Within Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms affords us fundamental rights and freedoms. This includes freedom from discrimination. Unfortunately, there are countries, which do not afford these basic rights to its citizens. In some countries, Claimants and their families are beaten, tortured, detained, harassed or even killed, for criticizing their government, the ruling party in power, for practicing their faith, or for belonging to a certain race or ethnicity, etc.
Canada and Canadian values provide for a safe haven for refugees who qualify.
An Claimant can apply outside or inside Canada; however, generally most Claimants apply within Canada. They submit their refugee claim application, which includes a Basis of Claim Form (narrative). If approved, they are then scheduled for a refugee hearing.
The following is information regarding the Refugee Hearing Process:
A refugee hearing takes place at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) before a Member
What the Member is looking for to grant Refugee Status:
The Claimant must fall in either s.96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27, or s.97:
Convention Refugee (Onus on Claimant, well-founded fear):
96 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 themself 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.
Person in Need of Protection (Onus on Claimant, balance of probabilities) :
97 (1) A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their country or countries of nationality or, if they do not have a country of nationality, their country of former habitual residence, would subject them personally
(a) to a danger, believed on substantial grounds to exist, of torture within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention Against Torture; or
(b) to a risk to their life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if
(i) the person is unable or, because of that risk, unwilling to avail themself of the protection of that country,
(ii) the risk would be faced by the person in every part of that country and is not faced generally by other Claimants in or from that country,
(iii) the risk is not inherent or incidental to lawful sanctions, unless imposed in disregard of accepted international standards, and
(iv) the risk is not caused by the inability of that country to provide adequate health or medical care.
Specifically, the Member is looking for:
The following is for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. A refugee claim is a very serious matter, with serious consequences. It is important to consult a lawyer with experience and skill in this field as there a number of documents and evidence that the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) would require that would assist in your hearing. Sanjiv Parmar at Parmar Law is an experienced and passionate refugee claims lawyer.