Asylum process in Canada

The asylum process in Canada starts with an asylum application. You can apply for asylum in Canada at the airport, or any port of entry, upon arrival or online if you are already in Canada.
The asylum process in Canada continues with a fair hearing at an independent tribunal, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), following the submission of an asylum claim. Each case is decided based on the presented evidence and arguments.

Asylum process in Canada

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRBC) governs Canadian refugee issues. The council is responsible for managing all immigration and deportation-related matters. Additionally, the IRBC determines whether or not the individual seeking protection is eligible for asylum. The IRB conducts certain verifications to confirm your identity and family information.

Read more on how to apply for asylum in Canada.

Awaiting a decision on a refugee claim

After submitting an asylum application in Canada, the IRB determines your request for asylum. In making decisions, the IRB considers whether or not you require protection. Whether you are returned to your home country, you will be personally exposed to a risk of torture, a risk to your life, or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

If IRB determines that you are eligible, you will have access to various resources. These include access to social assistance, education, healthcare, and other fundamental services. As a refugee claimant, you also have access to emergency housing and legal aid. These services are available while their application is being evaluated. In addition, most individuals who qualify to file a refugee claim may also apply for a work permit. Before applying for a work permit, they must undergo a medical examination. Also, it makes little difference whether the claimant filed at the border or an inland office.

Hearing Process

The final step in the application process will consist of attending the hearing. The IRBC will be in charge of the hearing process and will send you an appointment reminder.

Generally, IRB hearings occur in the province where you have applied for asylum. This province provides the services mentioned above to the refugee applicant. Except for health services, which are funded by the federal government (Interim Federal Health Program), the provinces and territories are responsible for providing all of these supports. Municipalities and nonprofit organizations provide additional support.

Should you decide to move provinces while waiting for the IRB to hear your claim, for instance, you claim refugee status in British Columbia and then move to Alberta, you want to tell the IRB and all other agencies you have met, of your move and provide your new address. In addition, you want to notify your departing province of their relocation and apply for services in your new province.

In the majority of cases that are heard, a decision is typically rendered within four months.

Until they receive a positive refugee determination, refugee claimants are ineligible for federal settlement services; however, they are eligible for certain provincially-funded settlement services.

Positive decision

After a positive response, you will get asylum or protected status in the country. You also get the full range of federally supported relocation programs. These programs may depend on whichever is available at the time of getting asylum. In most cases having a pre-removal risk assessment has some good benefits. It helps in getting a protected person status or asylum status more quickly. It allows people to remain in Canada. Having asylum status also entitles them to apply for permanent residents. There are also various supports included, such as:

  • Assessments needs and referrals
  • Details and guidance to help newcomers make informed decisions on settlements, 
  • Language assessment training – To help the newcomers to get mixed up with Canadian society. Training is also introduced so that they can earn a living and contribute to the economy.
  • They are also supported in finding and getting employment. It also includes referrals to assess foreign credentials and some other services too.
  • They provide links where immigrants can meet people and integrate more in-depth into their new societies.

Negative decision

You can receive a negative decision on your refugee claim. The Refugee Protection Division of IBS denies your claim. You can appeal that decision. You can question this decision in two ways. The first one is by appealing at IRB’s Division of Refugee Appeals. Another option is to ask a Canadian federal court to review the final decision of IBS.

Sometimes you don’t have the right to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division of IRB. You should seek legal support at a refugee support center near you. You can search for “migrant support center” or “refugee support organization”. They can explore your options with you.

Every individual has the right to go through the entire procedure and explore all options.

There are several other things as well that you may face if your request gets rejected. You may not be eligible for social assistance anymore. You can get more information from the respective provinces or areas regarding this.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) may decide that you must leave Canada or be removed forcefully. If you fail to appear for the removal interview, this may lead to an arrest warrant. This arrest warrant may lead you to detention before your removal by the CBSA.


Source: Government of Canada – Claiming asylum in Canada

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