The number of people seeking to avail refugee status or asylum is increasing worldwide. According to UNHCR, Canada, recently, there has been a sudden rise of people seeking asylum in Canada.
It is becoming more challenging for both refugee seekers and officials to process the ever-growing volume of applications. Still, Canada is determined to provide quality refugee protection to as many people as possible.
Are you looking for refugee or asylum status in Canada? Then the most logical option for you is to consult and hire an immigration lawyer.
What is Refugee Protection?
A refugee is a person who is seeking shelter in another country as he or she cannot return to his native land. The usual reasons for seeking refugee status are:
- A serious threat to the person’s life
- Danger of freedom
- Humanitarian crisis
- Absence or uncertainty of basic human rights
There are measures to lessen the suffering of a refugee. Refugee protection is these steps taken by a country, an international organization to provide a stable, secured life to refugees. The UNHCR outline entitles a refugee to protection from any forceful extraction to his or her native land.
The UNHCR held a convention in 1951 highlighting the refugee crisis after World War II. Countries that have signed an agreement on the 1951 Convention are compelled to protect a refugee.
Who Need Refugee Protection?
The UNHCR monitors the need and urgency of refugee protection worldwide. People need refugee protection when their local government fails to ensure basic human rights.
By definition, refugees are not protected by their own government. In such a grave situation, the international communities come forward to protect the refugees. If a person’s basic human rights and dignity are hampered, we can consider that person needs refugee protection.
You can avail of refugee protection in Canada if your claim is approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada. IRB cross-checks your application details through UNHCR, Canada.
What is a Conventional Refugee?
After your application Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) analyzes your details to determine whether you are a person in need of protection or a Convention refugee. According to the legal definition, a person who is forced to live outside of his homeland or usual country is a Convention refugee.
Normally a convention refugee cannot return to his/her country based on well-established fear. A convention refugee fears that he/she may face an unfair trial based on any of the following:
- Political ideology
- Being part of a particular social group
The fear of persecution is explained as a threat to life, freedom, torture, or imprisonment by a government or non-government agency.
Who is Eligible for Refugee & Asylum Seeker Status in Canada?
You can seek refugee or asylum status in Canada if you are a refugee by the definition of the 1951 Convention of UNHCR. In some legal systems, an asylum seeker is a person who has applied for refugee protection. In a simplified meaning, a refugee claimant in Canada is also an asylum seeker until his/her request is answered.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada, an individual facing the below noted challenges or danger can be eligible to apply. If you can’t go back to your native country for the following reasons, you can count yourself as eligible. The reasons are that:
- The use of force displaces you.
- Your life is under threat in your native land.
- You have convincing evidence that you can be inhumanely persecuted.
- You may face unlawful consequences from the local authorities after arrival.
- Your fundamental human dignity and freedom will be stripped.
- Your economic freedom will be snatched on arrival.
- Your freedom political expression is limited or muted in the homeland
In addition to the above points, the IRB will also check your criminal records. If IRB evaluates your entry as a major threat to Canadian Security, you are not eligible to apply.
Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications
If you do not qualify to be a permanent resident of Canada, you can apply for that on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Humanitarian and compassionate application is applicable only in exceptional cases.
The IRB examines this application on a “case-by-case” basis. Some common factors that IRB looks for are:
- Applicant’s nature of settlement in Canada
- Common family connection in Canada
- The most convenient interest of a child (if involved)
- A possible outcome of your situation if rejected by IRB
As the authority treats each case uniquely, the above-listed factors are some general grounds.
A Set of Auxiliary Rules Applicable to Humanitarian and Compassionate Application
In addition to existing acts related to immigration and refugee application, the following rules also provide a general guideline:
- Individuals applying for a temporary resident visa cannot apply on H&C grounds.
- You can apply on H&C ground only if you are applying for permanent resident.
- The authority will not evaluate risk factors (like loss of life or false trial).
- You cannot submit more than one H&C application at the same time.
- You cannot submit an application for H&C while you have a pending refugee request.
- You cannot apply for H&C within one year of being rejected from IRB
Physical Protection and Person in Need of Protection
Sometimes, IRB labels your request as a person in need of protection. A person in need of protection is an individual who cannot safely return to his/her native land. The common ground for the unsafe reasons is:
- The danger of physical torture
- The danger of extreme psychological torture
- The potential risk of barbaric or uncommon nature of punishment
- The potential risk of inhumane social treatment
Note: IRB Canada has the final authority to decide whether you are a refugee or a person in need of protection.
