Refugee Application Process

Am I eligible for refugee protection?

Human rights is one of the top priorities of the Canadian government. Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recognizes that everyone has the right to be safe from persecution. If you are at risk of being severely injured or killed if you are returned to your country of origin, you may qualify for refugee protection in Canada.

In order for your refugee claim to succeed, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You do not meet any criteria that would make you inadmissible to Canada, just as human rights violations or serious criminal activity
  • This must be your first-ever refugee claim in Canada
  • You cannot be recognized as a refugee in another country that you can safely return to
  • You cannot come to Canada through a “safe third country” such as the United States

How are refugee claims processed?

Refugee claims are usually made to an immigration official at a port of entry. Claims can also be made at an immigration office in Canada, but in this case, determining eligibility takes considerably longer. If the claimant is deemed to be eligible for consideration, his or her case is thoroughly reviewed by the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB). Among the things considered are the question of whether claimants are in genuine danger if they are returned to their country of origin, whether they would normally be deemed admissible to Canada, and other factors. The review process takes about twelve months, after which the claimant is asked to appear before the IRB for a hearing.

If the IRB deems the claimant to be in need of refuge, he or she becomes a protected person. The federal government provides some assistance for a limited time in order to help the refugee become established in Canada, and the refugee is able to apply for permanent residence.

What if my refugee claim is rejected?

If your refugee claim is not successful, you can request a judicial review from the Federal Court of Canada. If this appeal is rejected, you are likely to be removed from Canada. If you still feel that you are in danger, you can request that IRCC conduct a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA). During this process, you have the opportunity to provide a written account of the dangers you believe you face if you are returned to your country of origin.


Are You Eligible For Canadian Immigration?

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