These procedures are being published in support of the Instructions Governing the Streaming of Less Complex Claims at the Refugee Protection Division (the Instructions).
In particular, section 2.2.3 of those Instructions states:
RPD will implement procedures to process claims under these instructions. The procedures may be adjusted from time to time and will be posted on the IRB website. The procedures will respect the principles set out in these instructions.
2. Procedures Related to File-Review Process
RPD will identify whether a claim is suitable for the file-review process based on its assessment of the file and its consideration of the criteria set out in the Instructions. In order to assist parties and their counsel to understand which claims are likely to be selected for this process, the
RPD publishes a list of countries and claim types which it generally considers appropriate for the file-review process. This list should be used as a guide only, as a claim that does not match a country or claim type that is on the list may be chosen for the file-review process and vice-versa.
Once the claim has been selected to be treated under the file-review process, a notification will be sent to the claimant, or to the claimant’s counsel of record, stating that the claim has been selected for processing under this policy. The claimant will be asked to provide supporting documents, if desired. Notification will also be made to the Minister such that they are informed that the claim has been selected for the file-review process, and a decision may be rendered without a hearing.
The claimant will also be provided a confirmation form and will be directed to return it no later than 15 days after the day on which it is received. The form will be signed by the claimant or his or her counsel of record certifying that the claimant, for the purpose of the file-review process, (i) has attached any additional documents; or (ii) does not wish to provide any further documents. This confirmation is without prejudice to providing further documents at any time before a final decision is reached, subject to any legislative requirements.
It is incumbent on claimants and their counsel to begin gathering evidence for their claim immediately after referral so that they are able to respect this time limit. For this purpose, claimants and counsel may refer to the published list of countries and claim types to know which claims are typically selected for this process. As noted in the
RPD’s Claimant’s Guide, documents supporting a claim should be provided to the
RPD as early as possible.
Following receipt of the confirmation form, or the time limit for providing the form has passed, the file may be accepted without a hearing provided all the criteria in the Instructions are still satisfied.
If the claim is accepted without a hearing, a Notice of Decision will be sent to the parties. Written reasons in support of the decision will only be issued upon request and in conformity with the
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the
Refugee Protection Division Rules (
RPD Rules). If the member determines that it is not appropriate to make a positive decision based on the evidence in the file, the claim will proceed to its scheduled hearing, or if no hearing is then scheduled, one will be scheduled. The
RPD will notify the claimant as soon as practicable if a decision has been rendered without a hearing. Claimants are expected to appear at a scheduled hearing if they have not received notice that a decision has been made under this policy.
3. Procedures Related to the Short-Hearing Process
RPD will identify whether a claim is suitable for the short-hearing process based on its assessment of the file and its consideration of the criteria set out in the Instructions. In order to assist parties and their counsel to understand which claims are likely to be selected for this process, the
RPD publishes a list of countries and claim types which it generally considers appropriate for the short-hearing process. This list should be used as a guide only, as a claim that does not match a country or claim type that is on the list may be chosen for a short-hearing or vice-versa.
In accordance with section 3.3.4 of Chairperson Guideline 6: Scheduling and Changing the Date or Time of a Proceeding, the
RPD will work with counsel to accommodate their availabilities; however, attempts to accommodate counsel’s calendar cannot interfere with the ability of the
RPD to schedule its proceedings efficiently under this process.
To increase scheduling efficiencies, the
RPD may schedule multiple short hearings on the same day. When this is done, two or more claims may be scheduled at the same time, such that one can begin immediately after the other ends. In such a situation, the claimant will receive a special Notice to Appear indicating the date their claim will be heard, and whether it will be heard in the morning or afternoon. The Notice will indicate when the claimant is expected to present themselves to reception, and that they will be called when the
RPD is ready to hear their claim. Claimants and counsel who receive such a Notice to Appear are expected to be present and prepared to proceed at any time during the time slot indicated (morning or afternoon). To the extent possible, the
RPD will ensure that claimants scheduled in the same time slot are represented by the same counsel.
RPD expects claims selected for the short-hearing process to be completed within two hours. If a claimant or their counsel receives a short-hearing process Notice to Appear and are of the opinion that a claim cannot be completed within two hours, they should immediately make an application to change the hearing time, providing specific reasons why they are of the opinion that the time allotted is not appropriate.
If, after consideration of the application, the
RPD is of the view it is necessary to assign more time to the hearing, it will make efforts to reschedule it on the same day with the appropriate time allotted. If that is not possible, the
RPD will reschedule the hearing at the earliest suitable time available.
RPD Rules do not require an affidavit for such an application, a letter setting out the reasons for the request and providing alternate dates will comply with the requirements of the rules.
Senior Director, Policy, Outreach and Engagement Directorate
Policy, Planning and Corporate Affairs Branch
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Canada Building (Minto Place)
344 Slater Street, 12th floor
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K1