Refugee Claims Inside Canada:
Who can make a Refugee claim?
Foreign nationals and permanent residents who are not subject to a removal order may make a refugee claim in Canada. This includes a claim made at an admissibility hearing prior to the issuance of a removal order.
Canadian citizens may not make a refugee claim, as they already enjoy the protection of Canadian citizenship and the right to enter and remain in Canada.
When and Where to Make a refugee claim
A refugee claim may be made at a Canadian port of entry or at an inland CIC or CBSA office, at any time during the administrative or admissibility hearing process, provided a removal order has not been issued.
How is a claim made?
All refugee claims must be made in person to a CIC or CBSA officer designated to receive refugee claims. A refugee claim is made when a person expresses to a CIC or CBSA officer the need for Canada’s protection. The claimant will not necessarily use words like” refugee‟ or ”persecution.‟ If the official to whom a claim is made is not delegated to receive refugee claims, the claimant must be referred to a delegated officer as soon as practicable. Refugee claims may not be made by mail. If a client mails in completed forms, the forms must be returned, and the client notified that they must take the forms in person to a CIC office.
Eligibility for referral of in-Canada claims to the IRB
General assessment guidelines
The claimant must prove that their claim is eligible to be referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the IRB.
For the purpose of an eligibility determination, refugee claimants may make a claim against just one country, even if they have multiple nationalities. The RPD will assess the merits of the claim against each country of nationality. Refugee claim eligibility is determined during the eligibility examination.
In the absence of evidence that the person is ineligible, resolve eligibility in favour of the claimant.
If eligibility cannot be determined because the claimant may be inadmissible due to serious criminality, security, human/international rights violations or organized criminality, and as a result an A44 report is referred to the Immigration Division for an admissibility hearing, suspend the consideration on eligibility as per A100(2). If the claim has already been referred to RPD, suspend under A103(1).
Steps for determining eligibility:
- Conduct a thorough review of the documentation;
- (If applicable) assess whether the claimant is ineligible under 101(1)(e), the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA); and
- Review possible grounds for ineligibility