Toronto Refugee Claims Lawyers Providing Clarity on Immigration Procedures for Refugees

Having to flee your home country and everything you’ve ever known to avoid persecution or danger is a terrifying idea. But it’s real life for thousands of people across Canada. While immigration law can be complex, there are specific provisions for those who have fled persecution to be able to remain safely in Canada. An approved refugee claim can give you legal standing in the country and provide a path forward to becoming a permanent resident.

With over a decade of experience helping clients trying to make Canada their home, Loft Immigration Services, Inc., is here to guide you through the refugee claim process. Whether you are trying to figure out how to start your petition or have been denied and want to appeal, our lawyers can answer your questions and provide legal counsel. Call our office to schedule a free consultation.

What Is a Refugee Claim?

Canada offers refugee status to those from other countries who have fled to Canada to escape persecution. These people can face difficulty, as without refugee status, they don’t have any legal standing in Canada and could face removal proceedings that could result in harm to themselves and/or their families.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Refugee in Canada?

To be eligible to file a refugee claim in Canada, you must be currently within the borders of Canada. Refugee claims cannot be made if you are outside of Canada and petitioning to enter the country. You also must not be subject to any removal orders at the time of your refugee claim.

When you file a refugee claim, you must fulfill the requirements of either a convention refugee or a person in need of protection. However, the Immigration and Refugee Board will make the determination of which category you qualify under based on your petition.

A convention refugee is someone who is not able to return to their home country because they face the real threat of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. A person in need of protection is someone who is not able to return to their home country because they could face cruel and unusual treatment, torture, or death.

How Do I File a Refugee Claim?

If you are already in Canada and want to file a refugee claim, you can do so in person at the port of entry, or you can file online. If you are planning to submit a claim for yourself and any family members, the refugee claims will need to be filed for everyone at the same time.

Once you fill out the basis of claim form and provide information on your background and why you believe you qualify as a refugee, you will be able to submit your claim through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada portal. You can also have an immigration lawyer help you fill out and submit the basis of claim form.

After your claim is processed, you will receive an acknowledgement of claim letter as well as instructions for your in-person appointment and medical exam. At your in-person appointment, you will have your fingerprints and picture taken. You may also be able to go ahead and have your interview. If it’s decided that your claim is eligible, you will be referred for an IRB hearing. This is where you will get your final decision on whether your refugee claim is approved.

How Long Does It Take to Process a Refugee Claim?

Wait times can vary depending on province and how many claims are being received. As of 2023, the approximate wait time for a refugee claim was 24 months. The average wait time for a refugee claim appeal is 12 months. It’s possible to be approved to work or study while your refugee claim is being processed. This can help you support yourself and develop some ties to Canada. If you’re not sure what you can and cannot do while you’re waiting for a refugee claim to be processed, talk with an immigration lawyer.

What Restrictions Do I Have as a Refugee?

Refugees are able to work and study within Canada as long as they have the proper permits. They may also be eligible for some government aid and support services. Refugees are not able to vote in Canadian elections or run for any offices. If you have particular questions about whether you’re allowed to do something as someone with refugee status, an immigration lawyer can review your situation and ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities.

What Happens If My Refugee Claim Is Denied?

While most refugee claims that meet the requirements are accepted in Canada, there are some that get rejected. It’s important to know what your options are if this happens so you can react quickly. You can appeal your decision to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada in some cases. You may also be able to ask the Federal Court of Canada to take a look at the case and see if they will reverse the decision. In rare circumstances, some people are able to be approved to stay in the country under humanitarian or compassionate grounds.

If your refugee claim has been denied, call Loft Immigration Services, Inc., at 647-495-3724. We can help you understand why your claim was denied and if you may be eligible to appeal to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. If you’re just starting the refugee claim process, call our office to find out how we can help ensure your paperwork is completed properly and increase your chances of a favorable response.

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