Asylum in Canada in 2023 for Refugees, Immigrants and Travelers

Latest and updated information about Asylum in Canada in 2023. How to apply and the resources available for Asylum Seekers in Canada.

What is Asylum?

Asylum is a legal process through which someone who has fled their home country and is seeking protection in another country may be able to stay in that country. In the Canada, asylum is granted to people who have been persecuted or fear persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

To be granted asylum, an individual must apply for asylum and provide evidence that they meet the eligibility requirements. If the application is approved, the individual will be allowed to remain in the country and eventually apply for a Permanent Residence, which will allow them to live and work in the Canada permanently.

Canada’s Legal Definition of Refugee

Under Canadian law, a refugee is defined as a person who is outside their country of nationality or habitual residence and who is unwilling or unable to return to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.

Refugees in Canada may be eligible for protection if they are unable to return to their home country because of a risk of persecution, torture, or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. In order to be recognized as a refugee in Canada, an individual must go through the refugee claimant process and have their claim for refugee protection approved by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. If their claim is approved, they will be able to stay in Canada and may be eligible to apply for permanent residence.

What is the Safe Third Country Agreement?

The Safe Third Country Agreement is a bilateral agreement between the United States and Canada that requires asylum seekers to request protection in the first of the two countries they arrive in, with some exceptions. The agreement applies at land border crossings between the two countries.

Under the agreement, if an individual arrives in either the United States or Canada and makes a claim for asylum, they will be required to seek protection in that country, unless they meet certain exceptions. For example, an individual who has a family member in the other country may be allowed to seek asylum in that country, even if they arrived in the first country.

The Safe Third Country Agreement has been the subject of criticism and legal challenges, as some argue that it may prevent individuals who are in need of protection from seeking asylum in either country.

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How to Apply for Asylum in Canada in 2023

The process for seeking asylum in Canada begins when an individual arrives in the country and makes a claim for refugee protection at a port of entry (such as an airport or land border crossing) or at a Canadian immigration office. The claimant will be interviewed by a border officer or immigration officer to determine if they are eligible to make a claim for refugee protection. If the claimant is found to be eligible, their claim will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) for a hearing.

During the hearing, the claimant will have the opportunity to present evidence and testify about the persecution or other human rights abuses they have experienced or fear they will face if they are returned to their home country. The IRB will then make a decision on the claimant’s refugee protection claim based on the evidence presented and the criteria set out in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

If the claimant is found to be a Convention refugee (meaning they meet the definition of a refugee as set out in the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention) or a person in need of protection (meaning they would face a risk of torture, a risk to their life, or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if returned to their home country), they will be granted refugee protection in Canada. This includes the right to live and work in Canada and access to health care and other social services.

If the claimant’s refugee protection claim is rejected, they may be able to appeal the decision to the Federal Court of Canada or seek leave to appeal to the Federal Court of Appeal. They may also be able to apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA), which is a process that allows individuals who have had their refugee protection claim rejected to apply for protection in Canada on the basis of the risk they would face if they were returned to their home country.

Work Permit in Canada for Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers in Canada are allowed to work while their claim is being processed. In fact, they are encouraged to work if they are able to do so, as it can help them support themselves and integrate into Canadian society.

To apply for a work permit as an asylum seeker, you will need to:

  • Gather the necessary documents: You will need to provide proof that you have made a claim for asylum in Canada.
  • Submit an application: As an Asylum seeker, you can apply for an open work permit after the completion of Medical test (a part of Asylum application process). You will need to provide the necessary documents and it is free.
  • Wait for a decision: It may take several weeks or up to 3 months for your application to be processed. If your application is approved, you will receive an Open work permit that will allow you to work in Canada while your claim for asylum is being processed.
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What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit in Canada is a type of work permit that allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada, without the need for a specific job offer.

FAQs on Applying For Asylum In Canada In 2023

  • How do I apply for asylum in Canada?
    To apply for asylum in Canada, you must first arrive in the country and then make a claim for asylum. You can make a claim by contacting Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Officials. You will then be scheduled for an interview with an immigration officer, who will review your claim and make a decision.
  • What documents do I need to apply for asylum in Canada?
    You will need to provide documentation to prove your identity, such as a passport or national identity card. You may also need to provide other documents, such as birth certificates or marriage certificates, depending on your specific circumstances.
  • How long does it take to process an asylum claim in Canada?
    The length of time it takes to process an asylum claim in Canada can vary. It may take several weeks or months for your claim to be reviewed and a decision to be made.
  • What happens if my asylum claim is denied?
    If your asylum claim is denied, you may be able to appeal the decision. You will need to file an appeal within 15 days of receiving the decision.
  • Are there resources available to help me through the asylum process in Canada?
    Yes, there are several resources available to help you through the asylum process in Canada. These include:
  • The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is the independent tribunal that is responsible for making decisions on refugee protection claims in Canada.
  • The Refugee Protection Division: The Refugee Protection Division is a division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that hears claims for refugee protection and makes decisions on these claims.
  • The Refugee Appeal Division: The Refugee Appeal Division is a division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada that hears appeals of decisions made by the Refugee Protection Division.
  • Legal Aid: Legal Aid is a government-funded organization that provides legal assistance to low-income individuals. They may be able to provide assistance to asylum seekers who are unable to afford a lawyer.
  • Immigration consultants: Immigration consultants are professionals who can provide assistance with the immigration process. They may be able to help you with the asylum process, but it is important to be careful when choosing an immigration consultant, as some may not be reputable.

Conclusion: The process for seeking asylum in Canada can be complex and can vary depending on the individual’s specific circumstances. It’s always a good idea to seek the advice or services of a qualified immigration lawyer with the asylum process.

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