The IRCC has issued a new policy in line with the government’s objective to expedite and assist Afghan and NIcaraguan nationals to immigrate and settle in Canada. This policy focuses on refugee applications who have received a decision from the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) or the PRRA officer. Such applicants are now exempt from the 12-month bar to apply for the PRRA based on their IRB or previous PRRA decision.
The decision from the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) or the PRRA officer should be:
- For Afghan Nationals – between October 19th, 2020, and October 18th, 2021, (inclusive)
- For Nicaraguan Nationals – between October 30th, 2020, and October 29th, 2021, (inclusive)
Decisions made after the abovementioned dates are subject to the 12-month bar.
What is a PRRA?
A Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) is available to refugee applicants who have received a negative decision from the IRB and are subject to removal from Canada and have been given a notification that they are entitled to a PRRA hearing. Not all applicants would be entitled for a PRRA.
The PRRA is a means to ensure that the refugee applicant is not being removed to a country where they:
- would be in danger of torture,
- would be at risk of persecution, or
- may be at a risk to their life or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, should they be removed to another country, including their country of origin.
Who can apply for a PRRA?
Refugee claimants who are not already determined as protected person or people who are recognized as a Convention refugee by another country to which they may be returned, may apply for a PRRA if they are subject to a removal order which is in force, or are named on a security certificate.
What is a security certificate?
A security certificate is issued to remove someone from Canada, if that person is found to be inadmissible for reasons of national security, violating human or international rights, or involvement in organized or serious crimes. It is important to note that only permanent residents or foreign nationals can be subject to a security certificate. The certificate is signed by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Minister of Public Safety.
What happens when I receive a PRRA notification?
The removal order issued as a result of the negative decision of the IRB becomes subject to a stay order, pending a decision from the PRRA officer. However, this does not apply to subsequent PRRA notifications, which this policy addresses.
It is important to note that those who have been previously issued a PRRA notification, will not be issued another notification, and can submit their subsequent PRRA following their previous negative decision, subject to the decision of the PRRA officer. Similarly, PRRA applications submitted at Ports of Entry (POE) also do not require a notification to submit their PRRA.
What information can be included in the PRRA application?
This would be any new information that has come to light that was previously not available at the time of the IRB decision; or was not reasonably available or that the applicant could not reasonably have been expected in the circumstances to have presented to the IRB at the time of the rejection of the claim.
How soon should the PRRA be submitted?
The applicant must complete and submit the PRRA to the PRRA officer within 15 days of receiving it, plus another 15 days to submit all evidence to support their PRRA.
Have more questions?
Reach out to our team today.