When foreigners are told to leave Canada: Person to be removed can make refugee claim
April 24th, 2006
By Guidy Mamann
Foreigners who have overstayed their status can come to the attention of immigration authorities through many ways.
Sometimes, it’s a routine traffic stop by the local police. Other times, a lover’s quarrel leads to a rash decision to get even. Other times, it’s a heartless employer who tips the immigration authorities so they can deport someone he/she owes back wages to. Sometimes the tip comes from a once close friend or relative.
Once alerted, immigration officials will arrest the foreigner and either release them on terms and conditions or detain them. If detained, the foreigner will be brought before an immigration judge within 48 hours to determine if he/she poses a danger to the public or is a flight risk.
If not, he/she can be released upon the posting of a cash bond by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and/or upon the execution of an undertaking promising to make a payment to the Crown in the event of non-compliance.
An immigration officer can usually make a removal order very quickly against a detained person. Accordingly, those wishing to make a refugee claim should do so immediately since they will be barred from doing so after the removal order is made.
If a refugee claim is made, the foreigner cannot usually be removed from Canada until the claim has been finally determined. A refugee claim, and any appeal, can take several months or more to hear. Refugee claimants who have been in Canada for several years should consider making a simultaneous humanitarian application in the event that the refugee claim is ultimately denied.
If they delay in making a humanitarian application until the refugee claim is decided, they risk being removed from Canada before the humanitarian case can be considered. A humanitarian application will not prevent immigration authorities from proceeding with a removal.
If a refugee claim is rejected or is not made, an expulsions officer will be assigned to make the foreigner "removal ready". The officer will either call the foreigner or send a letter asking them to bring in any passport, travel document, social insurance number, and work permit, etc.
Once this contact has been made, a person can still be sponsored by a spouse or common law partner from within inside Canada but they will not be entitled to a decision prior to their removal from Canada.