February 12, 2018

Expedited Processing of Refugee Claims by the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

After a claim for refugee protection is made in Canada, the claimant receives a hearing date to appear before a member of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) who will question the claimant about the issues raised in his or her basis of claim narrative. Although the nature of the hearing is non-adversarial, the member can use a vigorous line of questioning to elicit the required information and evidence from the claimant. The member will then render a final decision on the day of the hearing or after the hearing by way of a written decision based on the claimant’s oral testimony, evidentiary documentation, and counsel’s submissions (if represented by counsel).

In certain cases, the RPD may decide to allow a claim without a hearing pursuant to section 170 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) that sets out:

170. The Refugee Protection Division, in any proceeding before it,

(b) must hold a hearing;

(f) may, despite paragraph (b), allow a claim for refugee protection without a hearing, if the Minister has not notified the Division, within the period set out in the rules of the Board, of the Minister’s intention to intervene;

Allowing claims without a hearing is a selective process called “expedited processing” that is used in exceptional circumstances where the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has not filed a notice of intervention, there are no credibility and identity concerns, and the information provided by the claimant is consistent with the situation in the country of their nationality that would merit the granting of refugee protection.

In addition, for a claim to qualify for expedited processing, it must be from a country that is designated by the RPD while the claim is in the queue waiting to be processed. The factors for determining country eligibility include the volume of cases the RPD decides from the country, the rate of acceptance for claims from the country, and the fact that the issues relating to the country of origin are not complex. Starting January 1, 2018, the countries that have been placed on the list of expedited processing are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Burundi
  • Egypt
  • Eritrea
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Turkey
  • Yemen