2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.6 How are refugees screened?
(iv) How can resettlement countries be certain they have the best available information on which to base their assessments?
How Canada Does It
Highly trained and experienced officers interview refugees and conduct robust criminality and security checks to make sure they do not pose a security risk to Canada. Screening occurs at every stage of processing, information is checked against multiple databases, and Canada works with many domestic and international security and law enforcement partners to ensure that the best available information is obtained. 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 any security/criminality factors in an individual’s background that would pose a threat to the safety or security of Canadians.
CRIMINAL AND SECURITY EXAMINATIONS
- Canadian visa officers verify refugee applicant identity and documents through all stages of processing, with support from law enforcement and security partners as needed.
- Canadian officers abroad collect biographical and biometric information of each refugee applicant. These officers also check immigration, law enforcement, and security databases for information relating to the following criteria: security, human or international rights violations, criminality, serious criminality, and organized criminality. For more information, see 2.A.6(i).
- Fingerprints are compared against the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) records of Canadian criminals, refugee claimants, previous deportees, and previous immigration. Biographical and biometric information is also checked against Canadian and U.S. immigration, law enforcement, and security databases.
- 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.
- CBSA prepares a report to the Government of Canada with recommendations on whether the refugee applicant constitutes a threat to the security of Canada. However, the ultimate decision on (in)admissibility 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).
- A Government of Canada authorized physician will complete a medical exam of each refugee, which includes screening for contagious diseases (such as tuberculosis or untreated syphilis). A refugee is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition (a) is likely to be a danger to public health; or (b) is likely to be a danger to public safety. For more information see 2.A.6(ii).
- The Government of Canada, not the panel physician, makes the final decision about a refugee’s admissibility.