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March 15, 2013 — As a result of worsening conditions in Mali, failed refugee claimants from that country may be eligible for a new assessment of the risk they would face if deported.
With the passage of the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act, individuals who received a final decision on their refugee claim from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) or a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) within the last 12 months are not eligible for a PRRA unless they are eligible for an exemption. A final decision on a refugee claim or PRRA assessment includes rejected, abandoned and withdrawn applications.
But the law allows the Minister to make exceptions in the event country conditions change after the final decision.
Effective today, individuals from Mali may be eligible for a PRRA if they received a final decision from the IRB or a final PRRA decision on or between February 21, 2012, and February 20, 2013.
Mali is exempted from the bar on accessing a PRRA as country conditions have worsened. As a result, individuals could face a situation of risk that may warrant an additional assessment, which is why they are exempt from the bar on a PRRA. CIC continues to monitor country conditions around the world and assess new and ongoing situations of risk.
It is important to note that the ability to apply for PRRA does not guarantee the outcome of the risk assessment. Officers at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue to decide cases individually, based on the information provided.
Please note that individuals are responsible for keeping their PRRA application up-to-date. It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform CIC of any changes to their application. This is required, so that decision makers have all the information an individual wants considered for their application.
Malian nationals who receive a final IRB or PRRA decision after February 21, 2013, are not entitled to a PRRA for 12 months. Any recent changes in country conditions will have been considered when the refugee claim was decided or during the PRRA process.
The majority of people who seek a PRRA are failed refugee claimants. These individuals will have had their asylum claim heard before the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) at the independent IRB.
Under the new asylum system, most claimants have the opportunity to appeal a negative RPD decision to the new Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) at the IRB.
All claimants can ask the Federal Court to review a negative decision.
In considering what countries to exempt, CIC considers any event that has recently arisen in a country that could place all or some of its nationals in a situation of risk similar to those defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (sections 96—definition of a Convention Refugee and 97—definition of a person in need of protection). For example, these changes could include a change in government, laws or policies that indicate government sanction of persecution against certain groups.
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