Protect Your Refugee Status

Can I lose my status in Canada after I get refugee protection?

IRCC may apply to the IRB-RPD to have your Convention Refugee or Protected Person status “vacated” or “ceased” (taken away).

1. The IRCC may believe that you gave evidence that is not true or that you hid important facts. The IRB-RPD will ask you to come to a hearing.

If the IRB-RPD agrees with the IRCC:

  • you cannot enter Canada for five years,
  • you will lose your permanent resident status if you have it, and
  • you cannot appeal the decision to the IRB-RAD. You must apply for judicial review in federal court. Get a lawyer to help you.

You might not lose your protected person status if the IRB-RPD Member decides you gave other good evidence at your refugee hearing.

2. The  IRCC may believe that:

  • You chose to accept the protection of your country. You may have renewed or applied for a passport from your country, used your old passport, or travelled to your country.
  • You lost citizenship in your country and then chose to reapply for it after getting refugee status in Canada.
  • You got citizenship (and protection) in a new country. 
  • You chose to return to live in your country. 
  • The reasons you asked for protection are now gone and you are no longer in danger in your country. In this case, you may be able to show there are still serious reasons why you cannot go back.

Keep your refugee status in Canada

There are a number of ways to protect your refugee status in Canada:

  • Do not apply for or renew a passport from your former country (or countries). 
  • Do not use your old passport to travel to any country for any purpose.
  • If you need to travel, apply for a Canadian refugee travel document.
  • Do not visit your former country or countries.
  • Make sure that everything you say or give to the IRB-RPD for your refugee hearing is true.
  • Do not exaggerate evidence. 
  • Do not hide any important information about your claim from the IRB-RPD.
  • Use a legal representative with a good reputation to help you with applications. Do not take legal advice from unqualified people or from anyone who tells you to lie.
  • Think carefully before applying for citizenship in another country because it may mean losing your ability to stay in Canada.
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as you can. Before you apply, talk with a legal representative. You can only lose Canadian citizenship if you get it falsely.
  • Do not commit a crime. For some crimes, Canada can remove a refugee claimant, a protected person, or even a permanent resident.  If you are involved in criminal court, let your lawyer know your status. Ask how being found guilty might change it. Ask your criminal lawyer to contact your immigration lawyer.