Processing procedures for resettlement from overseas: Determining admissibility


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

When determining admissibility, officers must assess the following elements:

Medical assessment

Under subsection A38(2), refugees and persons in similar circumstances selected abroad are not refused on the grounds of medical inadmissibility due to excessive demand on Canada’s health care system. The purpose of requiring ongoing medical examinations is therefore to assess whether the refugee is admissible under paragraph A38(1)(a) (danger to public health) and paragraph A38(1)(b) (danger to public safety).

With the implementation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, medical deferral of refugees for the purposes of assessing excessive demand is no longer required. This has created a lack of pertinent medical information that is crucial to the successful resettlement and integration of refugees in Canada. The Resettlement Needs Assessment Form [IMM 5544] was developed as a practical tool to fill this gap by assisting private sponsors and resettlement workers in Canada in planning appropriate reception and resettlement arrangements.

For more information, see the medical procedures.

Criminality assessment

As with other permanent residents, refugees can be inadmissible to Canada if they have been convicted of crimes or have committed acts or omissions that would render them inadmissible to Canada.

At this time, the officer will clarify the information or obtain more information related to the categories outlined in Conducting interviews.

Criminality checks

Officers should not require refugees to submit police certificates or certificates of no criminal conviction from their home country (exception: applicants under the one-year window of opportunity who continue to reside in their country of citizenship). Alerting authorities in the country of alleged persecution to an individual’s permanent residence application may put an applicant or family at risk. Officers may, however, request police certificates for countries of temporary asylum. An applicant should not be refused solely because they did not produce these documents upon request, although the inability to produce the documents without reason may put into question the credibility of the applicant when assessing admissibility.

For help in evaluating whether a police certificate is genuine, consult CIC’s police certificate image library.


Procedures for background clearance can be found in IC 1 Security chapter.

Inadmissibility through misrepresentation

Foreign nationals immigrating to Canada can be found inadmissible through misrepresentation. However, refugees may be exempted from this form of inadmissibility. In the refugee context, refugee claimants may provide false information for a number of reasons (poor information or advice, the effects of trauma, etc.). Under section R22, refugee claimants (while their claim is pending) and protected persons (a refugee selected from abroad becomes a protected person when they obtain permanent residence status) are exempted from paragraph A40(1)(a) (inadmissibility for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter). Section A16 establishes the obligation for truthfulness during the examination. It should be noted that misrepresentation should not be confused with credibility, which can determine eligibility.

Should the officer discover false elements about the claim after the visa has been issued, but while the person is still abroad, the officer could reopen the file. In some cases, the officer may have the authority to review the case with respect to the elements that were hidden from them. For further guidance, contact OMC via the general email address.

Even though there is an exemption for inadmissibility through misrepresentation for protected persons, if a refugee is resettled to Canada and if it is found that the decision to grant refugee protection was obtained as a result of directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter, the Minister may allow a decision to vacate the claim for refugee protection as a result of misrepresentation [A109]. For more information on vacation of refugee status for misrepresentation, refer to related enforcement and overseas processing guidance.

A permanent resident or foreign national is inadmissible for misrepresentation in the following cases:


IRPA reference



Directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding facts about a matter that could cause an error in the administration of the Act



Section R22 exempts protected persons within the meaning of the refugee classes from inadmissibility due to misrepresentation in paragraph A40(1)(a).

Being or having been sponsored by a person who has been determined to be inadmissible for misrepresentation

A40(1)(b), and (2)(a) and (b)

Paragraph A40(2)(a) provides that if the foreign national or the sponsor has been inadmissible through misrepresentation, they will continue to be inadmissible for a period of five years following the determination.

Paragraph A40(2)(b) makes an exemption for sponsors unless the Minister is satisfied that the facts justify the inadmissibility.

The table shows that protected persons under the meaning of subsection A95(2) are exempted from the application of paragraph A40(1)(a). In the refugee context, it may be very difficult in some circumstances to have the refugee present a coherent story. An examination of some of the examples of misrepresentation outlined in related enforcement and overseas processing guidance may serve to illustrate the necessity of section R22.

For more information, see examples of misrepresentation in the refugee context.

Inadmissible family members

Section A42 states that a “foreign national, other than a protected person, is inadmissible on grounds of an inadmissible family member […]”. To clarify, this inadmissibility provision applies in the overseas refugee resettlement context, to both accompanying and non-accompanying family members, because an approved refugee claimant is not considered a “protected person” until they arrive in Canada and receive their permanent resident status or their temporary resident status for protection reasons (i.e., persons arriving in Canada under the Urgent Protection Program).

Section A95 specifically states the following:

95. (1) Refugee protection is conferred on a person when

(a) the person has been determined to be a Convention refugee or a person in similar circumstances under a visa application and becomes a permanent resident under the visa or a temporary resident under a temporary resident permit for protection reasons […]

This implies that while their application is being considered overseas, refugee claimants are foreign nationals and are therefore subject to section A42. However, once they arrive in Canada, either as a permanent resident or as a temporary resident, they are considered protected persons and section A42 no longer applies.

Therefore, when processing a case overseas, if the officer has evidence that an accompanying or a non-accompanying family member (as per section R2) is inadmissible, section A42 applies. However, if the officer is not satisfied that the non-accompanying family member is not inadmissible [A11], the officer may not use section A42 to refuse the case.


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