Cambridge Immigration, Refugee,

Claim Asylum in Canada

Apply for refugee status from within Canada, find out how to come to Canada as a refugee, sponsor a refugee or find refugee services in Canada.


People who claim asylum in Canada have to undergo a rigorous process, which will be the deciding factor whether the claim is legitimate to be accepted or not. For a better understanding, we have answered the most crucial queries of the refugee claimants.

How to Claim Asylum in Canada?

You can choose out of 2 ways to apply for asylum in Canada. Here are the methods for the same:
• At the official entry port
• Inside the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office

In either process, the Canadian officials will determine whether or not you are eligible to make a claim. In case you are found eligible, then your case will be forwarded for consideration by the higher authorities. The next step is sending your case to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, which makes sure if refugee status will be granted to you in Canada after a hearing at the tribunal.

There are specific restrictions put by the Canadian government on the asylum claims, which are made at the official land port of entry. Under the rules stated at Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), people coming to Canada from the U.S. cannot possibly claim asylum at the Canadian border until and unless they qualify for some exceptions to the agreement. Here are a set of limitations which are included in the list:

• If the applicant is under the age of 18 and resides without a parent in the United States
• If the applicant has a close family member who lives in Canada
• In case, if the applicant is facing a death penalty in one’s home country or the United States
• If the applicant is habitually a resident of the U.S while being stateless
• Having a Canadian visa, a study permit or a work permit

The following members come under the purpose of the exception under the Safe Third Country Agreement which includes: legal guardian, spouse, child, father, sister, mother, grandfather, grandchild, aunt-uncle, grandmother, nephew or niece, common-law partner, a same-sex spouse who has a legal status in Canada. To check if you fall into the STCA section, you must seek legal advice.

Approval Process when you apply for an Asylum at the Canadian border-

Step 1: Interview for the Eligibility

After claiming asylum at the border or Immigration office in Canada, you will have to appear for an interview conducted by government officials.

The interview is to check if your case will be considered by the IRB (Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada).

Some possible underlying reasons for the rejection of your application, and some are mentioned below: 
• If the application for the refugee claim has been withdrawn or abandoned previously
• If the applicant has been recognized as the convention refugee by another country. Returning to such land is possible, so, with this possibility, Canada won’t offer you asylum
• If the applicant has earned a protected person status in Canada
• If the asylum applicant has reached via the Canada-United States border
• If the applicant has violated humans law, has become a part of a criminal activity or not admissible to Canada on any security grounds
• If the Canadian government has granted the applicant the status of a protected person
• If recently the refugee claim of the applicant has been rejected by the IRB
• If the refugee claim was not found eligible till date

Upon claiming the asylum, at an official point of entry, whether it is a land border or an airport, the officials will help you to complete the application forms. Upon considering you are eligible for going to the next stage, you will be handed over the most critical documents.

The critical set of documents includes the Basis of Claim (BOC) form, which must be submitted at the Immigration and Refugee Board. The essential documents will be presented at the Immigration and the Refugee Board almost after 15 calendar days since you have officially made the asylum claim.

The BOC form requires some necessary biological information and must include the reasons why do you fear returning to your home country. The set of data or the reason that you give to the concerned officials must answer the following-
• Why are you not supported by the police in your country?
• What scares you about going back to your home country?
• Why are you not moving to another part of the country where you can keep yourself safe?

We highly advise using a professional or an advocate to guide you through the process and fill the BOC form for you.

Claiming Asylum inside Canada
Claiming for the asylum anywhere except an official entry means you will have to visit Refugees, Immigration, and the Citizen Canada (IRCC) office. Before your hearing, you must make sure that you have all the vital asylum application forms, especially the BOC.

Reaching Canada across the Border and through an Official Entry Point
If you have ever crossed the border and made entry through a location that is not official, then, in that case, you will have to pass through a whole different process. After you reach Canada through a different entry point, except for the official one, you will be arrested immediately.

You must take the guidance of an advocate to seek protection and asylum. If you are not allowed asylum, then you will have to return to your country.

Step 2: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)

After you are found eligible to claim the asylum, then your case will be forwarded to the IRB for a hearing, which will further decide whether you qualify to be declared as a refugee by the government or not.

Before your hearing at the court, you will be required to collect all the legal documents and submit evidence to support your case. You must have all the necessary documents needed to support your application.
For instance, you can provide a medical note that shows what kind of help you have received back in your country.

You can present testimony from your friends, family or relatives, membership card of any political organization, a news article, or a report that could help support your case.

Again, we recommend you to take help of a legal advisor to pass through the entire process. Going through the whole process can get messy as you move forward with your application.

You will have to go through a lot of hearing to achieve the status of a refugee.

Step 3: Receiving the Final Decision

Positive Outcome
If the outcome is positive and your asylum claim is accepted, you will be free to apply for a permanent residency. As now you have been recognized by Canada's government, therefore, you are eligible to apply for a host of services that includes:
• You will be supported for finding and retaining employment 
• As a newcomer, you will provide relevant connections to meet and people and integrate to form a whole new community.
• Orientation programs are organized for the newcomers that will help guide them to make informed decisions for making settlements.
• You will receive training and language assessment to help the refugee claimant become and feel a part of Canadian society and become a responsible and active part. Like this, an applicant is also able to contribute to the national economy.

Once anybody becomes eligible for the refugee claim, then you can freely access education, social assistance, education, health services, legal aid, and emergency housing. You get the right to access all these facilities while your application is still pending claim.

A refugee claimant can also apply for a work permit. However, for the same, you are first to go through a medical examination. People seeking refugees are not eligible for federal settlement service. However, they can apply for settlement services funded by the provinces. You become eligible for the offers, no matter where you have applied for the claim, whether at the inland office or the border.

Negative Outcome
In case if your appeal is rejected, then you can further appeal for the reconsideration of the decision. To file a request for the decision, you have a 15-day window/ calendar days to notify for the Refugee Appeal Decision made by the IRB. Or you can also file an appeal with the Federal Court of Canada.

To appeal to reconsider your application will be your unique chance. For this step, we recommend hiring a lawyer who makes sure that the appeal has the right set of documents and data. Also, the information must be submitted to the corresponding institution.

As a refugee applicant, you will get a fair number of chances to try the legal avenue. Once every avenue has been exhausted, the applicant is requested to abide by the government rules, respect immigration laws, and exit the country.

If, even after the rejected plea, someone is not ready to leave the country, then the conditional removal order becomes applicable, and the law will become enforceable. The strict enforcement of the rule is done for the removal of the individuals.

Seek professional advice and support before claiming asylum in Canada.

Cambridge Immigration, Refugee,


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