Legacy Claims

Canada’s Refugee Process Main Page »
Immigration Main Page »

Refugee Claimants Asked to Update Contact Information

June 20, 2017 – Ottawa – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) is seeking the assistance from the media and stakeholders to spread the word to all refugee claimants who filed their refugee protection claim to the IRB before December 15, 2012, to contact the IRB and update their information.

The IRB recognizes the importance of timely processing and appreciates the difficulties facing legacy claimants waiting for their claim to be heard. That is the reason the IRB recently announced a Legacy Task Force to provide dedicated support to the elimination of its backlog of legacy claims. The Task Force will work within current resource allocations to increase the rate at which it can process legacy claims, and will start to hear these legacy cases in September 2017.

Refugee claimants who made a claim in Canada before December 15, 2012 should contact the IRB with their contact information:

Phone: 1-833-534-2292
Fax (Toronto): 1-416-954-1165
Fax (Montreal): 1-514-283-0164
Website:  Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

(Information from IRB website: http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/Eng/RefClaDem/Pages/LegClaAncDem.aspx )

Legacy Task Force

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has formed a Legacy Task Force which will provide dedicated support to the substantive elimination of its backlog of legacy claims in two years. The Task Force’s focus on legacy claims will allow the Refugee Protection Division to continue to address the new system caseload, which is subject to regulated time limits.

On June 20, 2017, World Refugee Day, the IRB Issued a news release and produced a Youtube video asking refugees who made a claim to the IRB before December 15, 2012 to contact the IRB and update their information on the Intention to Proceed Form as needed. Contact the Legacy Office with questions at 1-833-534-2292.

The IRB recognizes the challenges facing legacy claimants waiting in the backlog for several years that is the reason that we have worked hard to find existing internal resources (in the absence of additional funding) and make it a priority to substantively eliminate the legacy cases within two years.

Legacy Claims – Refugee Claims Referred to the IRB before December 15, 2012

Refugee claims referred to the IRB before December 15, 2012– are what the IRB calls “Legacy claims“. Although most of these claims were heard before the new refugee determination system took effect on December 15, 2012, there are some claims that have not yet been heard.

Updating Information and Intention to Proceed

Legacy claimants will be contacted at their address on record with the IRB to inquire about their intention to proceed with their claim and to provide the claimant an opportunity to update their information with the IRB. If you wish to be contacted regarding a hearing date now you may do so by completing the Intention to Proceed Form and following the instructions for forwarding it to your region, Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.

More details at the IRB website

Basic Overview of the Refugee Process (after Dec. 15, 2012)


(To see the full document click here)

The purpose of this document is to introduce you to the new refugee system that is taking place in Canada. However, before we begin with the specific steps of making a refugee protection claim, it is important to understand some of the concepts and language that are used throughout the document. Specifically, as part of the new process, new claimants will be divided into three categories, which will have different significance at different stages.

Designated Countries of Origin (DCO)

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration can designate countries of origin. The nationals of these countries have reduced rights in the refugee process. Countries can be designated on the basis of quantitative factors (a rejection rate of at least 75% or a withdrawn and abandoned rate of at least 60%), or on the basis of the Minister’s opinion that the country has an independent judiciary, democratic rights, etc. These countries have begun to be designated as of December 14th, 2012. As of the production of this document 35 countries have made the list – 25 countries are in the European Union (EU) as well as Croatia, Mexico and the USA. To see the updated list, please visit www.cic.gc.ca.

Designated Foreign Nationals (DFN)

The Minister of Public Safety can designate groups of people as “irregular arrivals” in particular circumstances, including if the Minister considers that the group cannot be examined in a timely manner or suspects that the group might have been smuggled for profit. Individuals in the group are subject to many extreme measures, including mandatory detention (for all over 16 years of age) and a bar on applying for permanent residence for five years even if they are accepted as persons in need of protection by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). They also face a reduction of their rights and some differences in terms of the refugee claim process.

Regular Refugee Claimants

This category is for any claimant who is not from a Designated Country of Origin (DCO) according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), or who is not a Designated Foreign National according to the Minister of Public Safety.

Timeline and Important Dates: The timeline for your claim process will depend on where you make your claim and whether or not you are from a Designated Country of Origin (DCO)

To read the complete document click here