The following is a summary of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) presented to public on June 19, 2013. Please refer to the CBSA website for any updates on the program.

With the AVRR pilot program, the CBSA aims to encourage the voluntary return of low-risk failed refugee claimants as a cost effective and timely alternative to a traditional enforced removal.


  • The AVRR program will run until March 31, 2015.
  • It is open to low-risk failed refugees in the GTA who are removal ready.
  • AVRR is administered through a partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) (described in details later).


Removals in 2012- 2013: 1,602

Anticipated removals for 2013- 2014: 2,719

Anticipated removals for 2014-2015: 2,719

Guiding principles:

  • The CBSA maintains authority to determine and monitor eligibility of clients throughout the AVRR process to ensure it is not abused.
  • The CBSA will not interfere with the departure arrangements of clients, unless issues or discrepancies arise.
  • Promoting timely departure of AVRR participants within 30 days of a negative IRB decision (per s 224(1) of the IRPA where an individual leaves Canada on a departure order).
  • The IOM would strive to ensure that clients return in a manner that is anonymous – failed refugees return as if they were a regular traveler (i.e. Tickets are not coded as “deportee”).
  • The IOM would strive to ensure that families depart as a unit.

What are the benefits to the participant?

  • Anonymity
  • Support for those who genuinely wish to return to their country as origin, such as:
    • Pre-departure information on options for return
    • Help to develop re-integration plan
    • Travel arrangements: help in obtaining travel documents, booking and purchasing tickets, facilitation with airport departure, transit and arrival reception
    • Management of in-kind re-integration assistance on behalf of the participants.
  • In most countries, participants will receive assistance form a local IOM office or from a contracted third party service provider.
    • The in-kind assistance up to $2,000 CAN will help implement re-integration plan and can be used to pay for services such as help starting up a small business or to get an education/retraining. NOTE: assistance is not provided in cash. IOM will pay directly to the service providers.


DETAILS OF THE ASSISTANCE (applies to applications after December 15, 2012)

  • Amount of assistance depends on the recourse(s) obtained upon application to the AVRR.
  • Up to $2,000 if applied prior to RAD and FC (i.e. No recourse)
  • Up to $1,500 if applied prior to RAD or FC (i.e. one recourse)
  • Up to $1,000 if applied after RAD and FC (i.e. two recourses)
  • Up to $500 (CASH) for Designated Countries of Origin


  • Must receive a negative determination on their claim from the IRB
  • Meet the following geographic criteria
    • Submitted a claim for Refugee protection at any port of entry, CBSA or CIC inland office within the GTA, and
    • Have their refugee claim heard by the IRB within the GTA, and
    • Have their removal effected from the GTA
    • OR
    • Submitted claim outside of the defined GTA area, and
    • Have been granted a “change of venue” by the IRB to the GTA
    • Have their removal effected from the GTA
  • Must satisfy section 238 of the IRPR
  • (New) dependents: at least one parent must be deemed eligible and participate in AVRR.

NOT Eligible

  • Applicants who received a refugee decision based on an application with no credible basis (s 107(2) of the IRPA)
  • Applicants deemed excluded as per sections E and F of Article 1 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
  • Applicants who withdraw or abandon their refugee claim before having received a determination by the IRB.
  • Applicants from a country with a temporary suspension of removal (s 50(a) of the IRPa and s 230 of the IRPR)
  • Applicants who fail to assist with, or complete, an application for a travel document when requested by the CBSA.
  • Applicants who failed to remain in compliance with all terms and conditions issued by the Government of Canada.
  • Applicants with an outstanding warrant for arrest or removal by the CBSA or any law enforcement agency.
  • Applicants reported for criminality (minor or serious) (s 36 of the IRPA)
  • Applicants reported as being inadmissible to Canada or found to be inadmissible on security grounds, on grounds of violating human or international rights, or on grounds of organized criminality (s 34, 35, 37 of the IRPA)
  • Applicants with an outstanding application for permanent residence accompanied by a spousal sponsorship application.
  • (New) Client has been determined to be a Designated Foreign National (DFN).
  • (New) Previously deported individuals.
  • An applicant will be temporarily ineligible for the AVRR program if the following condition applies: Client is under a stay of removal issued as per s 50 of the IRPA (a) to (e).

AVRR Walk–In Unit

  • Addresses client’s needs on an ad-hoc basis
  • Address 6900 Airport Road, Mon-Fri 8-4pm
  • Interview takes approximately 45 min
  • Clients are welcome to call, email or walk into the office (