Port of Entry Interviews

Resolution number: 
November 1995
  1. Citizenship and Immigration Canada is currently reviewing its procedure on Port of Entry interviews with refugee claimants with a view to standardizing them;
  2. Notes of the Port of Entry interviews are now automatically sent to the CRDD;
  3. Refugee claimants' situation on arrival is one of great vulnerability;
  4. Claimants are questioned by immigration officers without the presence of legal counsel, sometimes over many hours, in situations of great stress and fatigue;
  5. Interpreters are not always provided or they are provided over the phone;
  6. There have been instances of rude and insensitive behaviour and attempts to discourage claimants from making claims or negative comments on the merits of the claim;
Therefore be it resolved: 

that the CCR call on Citizenship and Immigration Canada to:

  1. Establish a joint committee to review procedures on the taking of Port of Entry notes and their use by the IRB;
  2. Cease asking questions about the basis of the refugee claim;
  3. Give officers a code of conduct, guidelines and training to ensure that the claimant is treated with respect during the interview;
  4. Indicate in the guidelines that nothing is to be said or done that would cast aspersions on the merits of the claim or might discourage the claimant from making the claim;
  5. Allow the presence of lawyers or other support persons such as family, friends or NGOs where their presence would not unduly delay the interview;
  6. Provide copies of the interview notes to the claimant at the end of the interview and where possible record the interview;
  7. Institute an accessible, transparent and accountable complaints procedure.
Working Group: 
Inland Protection