Information on How COVID-19 is Impacting Refugee Claims in Canada
Updated: April 29, 2020
Information on COVID-19 and Refugee Claims in Canada
Below, we have included information on how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is affecting refugee claims in Canada. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
Refugee claims at Ports of Entry from the United States
Individuals in the U.S. with the intention of applying for a refugee claim in Canada will be turned back to the U.S. when they reach the Canadian border.
IRCC appointments cancelled until April 13, 2020
Refugee Claimant appointments are cancelled until further notice. IRCC offices will not accept refugee claims, interview refugee claimants or process Refugee Protection Claimant Document renewals in person.
Instructions to submit a refugee claim at an IRCC office
If the individual has completed all the refugee claim forms, place the forms and documents in an envelope and deposit them in the on-site drop-off box or to an official.
If an individual would like to make a refugee claim but has not completed the refugee claim forms, they may email: IRCC.RefugeeClaim-Demandedasile.IRCC@cic.gc.ca. The individual will be contacted by email regarding next steps.
Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (“IRB”) in-person hearings and mediations postponed effective now, through May 4, 2020
All in person hearings including refugee hearings and refugee appeal hearings and mediations, other than detention reviews, are postponed. The postponed hearings and mediations will be rescheduled once IRB resumes its operations.
Extension of Time to File an Appeal before the Refugee Appeal Division
The IRB is allowing extension of time for filing a notice of appeal and perfecting an appeal in refugee appeal cases. If the deadline falls on or after January 1, 2020, the date is extended to 30 days after the date of the Resumption Notice which will be posted on IRB website (https://irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/legal-policy/procedures/Pages/index.aspx). This extension does not apply to appeals that were dismissed before March 15, 2020.
CBSA Removals Paused Effective March 17, 2020 for Three Weeks
Removals are paused until at least May 21, 2020. The only exception is the removal of serious criminals, as assessed. Those willing to voluntarily leave Canada may do so unless it violates the US-Canada border closure order or other measure.