December 14, 2012

List of Designated Countries of Origin Announced

Posted by admin - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Today Minister Jason Kenney announced the initial list of countries whose citizens will have their asylum claims expedited for processing because they do not normally produce refugees.

“Designating countries is an important step towards a faster and fairer asylum system,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “It is remarkable that the European Union – with its democratic tradition of freedom, respect for human rights, and an independent judiciary – has been the top source region for asylum claims made in Canada. In 2011, of the total number of asylum claims filed by European Union (EU) nationals around the world, over 80% were filed in Canada. The majority of EU Claimants do not appear for their IRB hearing as they withdraw or abandon their own claims. Of all EU claims referred to the IRB, 91% were rejected.

The initial list of designations cover 27 countries, 25 of which are in the European Union:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America


Additional countries will be designated in the months following the implementation of the new system, which comes into force tomorrow, December 15, 2012.

Claimants from DCOs will have their asylum claim heard by the IRB within 30-45 days, depending on whether they make their claim at a port of entry or inland. In comparison, all other claimants will have a hearing within 60 days, compared to the current waiting period of 600 days. This means that all claimants will have their cases heard much faster.

Just as they do now, failed DCOs claimants will continue to have the option to seek appeal to the Federal Court to review a negative decision. However, they will not have access to the new Refugee Appeal Division at the IRB.

There will be no automatic stay of removal for DCO claimants should they ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision, which means that they could be removed from Canada while their application for review before the Federal Court is pending. In these circumstances, individuals can ask the Federal Court to stay their removal.

“With these improvements, we are ensuring that genuine refugees fleeing persecution will receive protection more quickly, while, at the same time, failed asylum claimants from generally safe countries will be removed much faster.” Said Minister Jason Kenney.

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