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Asylum seekers, refugees
and protected persons

with DJP Quebec Immigration Services

Asylum seekers, refugees and protected persons

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone facing persecution has the right to seek and to benefit from asylum in other countries. Some people are forced to flee their country of nationality or residence because they are victims of acts of violence, persecution or harassment and need or deserve Canada’s protection. As such, they are classified as Convention refugees or persons in need of protection.

The legal basis for the concepts of refugees and persons in need of protection in Canada derives from Canada’s ratification of the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees of July 28, 1951, and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. Similarly, Canada was also a signatory on December 10, 1984, to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which entered into force on June 26, 1987.

To this end, paragraph 3 (2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) sets out the objectives of Canada’s refugee system as follows:

  1. to recognize that the refugee program is in the first instance about saving lives and offering protection to the displaced and persecuted;
  2. to fulfil Canada’s international legal obligations with respect to refugees and affirm Canada’s commitment to international efforts to provide assistance to those in need of resettlement;
  3. to grant, as a fundamental expression of Canada’s humanitarian ideals, fair consideration to those who come to Canada claiming persecution;
  4. to offer a safe haven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, as well as those at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment;
  5. to establish fair and efficient procedures that will maintain the integrity of the Canadian refugee protection system, while upholding Canada’s respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all human beings;
  6. to support the self-sufficiency and the social and economic well-being of refugees by facilitating reunification with their family members in Canada;
  7. to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to maintain the security of Canadian society;
  8. to promote international justice and security by denying access to Canadian territory to persons, including refugee claimants, who are security risks or serious criminals.

It follows that a foreign national, inside or outside Canada, may be selected as a person who under this Act is a Convention refugee or as a person in similar circumstances, taking into account Canada’s humanitarian tradition with respect to the displaced and the persecuted (article 12 [3] of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).

As a result, in response to this situation and its international responsibilities, Canada, through the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, has established the scope and protection of these individuals through three procedures:

  • The selection of these persons abroad by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or the refugee resettlement program and humanitarian organizations (IRPA 95 [1] [a]);
  • The determination in Canada by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada of Convention refugee or person in need of protection status (IRPA s 95 1 b);
  • And finally, applications made by these persons in Canada for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) — (IRPA s 95 1 c)

According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s determination of refugee or person in need of protection status in Canada, refugee claimants must apply for refugee status in Canada at a port of entry or inland office (Canada Border Security Agency or IRCC). However, keep in mind that the entire process includes the involvement of the IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the mandate to decide refugee claims rests exclusively with the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) and the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).

To obtain refugee or person in need of protection status in Canada, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she meets all parts of the legal definition of “Convention refugee” (as defined in article 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [IRPA] or “Person in Need of Protection” [as defined in article 97 of the IRPA]).

With professionals in this field, our firm can assist and represent you throughout the process with the Immigration and Refugee Board. We will represent you after having legally assessed your case and explained your rights as an asylum seeker to you.