Section 103(2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA”) states that the Government of Canada can designate countries that it determines comply with international standards relating to the treatment of refugees as safe third countries. Section 101(1)(e) further states that refugee claimaints coming to Canada from these designated safe third countries cannot have their asylum claims heard in Canada.
Regulation 159.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the (“IRPR”) designates the United States as being a safe third party.
The Safe Third Country Concept
Under the safe third country concept in refugee law, claims for asylum may be rejected on the basis that the claimant should have sought protection in a country other than where the claim was made. An underlying objective of this concept is to deter asylum shopping.
The Safe Third Country Agreement
The Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in the Examination of Refugee Status Claims from Nationals of Third Countries (the “Safe Third Country Agreement”) came into effect on December 29, 2004.
The Safe Third Country Agreement contains several objectives, including the orderly handling of asylum applications, ehanced burden sharing and avoiding the direct or indirect breaches of the principle of non-refoulement.
Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, refugee claimants arriving from the United States at a Canadian land border port of entry cannot seek protection in Canada. Instead, they are sent back to the United States, it being the first “safe country” in which they arrived.
There are exceptions to this. Canada retains responsibility for determining the refugee status of claimants arriving from the United States in the following scenarios:
- where the claimant has family members in Canada and the family member is a Canadian citizen,
Last updated on May 29th, 2018
A common complaint about refugee resettlement is the cost. However, refugees resettled to Canada must pay for their medical exam and their travel to Canada. Canada’s Immigrant Loans Program ensures that refugees who are unable to pay for their resettlement have access to a funding source.
Canadian immigration legislation provides that the most that can be loaned is $126,000,000. Historically, the Government of Canada has issued $13,000,000 in loans annually. Approximately 93% of loaned funds are repaid. Since 2002, the average loan has been approximately $3,000, with roughly 20% of loans issued for more than $5,000. The current policy is to cap the maximum loan amount to $10,000 per family.
Prior to 2018, the loan repayment schedule was as follows:
Balance at Start of Repayment Period (Which Is 30 Days After Arrival in Canada)
Period the Loan
Must be Repaid in Full (Months)
Start of Interest Accrual
Up to $1,200
$1,201 to $2,400
$2,401 to $3,600
$3,601 to $4,800
In 2018, the Government of Canada amended the above to:
- eliminate interest charges on all new immigration loans;
- eliminate further interest accumulation on all existing immigration loans;
- defer the loan repayment start date from 30 days to one year; and
- extend the repayment period for all loans by two years, thus reducing the required monthly instalment amount.
The Government of Canada’s rationale for eliminating interest charges and extending the repayment period as well as the period before the loan becomes repayable was that it would “give resettled refugees more time to focus on their integration,Read more ›
Last updated on May 17th, 2019
Section 115 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides that Canada shall not deport a protected person or a refugee to a country where they would be at risk of persecution of reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion or at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
There are exceptions, however, for people who are:
- inadmissible to Canada for serious criminality and the government believes that the person is a danger to the public in Canada; or
- inadmissible to Canada on grounds of security, violating human or international rights or organized criminality and the government believes that the person should not be allowed to remain in Canada on the basis of the nature and severity of the acts committed or of danger to the security of Canada.
Determining Whether to Issue a Danger Opinion
In considering whether to issue a Danger Opinion for criminality, officers will go beyond looking at just the conviction and the sentence, and will also analyze a person’s past and current offences and activities to determine whether a person is a danger to the public.
The following are some of the factors that are considered:
- criminal history and established patterns of violent criminal behaviour or threats of violent behaviour that suggest present and future danger to the public, and evidence to support the person’s pattern of behaviour;
- convictions for serious offences involving but not limited to violence, weapons, drug trafficking, human smuggling and trafficking, sexual offences and economic crimes;
Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act provides:
No credible basis
107(2) If the Refugee Protection Division is of the opinion, in rejecting a claim, that there was no credible or trustworthy evidence on which it could have made a favourable decision, it shall state in its reasons for the decision that there is no credible basis for the claim.
107.1 If the Refugee Protection Division rejects a claim for refugee protection, it must state in its reasons for the decision that the claim is manifestly unfounded if it is of the opinion that the claim is clearly fraudulent.
A finding of “no credible basis” may only be made where there is no credible or trustworthy evidence on which the Refugee Protection Division (the “RPD“) could make a positive finding. It is a high threshold that limits an applicant’s subsequent procedural rights. Before determining that an applicant’s refugee claim has no credible basis, the RPD must look to the objective documentary evidence for any trustworthy or credible support for an Applicant’s claim.
A lack of credibility is not the same as saying that a claim has no credible basis.
Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Singh, 2016 FCA 300
In Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Singh, the Federal Court of Appeal answered the question of whether the RPD could still determine that a claim was manifestly uncredible after it had determined that an individual was excluded from refugee protection under Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention because because of serious criminality or human rights abuses. Specifically, the Federal Court of Appeal asked:
Considering the authority of the Refugee Protection Division under subsection 107(2) and section 107.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to determine that a claim has no credible basis or is manifestly unfounded,Read more ›
The following is a cross-post from Policy Options.Read more ›
Last updated on December 26th, 2018
Section 110(4) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the “IRPA“) provides that at the Refugee Appeal Division (the “RAD“) a person may only present evidence that arose after the rejection of their claim or that was not reasonably available, or that the person could not reasonably have expected in the circumstances to have presented, at the time of the rejection.
Specifically, it states:
Evidence that may be presented
(4) On appeal, the person who is the subject of the appeal may present only evidence that arose after the rejection of their claim or that was not reasonably available, or that the person could not reasonably have been expected in the circumstances to have presented, at the time of the rejection.
(5) Subsection (4) does not apply in respect of evidence that is presented in response to evidence presented by the Minister.
(6) The Refugee Appeal Division may hold a hearing if, in its opinion, there is documentary evidence referred to in subsection (3)
(a) that raises a serious issue with respect to the credibility of the person who is the subject of the appeal;
(b) that is central to the decision with respect to the refugee protection claim; and
(c) that, if accepted, would justify allowing or rejecting the refugee protection claim.
2001, c. 27, s. 110; 2010, c. 8, s. 13; 2012, c. 17, ss. 36, 84.Read more ›
Section 108 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act states that a person’s refugee protection chall cease when:
108. (1) A claim for refugee protection shall be rejected, and a person is not a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection, in any of the following circumstances:
(a) the person has voluntarily reavailed themself of the protection of their country of nationality;
(b) the person has voluntarily reacquired their nationality;
(c) the person has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of the country of that new nationality;
(d) the person has voluntarily become re-established in the country that the person left or remained outside of and in respect of which the person claimed refugee protection in Canada; or
(e) the reasons for which the person sought refugee protection have ceased to exist.
Cessation of refugee protection
(2) On application by the Minister, the Refugee Protection Division may determine that refugee protection referred to in subsection 95(1) has ceased for any of the reasons described in subsection (1).
Effect of decision
(3) If the application is allowed, the claim of the person is deemed to be rejected.
(4) Paragraph (1)(e) does not apply to a person who establishes that there are compelling reasons arising out of previous persecution, torture, treatment or punishment for refusing to avail themselves of the protection of the country which they left, or outside of which they remained, due to such previous persecution, torture, treatment or punishment.
As previously noted on this blog:
Traditionally, the CBSA rarely initiated cessation proceedings because the loss of refugee status did not also lead to a loss of permanent residence status.Read more ›
The Federal Court in Y.Z. and the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers v. The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, 2015 FC 892 (“Y.Z.“) has certified the following two questions:
Does paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“) comply with subsection 15(1) of the Charter?
If not, is paragraph 110(2)(d.1) of the IRPA a reasonable limit on Charter rights that is prescribed by law and can be demonstrably justified under section 1 of the Charter?
The Court also announced that effective immediately refugee claimants from designated countries of origin can access the Refugee Appeal Division (the “RAD“).Read more ›
The Federal Court in Canada (Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness) v. Zaric, 2015 FC 837, has certified the following question:
Does refugee protection conferred pursuant to s 95(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act automatically cease by operation of s 108(1)(c) when a Convention refugee becomes a Canadian citizen, thereby preventing the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness from applying to the Immigration and Refugee Board pursuant to s 109(1) to vacate the Board’s previous decision to confer refugee protection?
When the Federal Court of Appeal answers the question, it shall be posted here.Read more ›
Last updated on September 29th, 2018
Article 1F(b) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Can. T.S. 1969 No. 6 (the “1951 Refugee Convention“) states that the provisions of this 1951 Refugee Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that they have committed a serious non-political crime outside the country of refuge prior to his admission to that country as a refugee.
Section 98 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA” or the “Act“) incorporates Article 1F(b) of the 1951 Refugee Convention into Canadian immigration law.
What is the Purpose of Article 1F(b)? Does Is it Restricted to Fugitives? If a Person is Rehabilitated Can They Still be Excluded from Refugee Protection?
In Febles v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), 2014 SCC 68 (“Febles“), the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Supreme Court“) addressed the issue of whether the application of Article 1F(b) of the 1951 Refugee Convention is simply a matter of looking at the seriousness of a crime when it was committed, or whether it requires consideration of other matters, including, for example, whether a refugee claimant is a fugitive and/or whether an individual is rehabilitated.
The Supreme Court found that the purpose of Article 1F(b) of the 1951 Refugee Convention is to exclude people who have previously committed a serious non-political crime from seeking refugee protection in Canada, period. The Supreme Court further determined that Article 1F(b) is not directed only at fugitives. It is also not limited to a subset of serious criminals who are undeserving (are dangerous or not rehabilitated) at the time that they claim refugee protection.Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
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