ARCHIVED – Notice of Proposed Regulatory Amendments – Processing Time Lines for Asylum Claims in Canada

August 3, 2012 — Draft regulatory amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations which outline the proposed processing time lines for asylum claims under Canada’s new refugee law have been published in the Canada Gazette Part I for a 30-day comment period.

The proposed regulations, which reflect the objectives of the Balanced Refugee Reform Act and the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, will help put in place a faster and fairer asylum system that is less open to abuse. This means decisions on asylum claims much sooner, resulting in faster protection for those who need it combined with faster removals for failed claimants.

It is important to note that all eligible refugee claimants would continue to be entitled to a fair hearing before an independent decision maker at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

These time lines are not new. They reflect the proposed time lines as announced as part of the measures to support the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act.

Under the proposed regulations, once an asylum claim is referred to the IRB, refugee claimants would receive a hearing before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) in no later than 60 days after the claim is referred.

The new asylum system will also allow for the designation of countries of origin (DCOs) to enable faster processing and to deter abuse of the system. DCOs are countries that respect human rights, offer state protection and do not normally produce refugees.

For refugee claimants from a DCO, their hearing would occur in no later than 30 or 45 days after their claim is referred to the IRB, depending on where they initially made their refugee claim (i.e., at an inland office or port of entry).

For those eligible to appeal a negative RPD decision to the Refugee Appeal Division, appeals would be decided in no later than 90 days from the time the final appeal documents are received (known as perfecting an appeal). These time limits would not apply in cases where an oral hearing, rather than a paper-based review, is required.

To further reduce the attraction of persons not likely in need of protection coming to Canada to make an unfounded claim, it is proposed that DCO claimants would be ineligible to apply for a work permit until their claim is approved by the IRB or their claim has been in the system for more than 180 days and no decision has been made.

CIC is soliciting written comments from all interested parties on the proposed regulatory amendments. To read more about the proposed changes, please visit the Canada Gazette website.

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