Expedited Processing and How It Affects My Refugee Claim

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As of January 1, 2018, there are eight countries whose citizens’ refugee claims qualify for expedited processing under the Refugee Protection Division’s (RPD) expedited processing policy. RPD’s expedited processing policy applies to claims that are filed in Canada. Refugee claimants from the following 8 countries can be (but not automatically) determined to be Convention refugees or a person in need of protection without a hearing based on this expedited processing policy.

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Burundi
  3. Egypt
  4. Eritrea
  5. Iraq
  6. Syria
  7. Turkey
  8. Yemen 

We have received many inquiries from existing clients and members of the general public about the expedited processing as related to refugee claims in Canada. In order to answer those questions and eliminate misunderstanding and misinformation about the expedited process, we decided to prepare this brief article. We hope that it will be useful and clarify uncertainties surrounding this subject. Please note that this article is not a legal advice.

What is expedited processing?

An expedited refugee claim is a refugee claim which is an exception to the rule since it is assessed without a hearing by the IRB.

Expedited processing does not mean that all refugee claimants from the designated countries automatically become refugees or that all claimants from the designated countries need only to submit their papers to the government for approval in order to acquire status.

Not all claims from designated countries will be suitable for expedited processing. If, after reviewing the file, the board member determines that, based on the evidence in the file, the claim is not eligible for an expedited positive decision, the claim will proceed to a hearing.

All refugee claimants in Canada are required to go through a security screening, including those considered for expedited processing. Claims for which security screening confirmation have not yet been received, cannot be considered for expedited processing by the RPD.

Whose claims can be considered under the expedited processing?

All claims from the eight designated countries above are eligible to be considered under the expedited processing policy. There are many exceptions which will prevent a refugee claim from being assessed without a hearing.

Exceptions that will require a full regular hearing include:

  • Canadian government decides to intervene to oppose the claim;
  • Refugee claimant is a nationality from another country or has a former habitual residence in another country;
  • IRB has notified the government that there is a potential issue with respect to the claim;
  • Refugee claim is joined with another refugee claim of another individual who is ineligible under the expedited process; and,
  • There are issues involving identity or credibility, or if there is inconsistency in the documentary evidence.

How will I know if my claim is being considered under the expedited processing?

A refugee claim will be considered for expedited processing if the claimant is a citizen of one of the eight designated countries and is not ineligible for expedited processing on the basis of an applicable exclusion.

If a refugee hearing has already begun, or if the IRB or government has identified a serious issue in the claimant’s case, or if a claimant falls into any of the established exceptions, it is likely that the claim will not be expedited.

Relevant IRB will send the claimant/counsel a letter of acceptance before the hearing date – should the board member choose to allow the acceptance of the application without conducting a hearing. For clients whose hearings have been postponed, provided that the disclosures were completed before the postponed hearing, relevant IRB will send the claimant/counsel a letter indicating the date and time of the hearing or an acceptance letter – should the board member choose to allow the acceptance of the application without conducting a hearing.

Can I or my lawyer push the IRB to expedite my refugee claim?

No. The decision to expedite a claim is based on two things: the facts and evidence provided in support of the claimant’s case, and the Board Member’s independent decision about whether he/she have any questions related to the case.

If my refugee claim is identified for the expedited process, does it mean that I will get a positive result from the IRB?

No. The expedited processing does not guarantee a positive outcome of your claim. At any time until a positive decision has been rendered, the Member can decide to proceed to a hearing.

If my claim is sent to a hearing, does it mean my claim will be refused?

No. It just means that the claim is following the general procedure and the IRB Member will decide your claim after the hearing is completed.

Is it correct to assume that the claims from designated countries will be decided faster because of the expedited process?

The IRB is currently undergoing a lot of changes regarding its scheduling process and policies. Just like a regular claim, a Board Member has to review each expedited claim and make a decision on it. Therefore, due to a high volume of refugee claims, the expedited process may not result in faster processing.

By |2018-11-25T19:06:17+00:00March 22nd, 2018|Sobirovs Law Firm News|0 Comments

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Sobirovs Law Firm
Sobirovs Law is a new generation law firm that merges the latest technology with traditional excellence in legal services. We focus on immigration law and business law practices and feel honored to serve Canada’s multinational community. Fluent in several languages, our lawyers truly reflect this community and make up a dedicated team of legal advisors who focus on delivering tailored solutions to each client’s legal matters. We have diverse client base: from investors and multinational corporations looking for business opportunities in Canada or relocating corporate management teams to Canada, to individuals hoping to settle in Canada. All our clients have one thing in common: they all work hard to succeed, and we share that passion with them. Whether it is a simple advice for an individual client or a complex international transaction for a business client, we provide cost-effective and pragmatic legal services that exceed client’s expectations. We believe that your success is our success. Because we care.

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