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Government speeds up front end of refugee arrival system


By Randy Ray


For those interested in knowing the number of refugees and from which countries they come, Immigration Canada’s website provides statistics. See for instance:



Citizenship and Immigration Canada has streamlined the refugee intake process.

Changes announced in mid-December are designed to make the application process easier by introducing a single form that replaces several other forms previously in use.

"It will help reduce the paper burden on the applicant and facilitate an easier review of the material by the CIC officer. These changes will help to streamline the overall process,’’ says CIC spokesperson Danielle Norris.

According to the most recent statistics gathered in 2007, the top source countries for refugee asylum claims are Mexico, Haiti, Colombia, China and the United States, says Norris.

"The number of refugee claims in Canada is rising considerably,’’ CIC states on its Web site" This is having an impact on Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) operations. It is projected that up to 38,000 individuals will claim refugee status in 2008, as compared to 28,342 in 2007.

An action plan on streamlining the process was approved by the CIC Associate Deputy Minister of Operations in August 2008. On November 4 and 5, 2008, CIC and the CBSA held an in-person meeting with regions and NHQ to identify short and long term solutions to streamline the refugee intake process.
Implementation of the new form took place on Dec. 15, 2008 for CIC and Dec. 17, 2008 for CBSA.
A new integrated form regroups the current forms: Schedule 1 – Background Information (IMM 5474) and Information on Individuals Seeking Refugee Protection (IMM 5500). It also integrates all regional documents used for officers' interview notes.

All adults and unaccompanied minors must complete the new form. Accompanied minors do not have to complete this form unless the CIC or CBSA officer exceptionally requires them to do so.

As transitory measures, refugee claimants to whom CIC provided the IMM 5474 and IMM 5500 before the announcement of the streamlining do not need to fill out the new integrated form IMM 5611.
The CBSA and CIC National Headquarters (NHQ) will monitor implementation of the form and welcome all comments on how to improve it.

For more information visit the Citizen and Immigration Canada Web site at:



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