Processing Urgent Protection cases: initial contact

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.

Referral from the UNHCR

To learn about how applications are referred and assessed (initially) refer to the procedures on intake.

The first 24 hours

On receiving the formal notification, the IPM will assign the file to an officer. On receipt of the actual file, the responsible officer will:

  • completely review the file provided by UNHCR or other referral organization;
  • determine if the case warrants further processing;
  • reply to the referral organization by the fastest reliable means within 24 hours of receipt;
  • send a Destination Matching Request (DMR) to the NHQ Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O).

This reply will confirm the anticipated length of time needed to process the case; will confirm whether an interview is needed; and will confirm approval in principle, subject to further admissibility checks.

Once a decision has been made to provisionally accept the case, the officer should then initiate and coordinate all required selection activities, including:

  • Interview
  • medical assessment and health coverage;
  • security/criminality screening;
  • Issuing visa
  • Travel arrangements;
  • Loans and contributions
  • Request for sponsor (PSR or JAS), where applicable;
  • Exit permits or travel documents, where applicable; and
  • advising OMC via their general mailbox of the case for reporting purposes.


When the IPM is confident about the quality of the referral and about the applicant’s credibility or admissibility, the IPM may wish to consider exercising their discretion to waive the interview. The decision may be based on a review of the information provided by the referral organization.

Arrangements for the interview, if required, should be made to occur within 24 - 48 hours of the positive decision to proceed with the case. The referring organization will facilitate the interview by assisting in contacting the individual and, in some cases, transporting applicants to the interview.

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