Claiming Refugee Status from Inside of Canada

Claiming Refugee Status inside Canada

A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their home in order to escape war, persecution, or a natural disaster. These individuals can be displaced all over the world; almost always in search of better living conditions and ultimately a better life. Sometimes these individuals end up in Canada. If you are in Canada and fear persecution and are unwilling or not able to return to your home country then you may be eligible for refugee protection from inside of Canada.

Who can apply to Claim Refugee Status in Canada?

In order to claim refugee status in Canada you will first need to know which type of refugee category you may fall under, in order to ensure that your application is filed properly it is vital that you file the application under the correct category. There are generally two types of applicants that can apply for refugee status within Canada. There is the Convention Refugee and what is known as a Person in need of Protection.

Convention Refugee

A Convention Refugee is someone who is not able to return to their home country or the country they normally reside in due to fear of persecution based on race, religion, sexual preferences, political opinion or nationality.

Person in need of Protection

A Person in need of Protection is an individual who would likely face persecution if they return to their home country. This persecution could include being tortured, killed, or subject of cruel/unusual punishment.

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to claim refugee protection in Canada. If you are under a Removal Order then unfortunately you cannot claim status as a refugee. Once you claim status as a refugee the immigration officers reviews your case and will decide if you should be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The IRB then decides if you are a Convention Refugee or Person in need of Protection.

Who Cannot Claim Refugee Status?

The IRB officer cannot accept your claim for refugee if:

  • You claimed refugee status in another country and got accepted as refugee
  • You been granted protected person status in Canada
  • You arrived via the Canada-United States border
  • You are inadmissible to Canada due to security grounds, criminal activity or have violated human rights.
  • You had claimed previous refugee status and was considered not eligible
  • You had claimed previous refugee status and it was refused by the IRB
  • You had abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim

Why can’t I Claim Refugee Status in Canada while in USA?

  • You cannot make a refugee claim in Canada if you have arrived in the United States first. Canada has an agreement with the United States where people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in. What this means is that if you enter Canada at land border from the United States, you cannot make a refugee claim in Canada. In certain situation the rule does not apply for example, if you have a family in Canada.

How to Apply from inside of Canada?

To apply for refugee status in Canada

  1. You need to decide where you want to apply ( port of entry or at an IRCC office)
  2. Get the application package
  3. Go to the hearing

Step 1: Where to apply for Refugee Status in Canada?

There are two ways to apply for refugee status in Canada:

Option 1: Apply at Port of Entry

The first option is through the port of entry which includes either the airport, seaport or land border. The officer will then make a decision if you’re eligible to claim refugee status, if you are then you are referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

Once you are considered eligible you are given a date for your IRB hearing and you have 15 days to complete all your forms in the application package. Once you have completed your package you submit it to the IRB

Option 2: Apply at an IRCC office

You can also claim refugee status in Canada in certain at certain Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices. If you decide to apply through the IRCC office, you must have all form in the application package completed and with you. If you come unprepared you will not be scheduled for an interview with an immigration officer until you can show you have completed all the forms. If the officer decides your refugee claim is eligible, you will be given an interview date for your IRB hearing.

Usually, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will hear refugee claims within 60 days. If you come from a designated country of origin, they will process your asylum claim faster. If you are found to need protection your application is processed faster, if not you are sent back home immediately

The Designated Countries of Origin include:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (excludes Gaza and the West Bank), Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America

Step 2: Get your Application Package

  • You can get the application package from the government website Download the application package. When you apply, you are asked information about your background, your family and you want to claim refugee protection. The package includes all the forms, so make sure you complete all the forms.

Step 3: Go to the Hearing

Once your eligibility is determined, you will be invited to go to a hearing at the IRB. The officer will tell you the date and time for your hearing and will give you a Notice to Appear for a Hearing. The notice will tell you where to go, what time you have to show up, what time the hearing will start and what identity documents you need have with you.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Like to claim refugee status from inside of Canada but not sure if you are eligible then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545 for a consultation. Refugee applications are not easy and highly recommended to consult with an immigration expert prior to claiming status. Let us help you with your future in Canada.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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