Referrals from the UNHCR and other authorized organizations


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

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refers candidates for resettlement to visa offices. The local or regional UNHCR office usually provides the visa office with a Refugee Referral Form (RRF). The RRF contains the refugee claim, family composition and other important information. In some places, this RRF is submitted electronically to the visa office, indicating that the person is considered a refugee under the UNHCR mandate.

The UNHCR may also refer persons “of concern” that don’t necessarily meet the strict definition of Convention refugee but rather fall under the organization’s general mandate.

In each case, the officer must consider whether the person meets the basic Canadian requirements for resettlement that are common to both the Convention refugee abroad and country of asylum classes.

A referral to the visa office by the UNHCR indicates that the UNHCR has assessed the case and concluded that resettlement is the best option. In assessing the possibility of another durable solution, consideration should be given to the fact that the case was referred by the UNHCR. The officer should make a note of the referral in the interview notes.

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