Canada. From far and wide ©UNHCR/Annie Sakkab
Entities sharing this good practice: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is responsible for this best practice. Main contact for the UNHCR at the IRB is Felix Ulloa-Alvarenga, he could be reached at: [email protected]
Submitted by: Azadeh Tamjeedi, Acting Senior Protection Officer
Key stakeholders: UNHCR Canada
Visit their website: https://irb.gc.ca/en/information-sheets/Pages/less-complex-claims.aspx
Instructions governing the streaming of less complex claims at the RPD: https://irb.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/policies/Pages/instructions-less-complex-claims.aspx
Procedures for Implementing the Instructions Governing the Streaming of Less Complex Claims at the RPD: https://irb.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/procedures/Pages/procedures-less-complex-claims-rpd.aspx
Country and Claim Type Criteria – Instructions Governing the Streaming of less complex claims: https://irb.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/procedures/Pages/countries-claim-types-criteria.aspx
The Immigration and Refugee board of Canada (IRB) is committed to resolving cases simply, efficiently, and fairly. In doing so, it seeks to allocate the appropriate level of resources to the matter being decided.
The IRB’s Refugee Protection Division (RPD), the first-instance refugee status determination (RSD) body in Canada has two separate processes for finalizing less complex claims from its inventory: the short-hearing process and the file-review process. These processes, described in the Instructions Governing the Streaming of Less Complex Claims at the Refugee Protection Division, aim to allocate an amount of preparation and hearing room time that is proportionate to the complexity of each unique claim.
The RPD, relying on its knowledge of country conditions and claim types and its experience in deciding claims, assesses each individual claim to determine if it is suitable for a short-hearing or a file-review process. Although not all claims are suitable, all claims are automatically considered by the RPD for either process.
The RPD can, in specific circumstances, accept a claim for refugee protection without a hearing. Accepting a claim without a hearing is called the file-review process, and it allows RPD decision-makers to accept the claim after a review of the evidence in the file, which includes confirmation of security screening, the Basis of Claim Form, identity documents and other relevant evidence and submissions.
Claims that can be accepted without a hearing
Any claim that meets the criteria set out in the Instructions Governing the Streaming of Less Complex Claims at the Refugee Protection Division can be processed by file review without a hearing. This process focuses on those claims that appear to be manifestly founded on initial review and that can be fairly determined without allocating the necessary resources for a hearing.
Under certain circumstances, the RPD may decide a claim for refugee protection after a short, focused hearing. A refugee protection claim that is suitable for the short-hearing process has only one or two issues which appear to be determinative of the claim. The hearing of such a claim can usually be concluded within two hours.
Claims that can be decided in a short hearing
Any claim that meets the criteria set out in the Instructions Governing the Streaming of Less Complex Claims at the Refugee Protection Division can be processed under the short-hearing process. Country and claim types that are considered appropriate for processing under the file-review process may also be processed under the short-hearing process.
Impact of good practice
This practice allows for faster processing of certain claims and more effective triaging of cases. It’s a good backlog reduction tool.
Impact of COVID-19
During COVID-19, the IRB has expanded use of the triaging of cases through the file review and short hearing process.
Need trained staff in the registry to complete the triaging of the files.