff enter a “Claim Referral By” date 2 years into the future. This also assists officers in avoiding accidentally entering an eligibility decision of “Deemed Referred”.

Additionally, GCMS–NOVA interface changes have not immediately been put in place. This means it is very important for staff to ensure that the IRB is notified of any redeterminations by sending them a copy of the BSF 529 form given to the claimant when a redetermination decision has been made, per standard practice.

System monitoring

The Immigration Program Guidance Branch (IPG) is monitoring asylum intake to ensure that, after the coming into force of the 2019 BIA, staff are no longer entering “Deemed Referred” eligibility decisions. The IPG is also continuing to monitor intake to ensure that biometrics are being taken for all claimants 14 years of age or older and that claimants who are ineligible under paragraph A101(c.1) are not found eligible.

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