Can I lose my refugee status?
Question & AnswerCan I lose my refugee status?
3. Prepare for your hearing
It’s very important to get legal help. A lawyer can help you prepare for your hearing and represent you at the Refugee Board.
To prepare for your cessation hearing, your lawyer will ask you questions about your travel, application for a passport, or citizenship in another country. These questions will be similar to what the Refugee Board will ask you.
The Refugee Board will look at your actions and whether those actions suggest that you have decided to seek protection from your home country and don’t need protection from Canada anymore.
The Refugee Board doesn’t look at whether you would be at risk in your home country in the future if you go back.
Your lawyer will try to challenge the cessation application by showing that:
- the Minister can’t prove that your actions were voluntary,
- you didn’t intend to obtain the protection of your home country, or
- you didn’t actually obtain protection from your home country.
In rare cases, your lawyer can argue that what you experienced in the past was so terrible that there are ‘compelling reasons’ you should not lose your status.
Your lawyer can help you gather your own to use at the hearing. For example, if you traveled to your home country, you can collect information to show why you had to go there, how long you stayed there, and what you did to protect yourself from harm while you were there.
If you applied for a passport from your home country, you can collect information to show why you applied for the passport. For example, if you never planned to use the passport to travel to your country but only to go to a different country, this can help show that you didn’t intend to seek protection from your country.
To prepare for your vacation hearing, your lawyer will ask you questions similar to what the Refugee Board will ask you. For example, you will be asked to explain why you didn’t tell the truth or why you used false or changed documents or evidence. Or you will be asked about important information that you left out during your refugee hearing or processing.
Your lawyer will try to challenge the vacation application by showing that:
- the Minister is wrong and you didn’t make a misrepresentation
- you made a misrepresentation, but it’s not important or
- you misrepresented and it is important, but there is other evidence that shows you will still be at risk if you return
Your lawyer can also help you think about what kind of evidence you can include at your hearing to show that you are at risk in your home country. This is because the Refugee Board must look at:
- how important the untrue or incorrect information is, or what information was not included, and
- if there is any other evidence that proves you are at risk.