Understand Canada’s Refugee System | A Complete Guide

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Canada's Refugee System

Are you facing problems in your country and want to leave? If you have found yourself in such type of situation, then you are not alone. We can see millions of people around the world struggle with various forms of persecution and violence, which prompts them to seek refuge somewhere else. A refugee is a person who has fled their country because of serious human rights abuses. In this blog, we will discuss the various aspects of Canada’s refugee system and will help you understand the process and increase your chances of a successful application.

Who is a Refugee?

Canada's Refugee System
Canada’s Refugee System

Before moving forward in understanding Canada’s refugee system, let us understand who a refugee is. As per the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), The 1951 Refugee Convention, refugees as those people who have fled to their countries for fear of persecution based on their religion, race, or nationality, and they can’t return to their home country. These individuals cannot return to their safety and require international protection.

Types of Refugee Status in Canada

There are two main types of refugee status in Canada:

Convention Refugees: Some individuals meet the definition of a refugee as outlined in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 protocol. Convention refugees are those who are recognized as refugees under international law and are not able to return to their homes because of fear of persecution based on some factors provided below:

Race or Nationality: You are a part of an ethnic or language minority group.

Religion: You are part of a religious minority, or you have converted to another religion.

Political Opinion: You are a journalist or blogger or seen as a government opponent.

Person in Need of Protection: In this category, the person who does not meet the definition of a refugee but still needs protection. It may include people facing risk to their lives if they return to their home country.

Risk of Torture: You are at risk of being subjected to severe mental or physical harm by the government authorities.

Risk to your Life: You are facing a personal risk that is not faced by the general population.

If you are facing one of these risks, then you can be eligible to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.

Who can make a refugee claim?

If you want to make a refugee claim, then you:

  • You must be in Canada
  • Can’t be subject to a removal order
  • If you are outside of Canada, you may be eligible
  • Resettle in Canada as a refugee.
  • Immigrate to Canada through one of the immigration programs.

Canadian Refugee Process

Refugee Process
Canadian Refugee Process

If you want to stay in Canada as a refugee you must show the government that you are what Canada calls a refugee and you are telling the truth. You can do this by collecting the proofs and being detailed about what happened to you.

Start Making Refugee Claim: The first step in making a refugee claim is to let the Canadian government know you need protection. There are two ways to make a refugee claim:

If you are in Canada you can complete your application and submit your online application on the portal of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

If you are not in Canada then you can tell the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer that you want to make a refugee claim.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) decides if you are allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada. If you are allowed, then you can send your claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)-Refugee Protection Division (RPD).

Refugee Claim Hearing: Once your claim is made then it will be reviewed by the Refugee Protection Division by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Here, you must show them that you are a conventional refugee or you are a person in need of protection. At this hearing, the person from IRB-RPD hears your story and what the witness says. They also look at the BOC form and notes from IRCC or CBSA.

After Refugee Claim Hearing: After your hearing, the RPD will decide on whether to grant refugee protection. If the claim is accepted, the individual will be granted refugee status and allowed to remain in Canada. If the claim is rejected then, there may be some options to appeal.

Who is not eligible to be a refugee?

You will not be eligible to come to Canada as a refugee if:

  • You have been offered resettlement support in other countries.
  • You get citizenship in another country.
  • You return to your home country.
  • The situation in your country has changed.

Get Help

Rameh Law
Get Help

Canada’s refugee system may be challenging to understand, but with the right knowledge and support, you can overcome any challenges you face. Rameh Law is here to help you every step of the way, from initiating your refugee claim to getting protection in Canada. Let us help you build a better for you and your loved ones in Canada. Contact us today.

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