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Immigrating to Canada has been seen as a simple thing to achieve; however, not everybody faces the same circumstances. You will probably see yourself in the situation to request refugee status in Canada. So here is some helpful information about the process and how it works. 

It’s essential to make the assumption that this is not an easy process; it’s long, expensive, and scary. However, it’s rewarding, fair and effective once you understand the process. 

Immigration laws have different processes for each case of refugee seekers, so today, we will focus on claiming refugee status from inside Canada. Yes! It is possible, and honestly, it’s not as scary as it sounds. 

To seek asylum in Canada, you need to understand from the first instance that you will need to provide a complete and detailed timeline of the circumstances that drove you to request protection by the Government of Canada. 

You can get familiarized with the process steps on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; however, the office doesn’t handle refugee cases. The office in charge of that is the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. 

The first step in your process is to understand and explain your circumstances. According to the law, Canada grants refugee status to individuals who fear torture and risk their lives. So you will have to elaborate a detailed essay about how you are, where you have been, how your life was, and what happened that pushed you to leave your country. 

And of course, this can mean several things in Latin America. So when you began to write your essay, you must explain to the immigration officer the events that occurred and describe the danger for you or your family. Be cautious about adding the sociological, political and economic background to your particular situation.  

The second step in your asylum journey is to be sure that you qualify for an application inside Canada. For this point, you must not have a removal order from Canada.

Other eligibility criteria include: been granted refugee status by another country, arrived by the Canada-United States border, have an open and ongoing asylum petition in another country and not been admissible in Canada to a security ground, criminal activity or human rights violation. 

Once those two steps are covered, you can move forward with your application; if English is not your first language, you have access to Legal Aid. They are not the best, but they will be able to walk you through the basis of the process. Once they send your application, you are on your own. 

The process is a very simplified way that can be described in three significant steps: the delivery of your claim, the acceptance or denial of your case and the trial. Each of these steps can be appealed three times.

The delivery of your claim consists of you going to one of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada offices, with a folder with all your forms, essay, supporting documentation, four pictures of yourself and your passport. An officer will receive your documents, give you a copy and upload your claim to the system. 

A month later, you will have to attend the same office to determine if your claim has been approved or denied going to trial. In the worst-case scenario that your claim gets rejected, you have 90 days to appeal. Right there, you can speak with the officer that should instruct you in the process of appealing. 

The same thing occurs with your trial. Suppose you lose your case because the judge believes that your case doesn’t have the necessary grounds. You can appeal this decision; the time frame for this is 15 business days. And during the longevity, you are entitled to health cover, a work permit, a temporary SIM number, English and French classes, and a study permit.

A personal tip from somebody who went through the process: READ; it doesn’t matter if you feel that you already know, read more, get so familiar with the process to the point that you can use the correct terminology with lawyers and assistants, it will make the difference. 

Refugee court is a ruthless place; they have seen and heard all the types of horror stories that you can imagine, so, unfortunately, yours for them it’s nothing more than a number. Still, if you prove yourself aware of your circumstance and case, this will give you a chance to get better assistance every step of the way. 

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Todowafi Team