Refugee claims can be made inside Canada or at a Port of Entry. However, if arriving at a Port of Entry from the United States, the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) may apply. This Agreement states that refugee claimants must request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they meet an exception. While the Safe Third Country Agreement has been challenged successfully in the courts, it remains in place and could complicate refugee claims for those arriving to Canada from the United States.
Refugee claims are decided by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Claimants must first fill out a Basis of Claim form detailing the reasons why they are claiming protection. They may then have a hearing before the Refugee Protection Division where a decision will be made on their case. The hearing involves questioning by Board Members of the Refugee Protection Division on the reasons that the claimant is seeking Canada’s protection. Some refugees may be accepted without a hearing.
If you are seeking a lawyer representing asylum seekers, a refugee lawyer to represent you at the immigration and refugee board or at the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), you can set up a consultation by clicking here.
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