Refugee Claim Lawyer

As a signatory to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Canada has an international obligation to protect Refugees. The right to asylum and protection from persecution is an international human right guaranteed by the Refugee Convention. Canada has an obligation not to send refugee claimants back to the country where they face persecution (“non-refoulment”).  

In Canada, a person can make a refugee claim at a Port of Entry (POE) such as an airport or land/border crossing or they can make an Inland refugee claim once they are inside Canada. Normally, refugee claims are made online through a designated portal. In the portal, the claimant will be asked to fill in their personal information, and they will have the opportunity to provide their Basis of Claim (Refugee Narrative). Claimants will typically be required to undergo a medical examination, and an eligibility interview. 

Claimants must ensure that their Basis of Claim is sent to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) once their claim is referred and before the deadline. 

Am I eligible to claim in Canada?

Once you make a refugee claim in Canada, the CBSA will decide if you meet the eligibility requirements, and whether your claim can be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). 

Your refugee status claim may not be eligible to be referred to the IRB if you:

  • are recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to 

  • are inadmissible to Canada on security grounds or criminality etc. 

  • made a previous refugee claim that was not found eligible 

  • made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB

  • abandoned or withdrew a prior refugee claim

  • have made a refugee claim in another country 

  • were granted protected person status in Canada 

  • if you are coming to Canada from the United States, and do not fall under the STCA exemptions 

After you are found to be eligible to make a refugee claim, you will be asked to appear at your hearing with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). A hearing may be scheduled in person or virtually, and you will have the opportunity to send your evidence to the RPD before your hearing date. 

Safe Third Country Agreement

Under the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), refugee claimants must request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception to this Agreement. Practically, this means that foreign nationals who first arrive in the United States are required to claim protection in the United States unless one of the exceptions applies to them. 

Exceptions to the STCA

There are four types of exceptions to the Safe Third Country Agreement:

  • the claimant has certain family members in Canada 

  • the claimant is an unaccompanied minor 

  • the claimant holds certain documents such as a valid Canadian visa etc. 

  • the claimant falls under the public interest exception

If you are not sure whether you fall under one of these four exceptions, you can visit the Government of Canada website for more information, book a consultation, or reach out to a lawyer.

Who is a Refugee?

A person can be found to be a Convention Refugee if they have a fear of persecution upon return to their home country and meet the eligibility and legal requirements of the Immigration Act and Regulations. There are five different forms of persecution recognized internationally and under Canadian Immigration law:

  • Race 

  • Religion 

  • Membership in a specific social group (such as gender, or sexual orientation) 

  • Political opinion 

  • Ethnicity/Nationality 

If a claimant cannot demonstrate that they are persecuted based on one of the five grounds, they may be able to prove that they are a person in need of protection if they are at risk of cruel and unusual punishment, risk of torture or death. This risk must be personalized and cannot be a general risk faced by the entire country. In order to prove that a person is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection, they must demonstrate that they do not have adequate state protection in their country, that there is an objective and subjective basis to their fear, and that they are unable to relocate to other parts of the country. 

What will happen at my Refugee Hearing?

Claims are decided by an independent tribunal called the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB). A Member of the IRB will hear your claim in a quasi-judicial hearing and decide whether you meet the definition of a Convention Refugee or a person in need of protection. Typically, the Member will ask you questions about the events that have happened to you and your family in your home country. If you are represented by counsel, your counsel may ask you questions about your refugee claim. 

The Member will need to be satisfied that your identity has been proven, that you are credible, that you face a risk in all parts of your country, and that the police or government in your country is unwilling or unable to protect you. 

At AKM Law, we believe that hearing preparation is an integral part of your refugee claim. 

My claim was refused, what are my options?

If your refugee claim is rejected, you may have a right to appeal that refusal to the Refugee Appeal Division or to have the decision reviewed at the Federal Court of Canada. 

If your claim for refugee status is rejected, and you have decided not to appeal or exhausted all appeal options, you may be removed from Canada or receive a deportation or removal order. 

Why hire AKM Law as your immigration lawyers?

Choosing AKM Law for your refugee claim brings a wealth of expertise and dedication to your side. The firm's experienced legal professionals understand the intricacies of refugee claims in Canada, offering tailored support to navigate the complex asylum process. AKM Law is committed to providing personalized and comprehensive assistance, ensuring that your case is diligently prepared and presented. With a track record of successful refugee claims, the firm combines legal proficiency with a compassionate approach, prioritizing the well-being and interests of those seeking refuge. By entrusting your case to refugee lawyers at AKM Law, you gain a committed ally dedicated to securing the best possible outcome for your refugee claim.

If you have questions about the refugee claim application process, or would like to explore your options, please contact us to schedule a consultation!

Immigration Appeals and Federal Court Applications - AKM Law - Toronto Immigration Law Firm
Immigration Appeals and Federal Court Applications | AKM Law | Toronto Immigration Law Firm

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