Refugees And Asylum Seekers
A. Refugee Claim
You can also gain citizenship in Canada if you fall under the category of Protected Persons. An individual is considered to be a Convention refugee if they can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution upon return to their home country or country of citizenship. There are five different forms of persecution currently recognized by the international community: race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group and political opinion.
In order to claim refugee status in Canada, the fear of persecution must fall under one of these five forms and the individual must demonstrate that their home country is unable or unwilling to provide them with adequate state protection.
If an individual is unable to demonstrate that they are a Convention refugee, it is still possible that they are a person in need of protection. This may arise because the individual is at risk of cruel and unusual punishment, risk of torture or death.
To be deemed a person in need of protection, you must be able to demonstrate that your fear is personalized. It cannot simply be a risk faced by people within their country. A risk is not personalized unless there is a particular characteristic that has led to that person, as opposed to all other people, being targeted.
A claim can be made at any port of entry in Canada. Claims are typically made to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The RPD and IRB are independent government tribunals which act like a court and determine who is granted refugee status.
The timelines for the RPD are incredibly strict and require that a refugee claimant be able to prepare for and attend their claim hearings without delay. At Brace Law, we can help you through this difficult time and ensure that everything is prepared in a timely manner.
B. Refugee Appeal
If your refugee claim fails, you will receive a Removal Order. A Removal Order, regardless if it is a Departure, Exclusion or Deportation Order, requires that you leave Canada. If you fear returning to your country of nationality, you can make an application for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) to assess your risk prior to removal.
C. Pre-Removal Risk Assesment (PRRA)
The purpose of the PRRA is to assess whether the applicant faces a risk in their home country and should not be deported there. It is similar to a refugee claim as it assesses the same conditions for risk due to religion, race, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group. However, it is important to note that a person who has made a refugee claim before the Refugee Protection Division and/or the Refugee Appeal Division may not apply for the PRRA unless at least one year has passed since their initial refugee claim was rejected.
D. Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds Application
In situations where someone does not apply as a Refugee or has failed in their Refugee claim, they are still able to apply for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Immigration authorities are able to grant permanent residence if they find there is a compelling reason, such as a special hardship or if they will face unusual and undeserved hardship, if they had to return to their country of nationality.
This application asks the immigration authorities to waive the usual requirements to apply for permanent residence. This often includes individuals who are in Canada illegally or inadmissible to Canada for a variety of reasons.
When considering whether to grant a humanitarian and compassionate grounds application, the immigration authorities can consider the following factors:
- Adverse conditions in the applicant’s country of nationality
- Length of time the applicant has been in Canada
- The specific circumstances of the family members
- Whether the family has the option to be together in another country