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In-Canada Claim for Refugee Protection 

People from around the world suffer immense atrocities in their home country and without aid from the proper authorities, they are left with no choice but to seek protection in other countries. Canada recognizes the right of a person to seek protection and as such, provides assistance through its asylum and resettlement programs. Protection is offered to those persons who are determined to be either a convention refugee or a person in need of protection. Depending on whether the person is making a claim inside or outside Canada, the decision will be made by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) or by a migration officer, respectively.

 

Who is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection?

A convention refugee as defined by s. 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), is a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, and who is unable or unwilling to avail themself of the protection of that country because of said reason. On the other hand, a person in need of protection is a person who is subjected personally to a danger of torture, risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, should they return to their country of nationality.

 

Claiming Refugee Protection in Canada 

Claims for refugee protection can be made at a port of entry or at an IRCC inland office. A claim is deemed made once a person expresses to an officer that protection is being sought. The person will be subjected to an eligibility interview with an officer who will decide whether the claim is eligible to be referred to the RPD. If the claim is eligible, the claimant will receive a Confirmation of Referral which include important information regarding refugee protection. If the claim was made at the port of entry, the claimant will be given a form (Basis of Claim form) which must be completed and submitted to the RPD within 15 days. If the claim was made at an inland office, a completed form should be presented to the officer at the time of making the claim.

 

Once a claim has been referred to the RPD, the applicant will receive a Notice to Appear for a hearing. Prior to this and immediately after receiving a confirmation of referral, a claimant should ensure to gather the documents necessary to support their claim such as: police reports or documents, business records, news clippings, visas, travel documents, research on country conditions, affidavits from witnesses, photographs etc. The evidence should give credence to the claims asserted and must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the hearing.

What happens after a hearing?

The Member will decide whether a claim should be accepted or rejected. If the claim is accepted, the claimant is afforded protected person status and in most cases, eligible to apply for permanent residence. If the claim is rejected, the claimant may be eligible to appeal the decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).The person will be informed whether they are eligible for a Pre-Risk Removal Assessment (PRRA)

 

Removal of Protection

Despite being granted protected person status, the Minister may apply for such protection to be removed, though cessation or vacation. Cessation generally occurs when a person has voluntarily reavailed themself of the protection of their country of nationality, or acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of that country.  Protection may also be ceased where the reasons for which the refugee claim was sought have ceased; persons may be permitted to keep their status where this is the case.  If the application is allowed, the claim for the person will be deemed rejected.  The minister may also bring an application for a vacation. This occurs where the Minister believes that the decision was obtained as a result of directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter. If the application is allowed, like cessation, the claim will be deemed rejected and the decision confirming refugee protection will be nullified.

 

Need Help?  Contact us for more information about making a claim for refugee protection in Canada, or steps to take if your protected person status is being contested. 

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Government of Canada  has implemented travel restrictions which prohibits some persons from entering Canada. Please click here to find out if you are eligible for travel into Canada. 

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