There are currently over 64,000 asylum seekers in Canada, many of whom can now dream of Canadian citizenship thanks to a new fast-track refugee claims system.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has introduced a more efficient system for processing less complex refugee claims, meaning that some claimants’ hearings may only take a few hours and others’ may be paper-based, so claimants would not need to appear before a judge.
A list of eligible countries and claim types for the system is available. It includes claims involving women from Saudi Arabia facing gender-based risks and gender and age-based claims from Iran. The IRB maintains the right to change this list should conditions change.
The new paper-based process will review claim types that have an 80% or greater acceptance rate, where the risks faced by refugees are widely known. The short-hearing process comes into play in paper-based cases if the claim cannot be accepted by documentation alone.
Cases involving criminality, or where credibility is in question, will not be eligible for the new short-hearing process.