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Refugee hearing procedures will be fully resumed in mid-September

Added:2020-08-31

The Federal Bureau of Immigration and Refugees (IRB) will fully resume the court hearing procedures for asylum applications starting from September 14.


You must wear a mask to attend the refugee application hearing.



According to the "Star" report, after several months of consultations, IRB said on Thursday that it will return to the pre-epidemic model for refugee application hearings. All parties will resume in the same hearing room from September 14th. Hearing. Prior to this, the 1,200 members of the Canadian Bar Association's Immigration Law Committee had requested that virtual hearings be the default choice for health reasons.



Immigration lawyer Lina Anani believes that the IRB's decision was not a wise move. She said: "They said that the court is installing plexiglass.... However, we are in a narrow enclosed space, coupled with the need to continue to debate for several hours, which is a high-risk activity."



As of March 31 this year, the IRB had a backlog of 90,267 asylum applications.



The backlog of refugee asylum applications has exceeded 90,267



The IRB suspended all hearings in March, but has gradually resumed hearing procedures since July, initially in Vancouver, and then resumed hearings in other offices across the country in early August. The IRB stated that since August 3, 880 refugee application hearings have been scheduled, 62 of which were conducted through videoconferencing.



According to current regulations, judges and interpreters work remotely or in separate rooms with applicants, appellants and their lawyers to ensure social distancing. However, applicants and lawyers often need to take off their masks when making oral statements and testifying.



At the same time, virtual hearings and document review rulings have also been conducted with limited operational capabilities.



The IRB stated that with the full restoration of the on-site hearing next month, a plexiglass barrier will be installed in its larger hearing room, which is another layer of protection in addition to physical distance and requires everyone to attend the hearing. All must wear a mask. In addition, from now on, applicants and lawyers can also wear masks when making oral statements and testifying.


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