Processing in-Canada claims for refugee protection: Post-interview processing and final decision

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

Eligible claims

Determine the hearing date

The timelines for the hearing are made according to whether the principal applicant is a national of a designated country of origin (DCO) – archived. It is up to the family to determine who the principal applicant is.

  • If the principal applicant is a national of a DCO (even if their claim is against a non-designated country of origin):
    • for claims at a port of entry, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) hearing must take place no later than 45 days after the day on which the claim is referred;
    • for claims at an inland office, the RPD hearing must take place no later than 30 days after the day on which the claim is referred.
  • If the principal applicant is not from a DCO, the RPD hearing must take place no later than 60 days after the day on which the claim is referred.

Due in part to recent changes in RPD scheduling practices, interim measures have been put in place. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and Canada Border Services Agency staff who process refugee claims are required to issue a new Confirmation of Referral document, which does not contain a hearing date, upon referral to the RPD, and to cease issuing a Notice to Appear for a Hearing (NTA), effective August 29, 2018. In these cases, the claimant will receive the NTA directly from the IRB.

Like the NTA, the Confirmation of Referral contains important information for claimants, including the deadline for submission of the Basis of Claim form and the Basis of Claim abandonment special hearing date (for port of entry claimants), and other important information regarding IRB processing of refugee claims.

Schedule the hearing at the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board

Schedule the hearing using the IRB’s web-based Hearing Booking Tool (HBT). Assign one appointment time for a family unit. The files of all associated family members must be together with that of the principal claimant’s file to be referred that day.

To book the hearing, follow the steps below:

  1. Log on to the HBT.
  2. Click ‘Book a Hearing’.
  3. Enter the unique client identifier of the principal claimant only (the appointments provided apply to the whole family).
  4. Select either ‘POE’ or ‘Inland’.
  5. Select either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for DCO. In a family unit, select ‘Yes’ if the principal applicant is a DCO national.

Note: In the Global Case Management System (GCMS) record, each family member must be individually flagged as a DCO or non-DCO claimant, regardless of the hearing timelines.

  1. Verify with the claimant where they plan to reside in Canada and confirm their chosen select the nearest hearing location city [RPD Rule 3(3)(a)].
  2. Verify with the claimant whether they want their hearing in English or French and select the language of preference.
  3. If the claimant is represented by counsel, select the date (of the dates provided by the HBT) that fits counsel’s availability.
  4. If the claimant is not represented by counsel, or if counsel’s availability does not coincide with any of the available dates, select the latest date provided by the HBT (which should be the 30th, 45th or 60th day following the date of referral in accordance with legislated timelines, or the nearest earlier date to that if those days are not available).
  5. Select “Confirm Booking” (This does not schedule the claimant(s), it simply reserves the room for the hearing).
  6. Print the Hearing Appointment sheet for reference when entering dates into GCMS for the principal applicant and each associated family member and keep the Hearing Appointment sheet on file.

Update systems

Enter the following into GCMS screens:

  • RPD hearing date/time (per the Hearing Appointment sheet)
  • RPD abandon dateFootnote 1 (per the Hearing Appointment sheet)
  • Basis of claim (BOC) abandon dateFootnote 2, only for claims at a port of entry (per the Hearing Appointment sheet)

Once all of the above dates have been entered into the system, the notice to appear will contain:

  • the RPD hearing location/date/time; and
  • the date of special (abandonment) hearing, if the claimant does not show for their hearing.

In port of entry cases, the notice to appear will also contain the following:

  • a notification that claimant has 15 days to submit the BOC form to the RPD; and
  • the date of special (abandonment) hearing, if the claimant does not submit their BOC on time.

