How can I come as a Refugee to Canada

Who is considered a Refugee in Canada?

If you have left your home country due to a war or fear you will be persecuted because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or sexual orientation and have seen or experienced unthinkable horrors and are unable to return home then you are considered a refugee.

Many times individuals confuse a refugee with an immigrant. An immigrant is someone that chooses to leave their home country and settle permanently in a different country. Refugees on the other hand are forced to leave their country due the hardships they are facing.

You can either make refugee claim from inside or outside of Canada. If you arrived in Canada by air, land or sea you can make a refugee claim upon your arrival. When making refugee claim outside of Canada you have to be either sponsored by the government or a private group.

How would you qualify for Refugee Status in Canada?

In order to be deemed as a Refugee in Canada you must be a person who fears being persecuted if you go back to your country of nationality.

If you fear persecution it is normally in terms of a serious chance that you will receive serious physical harm, detention or another form of cruel and unusual punishment. If it is severe enough discrimination or harassment can even be considered bad enough that it could amount to persecution.

What would make you not eligible for Refugee Status in Canada?

For starters, not every person that applies is eligible to even make a refugee claim let alone obtain Refugee Status in Canada. You may be found not eligible if:

  • You have made a previous refugee claim in Canada
  • You have been deemed a refugee in another country and you can be returned to that country without any issues
  • You have come to Canada through one of the designated “safe third country’s”
  • You have been determined to be inadmissible based on security, serious criminality, organized crime or violating human or international rights

Where is known as a safe country?

Canada and the United States have signed an agreement that designates the U.S. as a safe third country. This means, that if you are coming from or even passing through the United States, you are ineligible to make a refugee claim at a Canadian Border by land. If you attempt to do this, you will be turned around and sent back to the U.S.

Who will decide if your claim is eligible?

At first, it will be a Canadian Immigration Official that will decide if your claim as a Refugee is eligible. If you are making a claim from within Canada at one of the Immigration Offices, it may take a considerable amount of time in order for you to get an answer as to whether or not your claim is eligible. However, if your claim was being made at the border then it is entitled to a faster decision of whether or not your claim is eligible as this way seems to be more urgently in need of a decision.

What happens after your claim is found eligible?

If you are found to be making an eligible claim by an Immigration Official, then your file will be transferred to the Immigration and Refugee Board. They will then determine whether or not you are a genuine refugee and if you deserve the protection that Canada has to offer.

It will be required of you to complete a Personal Information Form and you will have to submit this to the Immigration and Refugee Board. Within a year, you will usually attend a hearing before one of the Immigration and Refugee Board members and it will be determined here if you will be accepted or not.

Is that the only way?

There have been extremely rare cases in which the evidence has been outstandingly clear and a person has been accepted without a hearing, but you should prepare yourself for a hearing as this is the most common way of practise in this situation.

If you are determined a genuine refugee, you will then become a protected person within Canada.

What is persecution?

Persecution is essentially taking place when you are being ill-treated due to race or political or religious beliefs that you have. It can also be hostility that you experience, but of course on a severe level.

It is also possible to be a program that is meant to exterminate, drive away or control you based on your membership in religious, ethnic, social or racial groups.

Is it required that you have already experienced persecution?

Absolutely not, it is a standard that it has to be a serious possibility of you being persecuted if you go back to your country.

It is required that you are outside of your country and you fear persecution. The persecution must be based on:

  • Race
  • Nationality
  • Memberships in particular social groups
  • Political opinions
  • All of the above do not necessarily mean that a less restrictive interpretation of the feared persecution may also lead to a refugee status- every case is different

What is the Refugee Claim process that deals with persecution?

Everyone is entitled to be protected from persecution one way or another. It is Canada’s obligation that we do the best we can in order to not send a genuine refugee back to a place/country that they fear.

There tends to be a lot at stake when dealing with a Refugee claim and they are extremely complex as there is a lot of information that is required to be included in your claim.

What are some of the Refugee Claims that get accepted?

There are several different ways in which you will be accepted under Refugee Protection in Canada. Some examples of these ways are:

  • If you are a member in a minority religious group as well as ethnic minorities that fear persecution from the general population or non-government organizations where the police are unwilling or unable to protect you
  • If you are a member of an opposing political party who fears retribution because of your political opinion or you refuse to support the government
  • If you are persecuted by a criminal gang or mafia that is powerful – drug traffickers, etc.
  • If you are persecuted based on your sexual orientation as a homosexual
  • If you are a woman and you fear beatings from your husband or any other violence or serious forms of punishment from any of your other family members
  • If you are a woman and you refuse to conform to expectations which can include: arranged marriages, dress codes or even genital mutilation. Canada is known as a world leader in recognizing any gender-based persecution and even has issued guidelines in which to ensure that these claims are dealt with in a very fair and sensitive manner

These may be reasons as to why your claim would be accepted, but it will still be required of you to explain why you are fearing persecution and what exactly it is that you fear. You will also need to explain exactly why it would not be possible for you to receive protection from the government of your current country.

How do you know how long the Refugee Process takes?

In order for Canada to efficiently find who is in need of our protection it requires a process that must take into consideration the responsibility that it will recommend to help you while you are in genuine need. This is also while trying to protect Canada at the same time against those who seem to abuse the system. The safety and the health of Canadians must also be put into consideration during this process.

Everyone’s application is different, that being said they may also follow different time lines. The severity will play a large role with the acceptance of applications. Stay patient.

Is it required for you to have an immigration representative?

It is not required but due to all of the details that are required and the documents that are needed it is a good idea to have the assistance of a Canadian Immigration representative.

There can be a lot of information that will need to be included in your claim, so if you have any questions or are unsure about anything please feel free to contact our firm and one of our representatives will be more than happy to assist you. By doing so, you are guaranteeing that everything will be complete from the beginning and done right the first time.

With Akrami and Associates there is always a way!!

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