2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.6 How are refugees screened?
(iii) Which actors should be responsible for screening refugees?
How Canada Does It
Responsibility for screening refugees rests with various Government of Canada officials or in partnership with authorized actors, each of whom is specifically trained to perform their given role. Refugees are screened for their eligibility, criminal/security background, and their health.
CRIMINAL AND SECURITY EXAMINATIONS
- Refugees have their identity and documents verified at all stages of processing by Canadian visa officers, with support from law enforcement and security partners as needed, before they are accepted for resettlement to Canada. Refugees have their identity and documents verified at all stages of processing. Highly trained and experienced officers interview refugees and conduct robust criminality and security checks, and information is checked against multiple databases.
- Visa officers conduct in-person interviews with refugees to assess eligibility and admissibility. Information is sought directly from the refugee applicant to determine if there are security/criminality factors that may pose a threat to the safety or security of Canadians.
- Canada works with Canadian and foreign law enforcement agencies and security partners such as the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to conduct thorough security screening of refugee applicants.
- CSIS is mandated to conduct security screenings through ss. 14-15 of Canada’s CSIS Act, as well as through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Citizenship Act. CSIS prepares a report to the Government of Canada with recommendations on whether the person concerned constitutes a threat to the security of Canada. However, the ultimate decision on (in)admissibility in resettlement applications is made by the visa officer, taking the recommendations of the security partners into account.
- Canada has also entered into information sharing agreements and arrangements with international partners to facilitate admissibility decisions. For more information see 2.A.2(vii).
- Only physicians authorized by the Government of Canada may carry out immigration medical examinations. Canada helps refugees locate an authorized doctor in their country, territory or region for their immigration medical exam.
- The Government of Canada, not the panel physician, makes the final decision about a refugee’s admissibility.
Refugees must pass all security checks and medical screening before Canada will issue a permanent resident visa.