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Canada Refugee

Canada is among the Countries that are signatories to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Each year Canada grants permanent residence to over 20,000 refugees under a detailed refugee protection procedure comprising of two main procedures; the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program administered outside Canada and the In-Canada Protection Process.

A convention refugee is a person who, by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion,

  (a)   is outside each of their countries of nationality and is unable or, by reason of that
          fear, unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of each of those countries;
         or
  (b)  not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of their former habitual
         residence and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to return to that
         Country

A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their country of nationality or former habitual residence would subject them to the possibility of torture, risk of life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment, punishment.

The bulk of approved claims are granted refugee protection status inside Canada and in most cases make their claim at a Canadian port of entry/border or at inland Canada Immigration office.

Once a applicant is found by an immigration officer to be eligible, the case is referred to the Immigration and refugee Board (IRB) where a hearing will be conducted before an independent tribunal comprised of Refugee protection Division member(s) who determines whether the claimant is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

The hearing although non adversarial in nature usually takes place in the presence of the applicant’s legal representative and the government’s refugee claims office (RCO). If the applicant is accepted as a refugee, he may apply for permanent residence from within Canada.

Prior to the hearing, the claimant is entitled under the Act to obtain employment authorization, student authorization and have access to Canada’s universal health care coverage


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DISCLAIMER: The following has been prepared by Roy C.Amadi, Barrister and Solicitor for the sole purpose and intended reference by interested individuals and is not intended to create an attorney-client communication. This write-up maybe reproduced for the personal non-commercial use of interested individuals on the express or implied condition that the contents herein are neither edited, modified nor altered in whole or in part, directly or indirectly without the express written consent of the author herein.

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