Processing in-Canada claims for refugee protection: Withdrawals and suspensions

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

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Withdrawal of a refugee claim

At any point prior to the referral of a claim to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), or a determination that the claim is not eligible for referral, the client may indicate that they no longer wish to pursue the claim. Such a discontinuation is not considered a withdrawal for the purposes of paragraph 101(1)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA). This means that if the person concerned makes a refugee claim at a later date, it cannot be determined ineligible under paragraph A101(1)(c).

Clients must complete all required documentation as requested by the processing office and complete and sign the Withdrawal of a Claim for Refugee Protection Prior to Referral to the Refugee Protection Division form IMM 5317B.

Claims already referred to the RPD must be withdrawn by the client at the RPD. This withdrawal means that if the person concerned makes a refugee claim at a later date, it can be determined ineligible under paragraph A101(1)(c).

Suspension of a claim

Suspension is necessary when either

  • an A44 report is referred to the Immigration Division for an admissibility hearing, and the inadmissibility would render the refugee claim ineligible, or
  • the officer must await the outcome of a criminal trial that would render the claimant inadmissible (PDF, 620 KB)

Suspension may occur before the eligibility determination [A100(2)] or after referral [A103(1)] to the RPD.

Procedures for suspension of eligibility consideration before the claim is referred to the Refugee Protection Division

If it is determined that suspension is necessary, an officer shall do the following:

  • update the claim status in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to “On hold”
  • complete an Acknowledging Suspension of Processing under A100(2) document and upload into GCMS
  • enter a note in GCMS regarding the suspension and stating that the claimant is not eligible for a work or study permit
  • upload the notice via the document upload function in the Canadian Refugee Protection Portal (CRPP) to notify the claimant (if not using the CRPP, notify the client by email or mail)

There is no need to notify the Refugee Protection Division of the decision to suspend eligibility consideration because at this stage, the Refugee Protection Division is not aware that the refugee claim exists.

Resumption of the eligibility consideration process (for cases that were suspended before the claim was referred to the Refugee Protection Division)

Once the Immigration Division has made an admissibility determination, or the court has reached its verdict (and no appeal is pending), the officer will resume consideration of eligibility.

It may be necessary to request that the claimant appear by sending them the Suspension [Resumption of Processing – A100(2)] letter in order to complete the eligibility and examination process. An officer should review the file and case history to determine if the following information needs to be reviewed or updated:

  • Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check
  • security screening
  • biometrics reviewed for possible “Criminal Notification” line

Note: See GCMS instructions for further details.

Procedures for suspension of the claim after it has been referred to the Refugee Protection Division

Subsection A103(1) provides for suspension of a refugee claim after it has been referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Suspension is invoked on the same grounds as suspension of eligibility under subsection A100(2). The key difference is that the officer must notify the RPD of the situation so that they may suspend their consideration of the claim.

If it is determined, after the claim has been referred to the RPD, that suspension is necessary, an officer must do the following:

  • complete BSF 528 (Notification to the Refugee Protection Division and the Person Concerned by an Immigration Officer Pursuant to subsection 103(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of the Suspension of Consideration of Claim Pursuant to subsection 103(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
  • provide the RPD and claimant with a copy of BSF 528, upload a copy into GCMS, and place a copy on file
  • update the claim status in the system and add a note in GCMS detailing the reason for suspension

Note: See GCMS instructions for further details.

Resumption of Refugee Protection Division (RPD) proceedings (for cases that were suspended after the claim was referred to the RPD)

Upon confirming the outcome of the admissibility hearing or trial, the officer must decide whether redetermination of eligibility is warranted, and notify the RPD of the decision, so that the RPD may either resume or terminate its proceedings. The officer should do the following in GCMS:

  • update the claim status
  • enter a new eligibility decision (if applicable)
  • update the system with appropriate notes

Note: See GCMS instructions for further details.

Notify the claimant in writing of the decision using the Suspension [Resumption of proceedings further to subsection 103(2) of the IRPA] letter, upload a copy of the letter to GCMS and add a copy to the physical file.

Extradition

For all cases involving extradition, the regional justice liaison officer of IRCC or CBSA must be contacted.

Suspension if proceeding under the Extradition Act

In the case of a claimant facing extradition for an offence that is equivalent to an offence under Canadian law that is punishable under an Act of Parliament by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, subsection A105(1) requires that the RPD suspend proceedings until a final decision under the Extradition Act has been made.

Continuation if discharged under the Extradition Act

According to subsection A105(2), if the claimant is not extradited, the hearing of the refugee claim may continue.

Rejection if under the Extradition Act

Under subsection A105(3), if the person is ordered extradited and the offence is punishable under an Act of Parliament by a maximum prison term of at least 10 years, the order of extradition is deemed to be a rejection of the refugee claim.

Final decision

As per subsection A105(4), the rejection of a claim referred to in subsection A105(3) may not be appealed, and it is not subject to judicial review except to the extent that a judicial review of the order of surrender is provided for under the Extradition Act.

Procedures: Redetermination of eligibility

With respect to a refugee claim that was determined to be eligible, an officer may come across information that leads them to conclude that the claim

  • should not have been determined eligible, or
  • is no longer eligible

In such cases, a redetermination of eligibility should be done, further to section A104. The following table explains the consequences of a redetermination:

If… Then…

Claim is before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and either:

  • is ineligible for any of the grounds in subsection A101(1)
  • was referred to the RPD as a result of misrepresentation or withholding material facts relevant to the claim and claim was not otherwise eligible for referral
RPD will stop hearing the claim

Claim is before the RPD or the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) and either:

RPD or RAD will stop hearing the claim
RPD or RAD decision has already been made on the claim and the claimant had previously made a refugee claim The RPD or RAD decision on the first claim is considered valid. Other decisions are nullified

Procedures for redetermination

When ineligibility is very clear, it may not be necessary to provide the claimant with a further opportunity to respond to evidence about which they were aware. Therefore the eligibility decision may be redetermined and the client notified of the decision.

Opportunity to respond

When there is evidence of misrepresentation or ineligibility that was not considered at the time of the initial eligibility determination, but the evidence is not conclusive, the claimant should be interviewed and given an opportunity to respond to the evidence.

When redetermining eligibility, do the following:

  • Send a letter to the claimant with relevant evidence advising that the eligibility decision may be or has been redetermined, and if applicable, advise of a date to report for an interview
  • Hold the interview, if applicable
  • Make a decision based on evidence and submissions
  • Enter the redetermination decision, date and reason in GCMS
  • Complete, copy and distribute to the claimant, the file, and the Refugee Protection Division the BSF 529 (PDF, 1.7 MB) form (Notification of Ineligible Refugee Claim Pursuant to 104(1) and 104(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
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