Am I Eligible to Make a Claim?
You have to meet the necessary requirement to apply for a refugee or asylum status in Canada. You can apply for refugee status either from inside Canada or from outside Canada.
If you stay inside Canadian territory, make sure you are not “subject to a removal order.”
If you are staying outside of the Canadian border, you have to meet eligibility through any of the following:
- Find resettlement in Canada as a refugee through UNHCR
- Apply immigration through any of the Canadian immigration programs
What Makes You Eligible to Claim Refugee?
Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada has the ultimate autonomy to decide on the eligibility of refugee status claims.
Based on the following grounds, your immigration appeal may not be eligible for referral to IRB Canada:
- You have a recognized status of “Convention Refugee” in another country.
- You entered via the Canada-US border.
- UNHCR information-sharing has confirmed your refugee claim in another country.
- You are not allowed entry into Canada on security grounds because of past criminal records, war crimes, or human rights violations.
- Your previous refugee claims in Canada were denied.
- IRB has previously rejected your appeal for a refugee claim.
- You have once denounced or ignored a refugee claim.
If you have no relation with the points mentioned above, you can consider yourself eligible to claim refugee status.
What Happens after the Refugee Protection Division Hear my Claim?
After your refugee claim hearing, the authority will approve or reject your claim.
When the IRB accepts your refugee claim, you will be labelled as a “protected person” status. That means you can reside in Canada, and you have the opportunity to apply for permanent resident later.
On the other hand, if your application gets rejected by the IRB, you will have to leave Canada. Based on your situation, you may appeal to review the IRB decision.
In case of rejection, you have few other options. They are:
- A formal request for pre-removal risk assessment
- Apply for an appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division at the IRB Canada
- File a claim to a Federal Court of Canada for judicial review
Who Cannot Apply for Refugee Status or Asylum Seeker Status?
There is a general guideline on who cannot apply for refugee or asylum status. You usually are not eligible, if:
- You have another place for protection and safety.
- You have gained a resettlement offer from another country.
- You have second citizenship from another country.
- The reasons for your departure from the country are no longer valid.
- You are willingly agreed to return to your native country
Along with the above-noted grounds, you can be barred from applying for a refugee claim on the previously mentioned eligibility grounds.
Refugee/Asylum Seeker Process in Calgary
You have two options to request refugee or asylum in Canada. Firstly, you can report your claim at an official port of entry. Secondly, you can submit your claim inside Canada at an immigration office.
If you are already staying inside Calgary, follow the instruction of the local immigration office. However, we recommend that you hire an immigration lawyer to assist with your papers and documents.
Contact Us – Calgary Immigration Appeal & Spousal Sponsorship Lawyer
If you are looking for a reliable source of help for refugees and asylum in Calgary, AB, then take our legal assistance. We are always available to respond at your request to help. You can call us at (403) 538-3460, or you can write to us at . If it is convenient enough, you can also book an appointment and visit our office.
Our well-trained expert team of lawyers is always determined to provide the utmost careful service to you. We genuinely understand the situation of an individual seeking asylum or refugee status. That is why you will always be on the right path with us.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our expert team of legal consultants has prepared a list of the most repeatedly asked questions. You can go through them to know their responses.
What is the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act?
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (2001) is an act of parliament in Canada. It governs the general and detailed process of people seeking immigration and refugee status in Canada from all over the world.
Who Can Claim Refugee Protection in Canada?
Usually, you have to be inside Canada to apply for a refugee claim. Plus, you must NOT be subject to a removal order. IRB of Canada determines your eligibility to apply for refugee status.
Can I Withdraw My Refugee Protection Claim?
Yes, you do that. However, to withdraw after your hearing, you have to submit a written application. Moreover, you may get a legal notice to leave Canada.
How are Refugees Protected?
Refugees in Canada are protected by various laws that prioritize healthy humanitarian conditions. In addition to that, UNHCR provides all necessary guidance and direction.
How to Apply for Refugee Status?
You can apply for refugee status in two ways. Firstly, you can claim asylum at the port of entry. Secondly, you can apply inside Canada at the IRCC office.
Why There is an Issue with Canada/US Border Refugee Claims?
If you enter inside Canadian territory via the US border, you are not eligible to apply for refugee protection. It is because of Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). You may be eligible to apply for refugee under exceptional circumstances after entering the Canadian territory using a land port shared with the USA.