Changes to the pre-removal risk assessment for Belarus

Ottawa, February 19, 2021—Individuals from Belarus may now be eligible to apply for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) if they received a final negative decision from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada or the Federal Court, or a final PRRA decision from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on or between February 20, 2020 and February 19, 2021.

Before removing them from Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency will advise eligible individuals from Belarus that they can apply for a PRRA.

If someone’s refugee claim or previous application for a PRRA is rejected, abandoned or withdrawn, they are not eligible to apply for a PRRA for at least 12 months.

However, the worsening conditions in Belarus could put individuals in a risk situation, in which case they may warrant an additional assessment. For this reason, some individuals from Belarus are now exempt from the 12-month bar on applying for a PRRA, depending on when they received a decision on their refugee claim.

Individuals from Belarus who receive a final negative decision after February 19, 2021 are not eligible to apply for a PRRA for 12 months. Any recent changes in country conditions would have been considered when the refugee claim was decided or during the PRRA process.

It is important to note that eligibility to apply for a PRRA does not guarantee its outcome. IRCC officers will continue to decide on each case individually, based on the information provided.

Individuals are responsible for keeping their PRRA application up to date and informing IRCC of any changes to their application.

In determining which countries to exempt, IRCC considers recent events in a country that could place individuals in a risk situation similar to those defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (section 96—definition of a “Convention refugee” and section 97—definition of a “person in need of protection”).

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