The Canadian refugee system is one of the most advanced and claimant-friendly refugee systems in the world. The Canadian refugee system is designed to protect persons whose lives are in danger or who face persecution, torture, cruel or unusual treatment or punishment in their home country or the country of deportation. When a person fears returning to his home country, s/he is given the chance to make a refugee claim before the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).
The refugee claim can be made either outside Canada, at the port of entry (POE) or in-land subsequent to arrival in Canada. Refugee claims made outside Canada are the exception as by far the majority of refugee claims are made in Canada or at the port of entry.
Upon claiming refugee protection, an officer of Citizenship and Immigration Canada will meet with you in order to assess whether you are eligible for making a refugee claim. In this meeting, you will be asked to fill out some forms and return them to the assessing officer. Once the refugee officer makes a determination that you are eligible for making a refugee claim, he or she will then forward / refer your claim to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the IRB. Upon acceptance of your eligibility for making a refugee claim, you will be given a form called Personal Information Form (PIF). This is by far the most important document that the refugee claimant will be asked to fill. This form contains all the questions concerning your personal background, family members and most importantly questions relating to why you are making a refugee claim. You will be asked to outline who you fear as agent of persecution, why you fear them and if you have made any attempts in seeking protection from your home country’s government and police forces. Your claim will be assessed based on the answers that you will give in this form. You will also be asked to attach to the PIF form any evidence on which you intend to rely in making your refugee claim. This may be evidence that is personal to you, directly relating to your personal circumstances, or evidence that is about your home country’s general country conditions. Personal documents as well as the documents relating to general country conditions are of outmost importance in evaluating your refugee claim.
We therefore strongly encourage you to seek advice from competent and experienced legal counsel before filling the PIF and submitting the supporting documentation. At Citizenship and Immigration Centre (CIC), we have successfully represented many clients from various countries in making their refugee claims. We continuously strive to update our knowledge of the general country conditions in the top 10 refugee producing countries. At CIC we are committed to protecting your rights aggressively.
To obtain further information and to take advantage of our free half hour initial consultation, please contact our office at (416) 365-9473.