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Proposed Changes to Refugee System- Bill C-31


As CIC moved to implement the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, they realized further changes were needed.

Various objectives of the proposed changes to:

Refugee System

A)    To accelerate processing and decision making

–       Streamline the front end: therefore no more interviews as per Balanced Act but paper based presentation

–       Delays back to short timelines, something we opposed and was negotiated to obtain a consensus, namely

  • Designated country of origin (DCO) applicants at point of entry: 45 days
  • DCO applicants requesting inland: 30 days
  • non DCO: 60 days (instead of 105)
  • Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) decision: 90 days (instead of 120)

–       Designated country of origin (DCO): criteria will be in legislation but the Minister decides

–       No access to Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) for certain applicants

B)    To limit access to post-claim recourse

–       No access to H&C during 1 year for failed claimants

–       No concurrent filing of H&C and refugee allowed (one must choose)

–       Streamlining of PRAA process

C)    Accelerate removal

–       Some applicants would have no automatic deferral of removal when appealing therefore they could be removed even when appealing

–       CBSA will increase the scope of the pilot project for voluntary departure

D)     Limiting access to the refugee determination process

–      Serious criminality would bar access

–       If a protected person looses the protected person status, they would automatically loose permanent resident status, instead of the current 2 step process

E)    Removing incentives to abuse the system

–       Claimants from DCO will not be eligible to have a work permit while application is pending, unless 180 days has gone by without a decision (or claim approved)


Smuggling Provisions

It includes all the provisions from C-4 with additional comments:

–          Only the Minister can designate an arrival to be irregular (power cannot be delegated)

–          12 month mandatory detention or when decision on refugee application is rendered which should be fast…

–          No mandatory detention of minors under 16.

–           Medical coverage would only be for basic needs if one is a designated irregular arrival as opposed to the current federal plan.

–          If the applicants returns to their country of persecution, protected person status could be revoked.



Very little said other than the proposed changes are to allow for regulations to cover issues relating to:

–          Who must do it.

–          Exemptions (children, elderly, diplomats)

–          Who can use the information


The objective is to pass this package before the deadline to implement the Balanced Refugee Reform Act in June. Implementation is expected for Fall 2012.

Contact us today to see how these changes may effect you.

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