Refugees and humanitarian and compassionate considerations

The difference between a refugee and an immigrant is that an immigrant is a person that chooses to settle in a foreign country while a refugee is a person that is forced to flee their home country.
The Canadian refugee protection program distinguishes the refugee issue through two main programs:

  • The In-Canada Asylum Program; to allow refugees to claim protection in Canada while already in Canada
  • The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program; to allow refugees outside Canada to claim protection from Canada

To qualify for the In-Canada Asylum Program applicants must qualify in the following ways in order to get protection from the people of Canada:

  • There must be a properly established fear or persecution in their home country. And/or,
  • There must be some risk of torture, unusual punishment or cruelty in their home country

As for the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, The United Nations Refugee Agency better known as the UNHCR and private sponsors in Canada, identify refugees that are good candidates for refugee status in Canada. A refugee or a person cannot directly apply for refugee status in Canada through this program.

Once a suitable candidate is identified a lengthy process ensues to ensure that proper private sponsors in Canada are identified to settle the refugees to Canada. Through the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, refugees are identified by the UNHCR and are matched with suitable private Canadian sponsors.

(a). Immigration and Refugee Board Appeals

Sometimes visa applications for refugee's status in Canada may not be successful for several reasons. Some of the reasons for the unsuccessful applications may be appealed while some other reasons may not be appealed.

At Legacy Immigration Consultants Ltd., we are one of the few Canadian immigration consultancy firms that are authorized to represent appeals related to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). We have successfully represented a lot of our clients in such IRB appeals cases and especially with cases related to spousal sponsorships and for refugees that seek to maintain permanent residency status.

The procedure for responding to a refugee appeal is as follows:

If you were granted refugee status by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) but a Minister appealed the decision then you have to respond to the appeal and file the necessary documentation. If you choose not to appeal, then the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) will decide the appeal based on the RPD record and the Minister’s documents.

To ensure that your appeal is successful, you must respond as follows:

  • You must submit to the RAD a ‘Notice of Intent to Respond’
  • Your respondent's record must be prepared
  • You must provide a copies of your ‘Notice of Intent to Respond’ and your respondents record to both the Minister and to the RAD sooner than 15 days after the day in which you receive supporting documents from the minister
  • The RAD must be provided with proof that you provided the ‘Notice of Intent to Respond’ and the respondents record to the minister that challenged your refugee
  • All documents must be provided in the proper format. And,
  • The documents must be provided on time.