Can I make a refugee claim in Canada?

2. Learn who can’t make a refugee claim

If you're not eligible to make a refugee claim:

  • you will not have a hearing at the Refugee Board, and
  • you might be removed from Canada.

You won't be eligible to make a refugee claim if you:

  • have a against you
  • have status in another country that you can return to
  • made a refugee claim in Canada before and it was rejected, withdrawn, or  
  • committed a serious crime or did something that broke human rights laws
  • arrived from the Unites States, which Canada says is a safe third country and the rules apply to you
  • arrived from a country that has an information sharing agreement with Canada and that country confirms that you already made a refugee claim there. The list of countries includes the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

In most cases, if you're not eligible to make a refugee claim, you will be removed from Canada.

But, you might be able to apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). A PRRA is a written application where you explain why you're afraid to return to your country and you provide documents to support your fear.

If you're not eligible to make a refugee claim because there is confirmation that you already made a claim in a country that has an information sharing agreement with Canada, you will be able to apply for a PRRA. Unlike other PRRA applicants, you must be given an oral hearing with an immigration officer. If this is your situation, get legal advice right away.

Risk of detention

You might be detained while arrangements are made for you to be removed from Canada. For example, you might be detained if immigration officials:

  • need to confirm your identity
  • need time to get travel documents to remove you from Canada
  • think you won't show up for your removal
  • think you're a security threat in Canada

You have the right to know the reason you're being detained. You also have the right to a hearing within 48 hours of being detained and the right to hire a legal representative

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