The Balanced Refugee Reform Act: Canadian Immigration changes you need to know about

Canadian Immigration changes to refugee system

Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced that The Balanced Refugee Reform Act (also known as Bill C-11) has received Royal Assent and will therefore come into effect on June 29th, 2012 and affect Canadian Immigration. However, Royal Assent also made the changes put forth by the bill to humanitarian and compassionate applications as well as temporary resident permits into effect immediately.

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the changes to Canadian Immigration include:

– the implementing of a Refugee Appeal Division at the Immigration and Refugee Board

– the faster removal of people whose refugee claims have been denied

– More authority in determining if an application is fraudulent

Changes to the Immigration and Refugee Board itself include:

– An interview at least 15 days after an asylum claim is handed to the Immigration and Refugee Board, which will schedule hearings at the same time. The hearing will be held by a different person than the interviewer within 90 days. If someone is coming from a designated country of origin the hearing will take place within 60 days.

– The interview is expected to make the process of approving or denying a refugee claim much faster and prevent backlogs.

Canadian Immigration changes effective immediately

Effective immediately, with regard to humanitarian and compassionate applications and temporary resident permits:

– Refugee claimants who are denied cannot apply for temporary resident permits for one year.

– Decision makers processing humanitarian and compassionate applications can not consider refugee risks such as risk of torture or death but instead can only consider hardships in their decisions.

– Applicants can only have one humanitarian and compassionate application pending at once.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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