You must also

  • indicate in GCMS if the claimant is an unaccompanied minor, or if the claimant has any special needs [RPD Rule (20)(1)]
  • indicate if an interpreter is required
  • flag the file for possible intervention, if warranted
  • initiate clearances by checking the “Screening” checkbox, on the “Application” screen
  • send background information on all claimants (18 years and older) for security screening. You may refer a person younger than 18 years of age for security screening, if necessary
  • review the A44(1) Report
  • impose conditions on all claimants; these conditions are outlined in the Acknowledgment of Conditions form [IMM 1262], which must be signed by both the officer and the claimant
  • counsel the claimant about what the eligibility decision means
  • issue a medical report [IMM 1017]; there is no need to affix a photo to the IMM 1017 form, as the client is instructed to take both their refugee protection claimant document (RPCD) and photos to the panel physician (for identity verification purposes)
  • confirm the RPCD in GCMS
  • finalize the examination case in GCMS

In GCMS also do the following:

  • Scan the following documents and save them to GCMS:
    • Principal applicant’s application – Incoming correspondence [IMM 0008];
    • Principal applicant’s application –Incoming correspondence [IMM 0008-Additional dependants (if applicable)];
    • Schedule A – Application incoming correspondence;
    • Schedule 12 – Application incoming correspondence;
    • Basis of claim form, including submissions – Application incoming correspondence and security screening sub-activity;
    • Identity and travel documents (if not already done) – Client documents;
  • Confirm all information before saving.

When ready, make an eligibility decision.

Do a redetermination if necessary.

Ineligible claims

Steps for ineligible claims

  • Enter required information in GCMS if application started in GCMS.
  • Enter all applicable ineligibility grounds in the system.
  • Assess the likelihood that the person will ultimately be entitled to a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA).
  • Print the eligibility decision on a generic non-secured document [IMM 5292)].
  • Impose conditions. These conditions are outlined in the Acknowledgment of conditions form [IMM 1262], which must be signed by both the officer and the claimant. If the claimant is not being detained, a key condition should be the requirement to report to the CBSA (at which time the claimant may be invited to apply for a PRRA, if entitled to do so).
  • Forward the file to the local CBSA office, if applicable.
  • In GCMS, initiate clearances (by checking the “Screening” checkbox on the Application screen.
  • Background information on all claimants (18 years and older) must be sent for security screening—except for cases that are found ineligible under A101(1)(e) (Safe third country provision);
  • You may refer a person younger than 18 years of age for security screening, if necessary.
  • Generate the A44 report;
  • Minister’s Delegate reviews the A44 Report. If they concur, they generate the removal order. When a claim is ineligible under the safe third country provision [A101(1)(e)], the removal order comes into force the same day [A49(2)(a)], even if the claim is also ineligible on other grounds.
  • Input information into SSI.

Distribution of documents to claimant, IRB and file

Documents to be given to all claimants

Give copies of the following documents to the claimant:

Provide the following additional documents when applicable and counsel the claimant about them and the meaning of the eligibility decision:

  • A44(1) Report;
  • identity documents: certified true copies of all genuine identity documents that were seized;
  • Notice of Seizure [IMM 5265B];
  • Search Form [IMM 5242B];
  • Contact information for non-governmental organization (NGO) and the office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);
  • Refugee Protection Claimant Document (RPCD) [IMM 1442];
  • Medical report form [IMM 1017] ;
  • Removal order [IMM 5292];
  • Acknowledgement of conditions [IMM 1262];
  • Interpreter declaration [IMM 1265];
  • Information pamphlet for eligible claimants;
  • For IRCC claims, the GCMS ATIP report on any TRV application.

Documents to be given to eligible claimants

  • The IRB “Claimant’s kit”
    • the kit contains a “Notification of Contact Information” form. This form is completed if the claimant is unable to give an address when they complete their forms or in the case of change of address. It may be submitted after the 10-day limit.

Give a copy of documents to the claimant and copies on file, and ask the client to check that information in the RPCD is correct. Correct any errors in GCMS.

Documents to be sent to the IRB for eligible claimants

  • Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008];
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669];
  • Schedule 12 – Additional Information – Refugee Claimants Inside Canada [IMM 0008 – Schedule 12];
  • Additional Dependants / Declaration Form [IMM 0008DEP];
  • Basis of claim form (as applicable);
  • Notice to Appear;
  • Visa application file (‘ATIP report’) (IRCC only);
  • Notice of Seizure;
  • Seized documents;
  • Statutory declaration (if completed);
  • Signed document checklist.

Note: Intake offices with a significant number of claims should courier claimants’ documents to the IRB every day.  Offices with few claims should courier a package to the IRB every other day, or when they have claims.

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