Updated: Oct 4
What is a refugee claim in Canada?
A refugee claim in Canada is a request made by an individual who is seeking protection in Canada as a refugee. This individual, referred to as a claimant, must prove that they have a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country based on one of five grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
What is the process of refugee claim in Canada?
The refugee claim process in Canada begins when a claimant arrives in Canada and presents themselves to the immigration authorities at a port of entry, such as (an airport or a land border crossing).
Alternatively, a claimant may make a refugee claim from within Canada if they are already in the country and are unable to return to their home country due to a fear of persecution.
Once a claimant has made their refugee claim, they will undergo a two-part process to determine the validity of their claim.
The first part is known as the "screening" stage, during which the immigration authorities will assess the claimant's credibility and determine whether they meet the basic requirements to be eligible for refugee protection in Canada. This includes an examination of the claimant's identity documents and a review of their background and the reasons for their fear of persecution.
The second part if the claimant is found to be eligible for refugee protection at the screening stage, known as the "merits" stage. At this stage, a hearing is held before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), the claimant will have the opportunity to present their case and provide evidence in support of their claim, and the IRB will consider all relevant factors in deciding whether the claimant is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.
If the IRB determines that the claimant is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection, they will be granted refugee status in Canada and will be able to apply for permanent residence in the country. If the IRB finds that the claimant is not a convention refugee or a person in need of protection, their claim will be rejected and they may be subject to removal from Canada.
It is important to note that the refugee claim process in Canada can be complex and can take several months or even years to complete. Claimants are encouraged to seek legal advice and assistance from a qualified immigration lawyer or a designated refugee protection claimant assistance service to help them navigate the process and present their case effectively.
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