A Synthesis of the Immigration and Refugee Legal Aid Research

Figure 2.1: The Refugee Protection Determination Process

Figure 2.1 shows the stages involved in the refugee protection determination process. These are the stages that a person claiming to be a refugee must go through in order to have their claim accepted and be eligible to apply for permanent residence in Canada. First, the claim is assessed by a Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Officer who renders a decision on the claim’s eligibility. If the claim is accepted, it is sent to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), which, after requiring the claimant to appear at an interview (or hearing), renders a decision on the acceptance or rejection of the claim. If the claim is accepted, the claimant may then apply for permanent residence. However, if the IRB rejects the claim, an assessment of the risk of removing the claimant to his or her country is undertaken. When the assessment is rejected, that is to say, the risk of removal is low or non-existent, the claimant may be removed from Canada. If, however, the refugee claim is accepted, that is to say, the risk of removal is considered to be significant, the IRB may then stay the order to remove the person from Canada and allow an application for permanent residence. It is also possible for the claimant to apply for judicial review when his or her refugee claim is rejected by the IRB.  

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