Non-economic Classes – Refugees and Protected Persons
Canada offers refugee protection to some people in Canada who fear persecution or who would be in danger if they had to leave. Some dangers they may face include
• risk to their life
• risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment If you feel you could face one of these risks if you go back to your home country or the country where you normally live, you may be able to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.
Claim refugee status from inside Canada
Some people are not eligible to claim refugee protection in Canada.
Note: If you’re under a removal order, you can’t make a refugee claim.
Officers who review your refugee claim decide if it will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The IRB is an independent board that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters.
The IRB decides who is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
• Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They’re not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on
– Political opinion
– Being part of a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation
• A person in need of protection is a person in Canada who can’t return to their home country safely. This is because, if they return, they may face
– Danger of torture
– Risk to their life
– Risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment Your refugee claim may not be eligible to be referred to the IRB if you
• Are recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to
• Were granted protected person status in Canada
• Arrived via the Canada–United States (US) border
• Are not admissible to Canada on security grounds or because of criminal activity or human rights violations
• Made a previous refugee claim that was not found eligible
• Made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB
• Abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim Safe Third Country Agreement Canada has an agreement with the US that says people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in. This means, if you enter Canada from the US at a land border, you can’t make a refugee claim in Canada. In some cases, this rule does not apply (for example, if you have family in Canada).
❖ Application process
Step 1: Submit your application You can submit your application at an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office or at a port of entry.
• Apply at an IRCC office One of the immigration officers will check for your application’s completeness, and you will be
– Scheduled for an interview
– Given an acknowledgement of claim letter
– Given instructions to complete your immigration medical examination
At the interview, your application will be reviewed for eligibility to claim refugee status. After the interview, a refugee protection claimant document
that fits their decision will be given to you. If you’re eligible, you will also be given a confirmation of referral letter that confirms they referred your claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada.
• Apply at a port of entry
You can apply for refugee status at any port of entry when you arrive in Canada. This means an airport, seaport or land border. The application package will be given to you if you don’t already have it.
If the officer decides your refugee claim is eligible:
The officer will give you a Confirmation of Referral letter and a Basis of Claim form
– The Confirmation of Referral letter confirms that we referred your claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
– You’ll have 15 days to complete the Basis of Claim form and submit it to the Refugee Protection Division office shown on your referral letter
If you’re eligible, you can apply for a work or study permit at the same time you apply for refugee status.
If you’re not eligible to make a refugee claim, you’ll be issued a removal order.
Step 2: Go to a hearing
If you’re eligible to make a refugee claim, the IRB will send you a Notice to Appear for a hearing. This notice will tell you:
• Where to go for your hearing
• When to get there
• When it starts
After your refugee hearing, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) approves or rejects your refugee claim.
• If the IRB accepts your claim: you get “protected person” status. This means you can stay in Canada, and you can apply to become a permanent resident of Canada.
• If the IRB rejects your claim: you’ll have to leave Canada. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to appeal the IRB’s decision. You may also have other options.
Need help claiming your refugee status in Canada? Contact us today.