The Government of Canada has published a list of the first Designated Countries of Origin (“DCO“). The initial list of DCOs covers 27 countries, 25 of which are in the European Union (edit: see below for a list of additional countries that have been added): 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 In September, 2010, I predicted ten countries that I thought would likely be designated. […]

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The CBC has compiled Canada’s refugee acceptance rate for 2006-2009. The information helps ascertain which countries will likely be designated as safe countries.

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During Canada’s 2015 federal election, the Liberal Party of Canada, led by Justin Trudeau, promised that if they were elected government that Canada would lift its visa requirement on Mexico.  This campaign promise is reflected in now Prime Minister Trudeau’s mandate letter to John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, which states that one of Minister McCallum’s top priorities will be to lift the visa requirement on Mexico. The decision by the previous Conservative Government of Canada in 2009 to implement a visa requirement for Mexican citizens was extremely […]

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The Federal Court in Y.Z. and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 2015 FC 892 (“Y.Z.“) has certified the following two questions: Does paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“) comply with subsection 15(1) of the Charter? If not, is paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the IRPA a reasonable limit on Charter rights that is prescribed by law and can be demonstrably justified under section 1 of the Charter? The Court also announced that effective immediately refugee claimants from designated countries of origin can access […]

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The Federal Court has certified numerous questions regarding the constitutionality of  s. 112(2)(b.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which in essence provides that a person may not apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (“PRRA”) if they were previously a refugee claimant until 12 months have passed since their refugee hearing, or 36 months in the case of people from designated countries of origin. In Peter v. Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness), 2014 FC 1073, Justice Annis certified the following two questions: Does the prohibition contained in section 112(2)(b.1) of the Immigration […]

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The purpose of this blog post is to provide an overview of the changes to Pre-Removal Risk Assessments (“PRRAs“) resulting from Bill C-31 which are now in effect.  A PRRA is a paper application in which individuals can submit that they would be at risk of persecution, risk to life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if returned to their countries of origin.  For most applicants, a positive determination results in the granting of refugee protection and the opportunity to apply for permanent residence as a protected person. […]

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On February 16, Jason Kenney and the Conservative government introduced Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration Act.  The Act makes many reforms to Canada’s refugee system, and amends previous amendments to Canada’s immigration legislation contained in the Balanced Refugee Reform Act which have not yet come into affect.  Bill C-31 was greeted by many refugee lawyers and advocates with much criticism, and was received with particular indignation from the New Democratic Party. It is not difficult to see why the NDP was outraged by the introduction of Bill C-31.  Less than […]

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On October 19, 2015, Canada will have a federal election. There are four political parties that will likely win seats in Canada’s Parliament. One of them is the Liberal Party. The Liberal Party has made the following election promises regarding immigration: Expand Canada’s intake to 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq through immediate, direct sponsorship by the government of Canada. We will also work with private sponsors to intake even more. Invest an additional $200 million over this fiscal year and next to increase – without reducing health and safety standards […]

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The Bill C-11 Regulations have been released

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On June 29, 2010, Bill C-11, the Balanced Refugee Reform Act, received Royal Assent.  This Bill provided the most significant changes to Canada’s refugee law in several years.  Getting it through Parliament proved to be extremely contentious, and it took a last minute deal between the Conservatives, the NDP, and the Bloc to pass it. It is now law, though many of its provisions have yet to take effect. The Bill introduced significant changes to Canada’s refugee system, including: Replacing the 28 days to prepare a Personal Information Form with an […]

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