More Information About the Process of Claiming Refugee Status in Canada
If you or someone you know is in Canada and is afraid to return to their country of nationality or former habitual residence, you are familiar with the anxiety caused by the knowledge that you may not be able to remain safely in Canada forever. Fortunately, if you are already in Canada, you may have the ability to claim Refugee protection here and have your claim adjudicated by a panel of the Immigration and Refugee Board, an independent tribunal. A claim for refugee protection will be determined following a formal, quasi-judicial proceeding at which all of the evidence that you have to support the reasons why you can’t go back to your home country will be considered. You’ll have the right to be represented by counsel as well as the right to call witnesses to testify on your behalf.
At the conclusion of your refugee hearing, if it is satisfied that you have a well-founded fear of persecution in your country of nationality or former habitual residence on the basis of your race, religion, membership in a particular social group or your political opinion, you will be granted this protected status in Canada. This means that you may not be asked to leave Canada and return to the country in which you fear persecution, except in vary limited circumstances. This protection from return of “rafoulmont” is an invaluable, as it will grant you the legal right to apply for permanent residence status from within Canada and eventually become a Canadian Citizen.
In the event that your refugee claim is denied, you may have a right to appeal that refusal to the Refugee Appeal Division or to seek leave for judicial review against that refusal in the Federal Court of Canada.
Frequently asked questions about refugee claim
No. Only period who are physically present in Canada, either at a port of entry or after they have already been admitted to Canada may claim refugee protection here. If you are outside of Canada and want to access the Canadian Refugee Determination process, you must first arrive at a port of entry.
Although the current refugee determination process was designed to hear claims on an extremely expeditious basis, due to a large influx of new claimants primarily from the United States, refugee processing times have become much longer. Despite this, it is imperative to begin gathering the documentary evidence that will support your claim immediately in order to ensure that you have the best evidence available to you at the time your claim is heard by a panel of the Refugee Protection Division.
Yes, there are many exceptions to who may claim refugee protection in Canada. For example, people with serious criminal records in other countries may not claim refugee protection.
People who have already claimed refugee protection in Canada once before and had their application refused may not claim a second time. Certain people arriving to Canada from the American border and who are subject to the safe Third Party Agreement are also not permitted to claim refugee protection. It is a good idea to contact a lawyer in advance to determine your eligibility to claim.
Not exactly. Being determined to be a Conventional Refugee does not have the effect of conferring permanent or temporary resident status in Canada. Refugee protection simply means that a person may not return to the country of their nationality, it does not grant permanent status in Canada. After a person has been determined to be a refugee, they must apply for permanent resident status in Canada which they are legally entitled to do. After becoming a permanent resident of Canada and they wait the necessary period of time, Conventional Refugees will be eligible to obtain Canadian Citizenship.
Why should you hire us to help you claim refugee protection in Canada?
Claims for refugee protection in Canada are extremely important. It is of vital importance that you and your family be represented by a lawyer with experience in representing people before the Immigration and Refugee Protection Board as you will not likely have a second chance to make your claim.
The litigation group at Mamann, Sandaluk & Kingwell has extensive experience representing individuals before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. We will be happy to sit with you and discuss the details of your case in order to provide a clear assessment of your likelihood of your prospects for success before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Contact us to schedule a consultation immediately!