Refugees and Passage Through a Third Country

One issue that refugee claimants often face is demonstrating why they did not claim refugee status in a country that they travelled through on route to Canada.  For example, if an individual travels from Somalia to New York, and then from New York to Toronto, the claimant might be asked why he did not seek asylum in the United States.

While a certain inference can be made from not claiming refugee in a transit country, this cannot be the sole factor on which the Refugee Protection Division makes its decision.  The RPD must assess why there was a delay in the application, and why asylum was not considered at the first occasion.

Examples of arguments that have been used include:

  • Where a claimant’s brother or sister had successfully obtained refugee status in Canada on similar facts. (See Angel Gonzales v. Canada, 2010 FC 1292.

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