Skip to main content

Refugees - Designated Countries of Origin (DCOs)

December 15, 2012 is the magical date by which the new refugee reforms roll out. The whole process will see dramatic changes, from the moment a person files a refugee claim, to the hearing, and any appeals that follow.

One of the changes coming is expedited processing, and a lack of appeal, for people from Designated Countries of Origin. The government just released this list of countries today, consisting of 27 countries (25 of which are in the EU):

  • 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

  • This list can be amended by the government at will.

    What does this mean? Well, if you are a National of one of these countries, and come to Canada to make a refugee claim, then this is what you face:
    • claim will be heard by the IRB (Immigration and Refugee Board) within 30-45 days depending on whether the claim was made inland or at a port of entry (non-DCO claims will be heard in 60 days)
    • no access to Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)
    • can file a Judicial Review (JR) application to the Federal Court (FC) but will not benefit from statutory stay of removal during this time
    The full news release is available here.

    Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    What? There's a backlog?

    If you work in immigration, it's no secret that most applications seem to take an inordinately long time to be reviewed. That's the case for almost all applications whether overseas or in-Canada. Well, it seems the government is trying to do 'something' about it.



    The BRO-V
    The first change is to in-Canada H&C (humanitarian & compassionate) applications for permanent residence. Until now, all H&C applications were filed to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville ("CPC-V"). Unfortunately, CPC-V did not make a decision on any applications where it felt that an interview was needed (99% of cases, it seems). So, all of those files would get transferred to the local CIC office where the applicant lived. For us, the Calgary office became EXTREMELY backlogged. Last year, I got a letter on a file telling me (and my client) that it was going to take 7 years for the Calgary office to make a decision! Now, for many people, the longer it takes, the better it i…

    Refugee (Asylum) Claims - Understanding the Process

    There has been a lot of news coverage about the influx of refugees (asylum seekers) into Canada via the United States, particularly into Quebec. This post is meant to explore who is entitled to make such a claim in Canada and what claimants can expect.

    Eligibility to make the claimCanada and the US have entered into what's called a "safe third country agreement". Essentially, both countries consider the other to be relatively equal in terms of refugee protection and the refugee process. As such, there is an expectation for claimants to make their refugee claim in the first of these two countries. 
    The practical consequence of this agreement is that it prevents individuals crossing from the US into Canada at a land border from making a claim in Canada. 
    There are exceptions to this agreement: If the claimant has family in CanadaIf the claim is made at an in-land officeIf the claim is made at an airportThere are other eligibility factors as well, but this is the main issue aff…

    Credibility vs. Plausibility in Refugee Claims

    I recently appeared before the Federal Court on a judicial review of a negative Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) decision. The claimant was a Cuban national accused of flouting Cuba's currency controls.  The Applicant was self-represented at his refugee hearing before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). As such, the corroborative evidence was far from idea. However, the RPD did find him to be detailed and consistent in his evidence. The RPD rejected the claimant's documents alleging they could not be independently verified to be authentic. However, the RPD made no actual efforts to verify the documents. The RPD also made a host of negative plausibility findings, which it said disposed of the claim in light of the lack of verifiable corroborative documents. The claimant exercised his appeal rights to the RAD, which agreed that the RPD had no basis to find the claimant's documents to be fraudulent. However, the RAD simply dismissed the claimant's corroborative documents…