Understanding the Asylum Process in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the Asylum Process in Canada
Understanding the Asylum Process in Canada:

For those fleeing violence, persecution, or other types of harm in their home countries, applying for asylum is an essential first step. Though the asylum process can seem complex and daunting, Canada is widely recognized for its welcoming attitude towards refugees, granting protection to people who meet the criteria specified in its immigration and refugee laws.

Why Think Twice Before Applying for Asylum
  1. Nobody can ensure that your application for asylum will be granted. You might be deported if it is rejected.
  2. Never take a chance because of someone’s lies and false promises, your life is in your own hands.
  3. Making a false asylum claim can have serious consequences:
  • You could be banned from returning to Canada.
  • Your family might not be able to come to Canada in the future.
  1. Canada Does not automatically accept asylum claims; you need to prove a valid reason. Do not claim asylum if your goal is a stable job or better education in Canada.

2 types of Asylum:

  1. Refugee Status: The United Nations recognizes individuals as refugees if they meet the conditions specified in the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. These individuals apply because of a legitimate fear of persecution in their own country, they are either unable or unwilling to return.
  2. Asylum Claimants: Asylum claimants are those who have applied for refugee status but whose cases are still being processed.They are entitled to certain rights and safeguards under both domestic and international law throughout this time

The two types of refugees—resettled and asylum claimants—are distinct. When applying for asylum in Canada, applicants do it online or at a port of entry. International conventions, which Canada has vowed to uphold, control these claims to some extent. On the other hand, before receiving a visa to enter Canada, settled refugees are checked overseas and go through security and medical exams (such as an immigration medical exam). They become permanent residents of Canada after they arrive. Refugees who arrive in Canada through other immigration streams that are included in the annual Levels Plan, as well as refugees who arrive through refugee claimants, do not take the place of refugees who are arriving in Canada from abroad for resettlement.

In an article by UNHCR it was reported that last year “In Toronto, asylum-seekers make up approximately 35 per cent of the population who access emergency shelters.” and only 9000 emergency beds are available and the rest are sleeping on the roads of Toronto as Canada faces a major housing crisis. Immigration Minister Marc Miller expressed worries recently about the increase of foreign students applying for asylum in Canada.International students filed 700 asylum applications at Toronto’s Seneca College in 2023, up from 300 in 2022, and 450 at Kitchener’s Conestoga College in the same time frame, up from 106.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for asylum, individuals must meet specific requirements outlined in both international conventions and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Key considerations include:

  • 1. Genuine Fear: Asylum seekers must demonstrate a credible fear of persecution based on factors such as race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, or membership in a particular social group.
  • 2.Country Conditions: A compelling asylum claim necessitates evidence of persecution or the imminent threat of harm in the individual’s home country.
  • 3. Exclusionary Factors: Individuals with a criminal background or suspected security risks may be disqualified from obtaining refugee status.

Steps for Asylum 

Entry Port or Inland Request: Those seeking refuge from within the country should go to the IRCC office and submit an application, or apply online. Those entering Canada through a land border crossing or airport that is allowed may show border guards their asylum claim.

  1. The BOC, or Basis of Claim Form: in this form the applicants must write all the reasons why they are claiming asylum
  2. The Refugee Protection Division (RPD): The board gathers to hear and decide the claims
  3.  The Hearing Procedure: Adjudicator Hearing; Applicants come before an adjudicator at the RPD to make their case, offer supporting documentation, and answer inquiries.
  4. Decision: Based on the merits of the case, the RPD will make a determination and, if the requirements are satisfied, will either grant refugee protection or deny it.

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