Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 146, Number 31: Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
August 4, 2012
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Department of Citizenship and Immigration
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
On June 28, 2012, Bill C-31, the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act (the Act), received Royal Assent. That Act amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) to give the Minister of Public Safety the authority to designate the arrival of a group of foreign nationals in Canada as an irregular arrival (which includes human smuggling) when one of two factors is present:
- (a) the examinations relating to identity and admissibility of the persons involved in the arrival, and any related investigations, cannot be conducted in a timely manner; or
- (b) there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the arrival involves organized human smuggling for profit, or for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with, a criminal organization or terrorist group.
The designation of irregular arrivals would result in differential outcomes for refugee protection claims in Canada. Instead of being able to apply for permanent resident status after conferral of refugee protection status, designated foreign nationals would not be able to apply for permanent resident status for a period of at least five years, to a maximum of six years. The five-year bar would apply to all applications for permanent residence by designated foreign nationals, including through other immigration streams such as humanitarian and compassionate consideration or the family class.
The five-year bar on permanent residence is intended to act as a deterrent to participating in human smuggling.
The Act includes a requirement for a designated foreign national on whom refugee protection is conferred to report regularly to an officer. It authorizes the making of regulations relating to this reporting requirement.
The purpose of the reporting requirement is to keep track of the whereabouts of protected persons while they are barred from applying for permanent residence. Circumstances can change significantly in five years. Country conditions could improve, or protected persons could decide to return to their countries of origin. If any change occurs in the circumstances of the designated foreign national during that time that results in grounds for cessation of refugee protection, such proceedings can be initiated. This would ensure that permanent residence is only granted to those who continue to need Canada’s protection.
The objectives of these proposed Regulations are to provide operational details relating to the reporting requirements for designated foreign nationals, including
- the frequency of regular reporting; and
- the duration of the requirement to report.
The proposed Regulations would ensure that the reporting requirement provided for in the Act is clearly and properly implemented following the coming into force of the designated foreign national provisions of Bill C-31. The reporting requirement could help keep track of individuals if necessary, including, for example, if there is reason to pursue cessation of protected person status.
It is proposed that the following amendments be made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations:
1. Specify the initial reporting timeline
It is proposed that the Regulations be amended to specify that a designated foreign national on whom refugee protection is conferred must report to an officer, in person, within 30 days after the determination made by the Refugee Protection Division.
2. Specify the frequency of reporting
It is proposed that the Regulations be amended to specify that a designated foreign national on whom refugee protection is conferred must report to an officer on an annual basis following the initial reporting interview. If the officer has reason to believe the individual may be in a situation that could warrant cessation, the officer can require more frequent reporting.
3. Specify circumstances in which the designated foreign national must notify an officer and time limits for notification
It is proposed that the Regulations be amended to specify that a designated foreign national must inform an officer
- (a) of any change of address, within 10 working days of that change of address;
- (b) of any change in employment status, within 20 working days after that change; and
- (c) of any planned departure from Canada, at least 10 working days before that planned departure; and of any return to Canada within 10 working days after that return.
4. Specify the duration of the reporting period
It is proposed that the Regulations be amended to specify that the requirement to report would continue until the designated foreign national becomes a permanent resident.
The Act bars the submission of an application for permanent residence for five years following the date of status determination, with an additional year added if the person does not comply with any conditions imposed on them. The reporting requirement would continue to apply for at least five or six years after refugee protection status is conferred.
The human smuggling provisions of the Act as a whole, including the disincentive provisions of the Bill, were debated during meetings of the Standing Committee. Discussions have focused on mandatory detention and the five-year bar on permanent residence. Several stakeholders have expressed opposition to the five-year bar, of which the reporting requirement is a component. In submissions related to Bill C-31, some stakeholders raised more specific concerns regarding the reporting requirement itself.
The proposed Regulations will be circulated to key stakeholders to ensure that they have an opportunity to comment before they come into force.
6. Small business lens
There is no anticipated impact on small business, as the proposal does not impose administrative burden or compliance costs on businesses.
These proposed Regulations are necessary to give effect to the reporting requirement in the Act. Requiring annual reporting after the initial 30-day reporting period, until receipt of permanent residence, is intended to result in minimal inconvenience to designated foreign nationals. The frequency and duration of reporting and the areas of inquiry are linked to the objective of keeping track of the whereabouts of designated foreign nationals during the five-year bar on permanent residence. Requiring notification of change of address, change of employment status, and travel outside of Canada would assist in identifying circumstances where cessation of refugee protection may be warranted and would ensure that client information is up to date in the event of a cessation proceeding.
8. Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The proposed Regulations would come into force at the same time as the related amendments in the Act. At that point, designated foreign nationals who receive protected person status will be informed of their requirement to report as set out in these Regulations.
The consequence of not complying with this reporting requirement is an additional delay of one year before being permitted to apply for permanent residence, as provided for by the new paragraph 20.2(3)(b) of IRPA.
Asylum Policy and Programs
Refugee Affairs Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue W
PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT
Notice is hereby given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to subsection 5(1) and sections 14 and 98.2 (see footnote a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 30 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part Ⅰ, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Teny Dikranian, Manager, Asylum Policy and Program Development, Refugee Affairs Branch, Department of Citizenship and Immigration, Jean Edmonds South Tower, 17th Floor, 365 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1 (tel.: 613-946-1301; fax: 613-941-7001; email: Teny.Dikranian@cic.gc.ca).
Ottawa, July 25, 2012
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE PROTECTION REGULATIONS
1. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (see footnote 1) are amended by adding the following after section 174:
DESIGNATED FOREIGN NATIONAL — REQUIREMENT TO REPORT TO AN OFFICER
Regular reporting intervals
174.1 (1) For the purposes of subsection 98.1(1) of the Act, a designated foreign national referred to in that subsection who has not become a permanent resident under subsection 21(2) of the Act must report to an officer as follows:
- (a) in person, not more than 30 days after refugee protection is conferred on the designated foreign national under paragraph 95(1)(b) or (c) of the Act; and
- (b) once a year in each year after the day on which the foreign national first reports to an officer under paragraph (a), on a date fixed by the officer.
Reporting on request
(2) The designated foreign national must also report to an officer if requested to do so by the officer because the officer has reason to believe that any of the circumstances referred to in paragraphs 108(1)(a) to (e) of the Act may apply in respect of the designated foreign national.
Additional reporting requirements
(3) In addition to meeting the requirements of subsections (1) and (2), the designated foreign national must report to an officer
- (a) any change in
- (i) their address, not more than 10 working days after the day on which the change occurs, and
- (ii) their employment status, not more than 20 working days after the day on which the change occurs;
- (c) any return to Canada, not more than 10 working days after the day of their return.
Cessation of reporting requirements
(4) The reporting requirements in subsections (1) to (3) cease to apply to the designated foreign national on the day on which they become a permanent resident.
COMING INTO FORCE
2. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.