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When is the decision made?

In most cases, the officer makes the decision during the interview that takes place when the person makes their claim. If the officer has not made a decision within three working days of the interview, the claim is automatically referred to the Refugee Protection Division.

But, in some situations, the eligibility determination can be 'suspended'. This could happen in the following situations:

  1. If a claimant is facing criminal charges in Canada for a crime that carries a maximum sentence of at least 10 years, the eligibility decision can be suspended until the criminal court has dealt with the matter.
  2. The decision can also be suspended if the claimant has been referred to the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board for a hearing about whether they are ‘inadmissible’. This could be for one or more of these  reasons:
    • reasons of security
    • suspected involvement in terrorism, organized crime, or espionage
    • suspected human rights violations
    • ‘serious criminality’: This means they have been convicted of a crime in Canada that carries a maximum sentence of at least 10 years, for which they got a sentence of at least two years in prison. Or, it could mean that they were convicted of a serious crime outside Canada, no matter what the sentence was.

Sometimes a claim can be found ineligible after it has been referred to the Refugee Protection Division. This could happen if Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) or the Canada Border Services Agency believes that the claimant gave false information or failed to give important information. It could also happen if they get new information that leads them to believe that the claimant is not eligible. If a claimant gets a ‘notice of ineligibility’ after their claim has been referred, they should get legal help.



Last updated: Mar 1, 2016

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