What is a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment hearing and how do I prepare for one?

1. Fill out the PRRA Form

If you have been found ineligible to make a refugee claim in Canada because you previously made a claim in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or the UK, you will be able to apply for a Pre‑Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). A PRRA is a written document where you explain why you're afraid to return to your country and you provide to support your fear.

A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will give you an application form when they're ready to make arrangements to remove you from Canada. The application form is not available online.

There is no fee to apply for a PRRA.  

To apply for a PRRA you need to:

  • fill out and submit the application form within 15 days of receiving it from a CBSA officer, and
  • file your evidence and written submissions that show why you're at risk if you're removed from Canada 15 days after you submit your application form.

It's very important that the information in your application form is consistent with the information in your immigration file. You might have an immigration file if you have applied to visit or study in Canada in the past. If you don't give enough details or you can't explain the differences, your PRRA might not be accepted.

Canadian authorities will be aware that you already made a claim for protection in the US, Australia, New Zealand, or the UK. It's important that the information you provide in your PRRA is also the same as the information you provided in that claim. Write to the immigration authorities in that country to ask for a copy of your file if you do not have it.  If there are any differences, you must explain those differences in detail.

Read the Guide and follow the instructions on the application form.

Explain your fears

The application asks you for basic biographical information, your immigration history, and identity documents.

You must also explain the reasons that you're afraid to return to your country. If you have a lawyer or legal representative, it's very important to talk to them about what happened to you in your country and what you fear. They will help you provide a written statement that gives details about:

  • what happened in your country
  • why you're afraid
  • whether you tried to get help from the police in your country
  • whether you tried to move to another part of your country to be safe
  • when and why you decided to leave
  • details about your prior claims for refugee protection, including whether a claim was refused and the reasons why. Or, if you decided not to continue with your claim, explain why and provide details of your decision to come to Canada

Try to give information in the order it happened. Include names and places whenever possible. Be very sure before you include specific dates. If you're not sure, give an approximate date, such as early spring or before or after an important event, like a wedding or a political rally.

If you're including any information you learned from other people, make sure you explain who told you the information, when and how you received the information, and why you believe them.

You must also list all of the countries where you're at risk of harm, and all the countries where you have citizenship. If you're a citizen of more than one country, or if you have legal status in another country, it's important to get legal help because this can make a PRRA more complicated.

Submit your form

You have 15 days to fill out and submit your PRRA to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The application can be submitted by mail, fax, or email. If you meet this deadline, your will be temporarily stayed. This means that you can't be removed from Canada until your PRRA is decided.  

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