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Refugee Status in Canada: What You Need to Know

Making a refugee claim is not the fastest way to bend common immigration laws and regulations. Such a person must have legal reasons to prove he needs a refugee status. Otherwise, his petition will be denied.

Canada takes seriously its international liabilities before those who need help and protection. However, the authorities have to make sure that all laws for protection, security, and health of Canadians are upheld and respected.

When making a refugee claim, you’ll face a strict process of determining whether you need protection or not. You’ll be subjected to removal from Canada if you have no legal grounds to ask for refugee status.

When people, seeking protection arrive in the country, the federal government conducts an investigation to that person, his health and risk to security he might impose. If the application is found eligible, the federal government takes a responsibility to provide a refugee with a work permit and a temporary number of social insurance. The temporary program of federal healthcare also covers medical service to refugee claimants while they are awaiting the final decision upon their status.

There are certain requirements before receiving refugee status. For example, absence or loss of the temporary protected status cannot be a ground for making a refugee claim.  Canada doesn’t have special programs for people with temporary protected status.

A refugee claimant differs from an immigrant. Immigrant decides to live in Canada, while refugee claimant asks Canada for protection, because of fear of persecution and risk to his life if he’s sent back to his country.

Here are common questions people ask about making a refugee claim:

Do all refugee claimants stay in the country?

No. It is up to the federal government and the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) whether a person stays in the country. The final decision will depend on many factors.

Do refugee claimants impose any threat?

No. Individuals, applying for refugee status, are subjected to the immediate security check. If it becomes apparent that someone imposes a danger, he is denied to proceed as a refugee claimant. A person alike is subjected to immediate deportation.

Do refugee claimants slow down the application process of economic immigrants?

No. Applications of refugee claimants are considered simultaneously with the applications of immigrants.  Immigration applications, including refugee settlement applications, are accepted by the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada.  Immigrant and refugee claimant applications are processed by different departments being processed in separate systems.

Are refugee claimants entitled to more benefits than Canadians (elderly, war veterans)?

No. In fact, refugee claimants have to work to support themselves while their applications are being reviewed. In some cases, they can be entitled to the same temporary social assistance as any other applicant.

Can Canada send back refugee claimants to where they came from without hearing in the court?

No. Refugee claimant applications are regulated by the international conventions which Canada signed. Therefore, Canada is held responsible for processing refugee claims, no matter how applicants enter the country.

Do people, seeking protection, need too much time to get a work permit?

Usually, work permits are issued within three weeks, so refugee claimants could work and support themselves while awaiting a final decision about their case.

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