Asylum in Canada – Updates and Process

Latest and updated information about Asylum in Canada in 2024. 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 Canada, asylum is granted to people who have been persecuted or have 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 stay in Canada and 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 fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.

In order to be recognized as a refugee in Canada, an individual must go through the refugee claimant process and have their refugee claim approved by IRB (Immigration and Refugee Board) of Canada.

What is the Safe Third Country Agreement?

The Safe Third Country Agreement is a an agreement between the United States and Canada that requires asylum seekers to request for asylum in the first of the two countries they arrive in, with some 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, because many people were taking advantage of a loop hole in this agreement and crossing from US into Canada from irregular check points, like the famous Roxham Road in Albanay, NY. They used to claim asylum at these irregular check points. Back in 2023, the Safe Third Country agreement was revised by both the countries and now all the irregular entry points are closed.

asylum in canada

How to Apply for Asylum in Canada in 2024

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). 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 to provide 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. They may also be able to apply for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA).

Work Permit in Canada for Asylum Seekers

Asylum seekers in Canada are allowed to work while their application for asylum is in process. 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.

What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit in Canada allows you to work in Canada for any employer. No restrictions of occupation, location or wage.

FAQs on Applying For Asylum In Canada In 2024

Q 1. How do I apply for asylum in Canada?
Ans: 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 at IRB (Immigration and Refugee Borad), who will make the final decision.

Q 2. What documents do I need to apply for asylum in Canada?
Ans; 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.

Q 3. How long does it take to process an asylum claim in Canada?
Ans: It may take several weeks or months for your claim to be reviewed and a decision to be made. Usually, around 6 months to 1 year.

Q 4. What happens if my asylum claim is denied?
Ans: 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.

Q 5. Are there resources available to help me through the asylum process in Canada?
Ans: Yes, there are several resources available to help you through the asylum process in Canada. These include: legal aid, unemployment funds, medical care etc.

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