Refugee protection

Refugee Claim

Asylum Claims, Refugee Claims in Canada and Protected Person Status

Asylum Claims, Refugee Claims in Canada and Protected Person Status

Foreign Nationals can make an asylum claim (claim refugee protection) at a Port of Entry, at a Canada Border Services Agency or Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada Inland Offices. The Canada Border Services Agency and the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada will determine if the person concerned is eligible to make a refugee claim.
In Canada Refugee claims are determined by a panel member from the Immigration Refugee Board at the Refugee Protection Division.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada – IRB has a very good video explaining how the process works:

Eligibility requirements to make a Refugee Claim

Your claim might not be eligible to be referred to the Immigration Refugee Board if you:

  • Have been conferred Refugee or Protected person status in another country and you can return to that country
  • Have been granted protected person status in Canada
  • Arrived via the Canada-United States of America border and the Safe Third Country Agreement Applied to you, see below
  • Are inadmissible into Canada on Security grounds, for Serious Criminality or human rights violations
  • Made a previous claim in Canada for Refugee protection and it was refused, you abandoned or withdrew the claim or you were found ineligible

Safe third Country Agreement

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

The Safe Third Country Agreement applies only to refugee claimants who are seeking entry to Canada from the U.S.:

  • at Canada-U.S. land border crossings
  • by train or
  • at airports, only ifthe person seeking refugee protection in Canada has been refused refugee status in the U.S. and is in transit through Canada after being deported from the U.S.

There are four types of exceptions to the Safe Third Country Agreement being applicable to refugee claimants claiming protection in Canada provided they are eligible:

  • Family member exceptions
  • Unaccompanied minors exception
  • Document holder exceptions
  • Public interest exceptions


The process usually starts with the individual requesting protection to a border services or immigration officer. This will require the person concerned to complete a series of forms and an interview. If the person is determined to be eligible to make a claim his case is referred to the Refugee Protection Division – Immigration Refugee Board and a hearing is scheduled. A decision will be rendered after the hearing.

The Refugee Protection will determine if the person concerned is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They are not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

  • race
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • nationality, or
  • membership in a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.

person in need of protection is a person in Canada who cannot return to their home country safely. This is because if they return, they would be subject to a:

  • danger of torture
  • risk to their life, or
  • risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

IF you are contemplating seeking refugee protection, contact one of our lawyers today.

Your personal details are safe with us.

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