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Will I be able to make a refugee claim at the Canada – US border?

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Will I be able to make a refugee claim at the Canada – US border?

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Will I be able to make a refugee claim at the Canada – US border?
Reviewed: 
May 21, 2020
Answer

On Saturday March 21, 2020, the Canada – US border was closed to most people who want to make a refugee claim in Canada. The closure was introduced as a temporary measure but recently some of the restrictions have been extended to June 21, 2020.

Most people who try to make a refugee claim at the Canada-US border will be returned to the United States. But the recent announcement lets refugee claimants enter Canada to make a claim if they meet an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA). To meet one of the exceptions, you must prove that you:

  • have an eligible family member in Canada,
  • are an unaccompanied minor under the age of 18,
  • are a citizen of the United States,
  • are a “stateless person” who has lived, or been “habitually resident” in the US,
  • hold a valid Canadian visa, or
  • have been charged with or convicted of a crime for which you could get the death penalty in the US or another country.

You can learn more here about coming to Canada through a Port of Entry (POE) under an exception to the STCA.

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