Resettlement from overseas: Before the interview - reviewing application and identifying admissibility concerns

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Reviewing the refugee application beforehand helps you to:

  • determine if the applicant needs an interpreter;
  • plan questions to ask at the interview
  • become familiar with the refugee’s circumstances; and
  • isolate any areas of concern that need follow-up at the interview

Refugee narrative

The IMM008 Schedule 2 or the UNHCR’s Resettlement Registration Form (RRF) will provide you with information regarding the refugee story and reasons why the applicant left his or her country of origin and the situation in the country of asylum. You should become familiar with the information on this schedule as it can provide direction on the kinds of questions to ask during the interview.

In addition to the IMM008 schedule 2 for PSRs, the sponsorship rationale section of the sponsorship undertaking form can also provide information on the applicant’s refugee story. You should also become familiar with any information contained in this section before the interview.

Identify admissibility concerns

Review the following guidelines if you suspect the applicant may not be admissible due to reasons of criminality or security as prescribed in A35, A36 and A37. Make notes of any information that needs to be clarified at the interview.


Applicants from countries where there is/ was internal turmoil, genocide, war, armed conflict or where human rights abuses are/ were widespread


The following qualify for more in-depth investigation:

  • senior government officials, diplomats, or employees of the government;
  • current and former military, paramilitary, security, intelligence and police personnel or individuals employed in technical or scientific backgrounds related to chemical or biological weapons;
  • close family relatives of heads of government/state;
  • persons suspected of being a member of an organization that is involved in terrorism or crimes against humanity; and
  • members of armed/opposition/political (guerrilla) groups.


Senior members of or senior officials in prescribed governments


Convention refugees abroad and members of the country of asylum class who fit the description of senior members or senior officers in a government or regime designated by the Minister and found in A35(1)(b) are inadmissible.

The governments and regimes that the Minister has designated as described in A35(1)(b) are the following:

  • the Bosnian Serb government regime between March 27, 1992 and October 19, 1996;
  • the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Serbian government from February 28,1998 to October 7, 2000 (does not include Montenegrin officials);
  • the former Siad Barre regime in Somalia from 1969 to 1991;
  • the former Duvalier and military regimes in Haiti during the following periods:
    • January 1971 to February 1986;
    • October 1991 to August 1993; and
    • December 16,1993 to April 8, 1994;
  • the former Marxist regime of Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992;
  • Taliban regime in Afghanistan since 1996 (ongoing designation)
  • the governments of Ahmed Hassan Al-Bakr and Saddam Hussein in power from 1968 to May 22, 2003
  • the Rwandan government led by President Habyarima
    • betweeen October 1990 and April 1994; and
    • the interim government in power between April 1994 and July 1994
  • the government of Ethiopia under Mengistu Haile Mariam for the period of September 12, 1974 to May 21, 1991


War criminals


War criminals are excluded from consideration as Convention refugees abroad or members of the country of asylum classes pursuant to A35(1)(b).

Refer to Enforcement guidance on How to Identify War Criminals. (PDF, 472.11KB)




Persons who have engaged in acts of terrorism or who are, or were, members of an organization of which there are reasonable grounds to believe was engaged in terrorism, are inadmissible pursuant to A34(1)(c).




Not all combatants are inadmissible. Some combatants will be inadmissible by virtue of their rank in the military and influence on government policy.

Other combatants will be inadmissible by virtue of actions in which they have been directly involved or complicity which may constitute war crimes. Many combatants, however, whether members of government military or non-government forces, may be eligible.

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