Designated Countries of Origin (DCO)

Designated countries of origin (DCO) will include countries that do not normally produce refugees, but do respect human rights and offer state protection.

The aim of the DCO policy is to deter abuse of the refugee system by people who come from countries generally considered safe. Refugee claimants from DCOs will have their claims processed faster. This will ensure that people in need get protection fast, while those with unfounded claims are sent home quickly through expedited processing.

Hearings on these claims are expected to be held within 30 – 45 days after referral of the claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) as opposed to the 60-day time frame for other refugee claimants. Failed DCO claimants will not have access to the Refugee Appeal Division, and will not be able to apply for a work permit upon arrival in Canada.

Every eligible refugee claimant, including those from a designated country of origin, will continue to receive a hearing at the IRB.

The following countries have been designated:

Country Effective Date
Andorra October 10, 2014
Australia February 15, 2013
Austria December 15, 2012
Belgium December 15, 2012
Chile May 31, 2013
Croatia December 15, 2012
Cyprus December 15, 2012
Czech Republic December 15, 2012
Denmark December 15, 2012
Estonia December 15, 2012
Finland December 15, 2012
France December 15, 2012
Germany December 15, 2012
Greece December 15, 2012
Hungary December 15, 2012
Iceland February 15, 2013
Ireland December 15, 2012
Israel (excludes Gaza and the West Bank) February 15, 2013
Italy December 15, 2012
Japan February 15, 2013
Latvia December 15, 2012
Liechtenstein October 10, 2014
Lithuania December 15, 2012
Luxembourg December 15, 2012
Malta December 15, 2012
Mexico February 15, 2013
Monaco October 10,2014
Netherlands December 15, 2012
New Zealand February 15, 2013
Norway February 15, 2013
Poland December 15, 2012
Portugal December 15, 2012
Romania October 10, 2014
San Marino October 10,2014
Slovak Republic December 15, 2012
Slovenia December 15, 2012
South Korea May 31, 2013
Spain December 15, 2012
Sweden December 15, 2012
Switzerland February 15, 2013
United Kingdom December 15, 2012
United States of America December 15, 2012

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