First Reference company logo

First Reference Talks

News and Discussions on Payroll, HR & Employment Law

decorative image

Making Canada’s asylum system faster and fairer has potential ramifications for Canadian businesses

Citizenship and immigration minister Jason Kenney announced recently that Canada’s list of Designated Countries of Origin (DCO) will expand to include eight more nations, including:





  • Mexico
  • Israel (Excluding Gaza and the West Bank)
  • Japan
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Switzerland

The Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act which came into force on December 15, 2012 will bring about positive changes in Canada’s effort improve its new asylum system, and provide better protection to Canada’s legitimate refugees. Declaring these regions ‘safe’ has its implications. Asylum claims from generally safe countries will allow faster approval for claimants, and faster removal of claimants who were rejected. Kenney hopes that these changes will make Canadian immigration faster and fairer. With changes, come implications. Let’s take a look at potential ramifications for Canadian businesses.

Change: Claimants from DCO can expect faster approval than claimants from non-DCO
Implication: Asylum claimants will be approved faster, start new life sooner

The changes to Canadian immigration rules will allow asylum claimants to be processed an average of fifteen days faster than those asylum claimants from non designated country of origin regions. This means there could be more refugees applying for work permits, and more skilled labour in the Canadian workforce.

Change: Hearings will be held within 30 days
Implication: Immigration lawyers argue this time-frame is not wide enough for claimants to gather and produce quality materials.

The faster processing time could potentially be damaging for some claimants. Experts say the small window of opportunity may not be enough time to hire a lawyer and make a case, which means prospective skilled workers could be turned away for the wrong reasons.

Change: Determination based on mostly quantitative, some qualitative criteria
Implication: Determination process could be riddled with mistakes

To be placed on the DCO list, claims must have a rejection rate of 75 percent or higher. A country may be considered ‘safe’, even if it might not be. Is there an objective way to draw the line? Decisions might be subjective, and approval/rejection rates could be skewed. If rejected, claimants could be sent back to life-threatening conditions.

The refugee determination process has been a hotly debated topic in Canadian immigration. These changes could affect the Canadian workforce, which has been experiencing a shortage of skilled labour in a number of provinces. It is too early to say whether these change will be a good move or a bad one for Canada, but it is evident that Canada will be accepting more refugees than ever before.

About the author:

Meghan Tooley is a commerce student and active online blogger from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She often offers her views on human resource development, as it relates to industry trends. She writes on behalf of Metric Marketing, a Winnipeg marketing firm also based in Winnipeg. For more information about Canadian Immigration Services, visit

Occasional Contributors

In addition to our regular guest bloggers, First Reference Talks blog published by First Reference, provides occasional guest post opportunities from various subject matter experts on the topics of payroll, employment and labour law, payroll, HR analytics, corporate immigration, accessibility related issues in Canada. If you are a subject matter expert and would like to become an occasional blogger, please contact Yosie Saint-Cyr at If you liked this post, subscribe to First Reference Talks blog to get regular updates.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are currently closed.