Protecting Your Refugee Status

Can I lose my status in Canada after my application for refugee protection is approved?

IRCC may apply to the IRB-RPD to have your Protected Person status taken away in two ways:

  1. IRCC will make an application to vacate your refugee protection if they believe that you won your refugee claim by providing evidence that is not true or hiding important facts which were important to your claim. The IRB-RPD will schedule you for a hearing on the application.

    If the application to vacate your status is approved there are serious consequences:
    • You will be inadmissible to Canada for 5 years
    • You will lose your permanent resident status if you have it, and
    • There is no right to appeal the IRB-RPD decision to the IRB-RAD. To fight the decision, you must apply for judicial review in federal court.

The IRCC’s application to take away your refugee status may be rejected if the Member believes that there was enough other good evidence presented at your refugee hearing to allow your claim to be approved.

  1. IRCC will make an application to the IRB-RPD to cease your refugee status in Canada if they believe:
    • You voluntarily accepted the protection of your country of nationality. This is called “re-availment.” IRCC may believe that you have accepted the protection of your country if you, renew or apply for a passport from your country, used your old passport, or travel to your country
    • You voluntarily applied to regain an old citizenship that you lost. These cases are rare. IRCC will try to convince the IRB-RPD to end your refugee protection if you lost citizenship in your country and then reapplied for it after getting refugee status in Canada
    • You acquired citizenship in a new country. In this case, IRCC may try to take away your refugee status because you have been given citizenship and protection in another country and no longer need Canada’s protection
    • You voluntarily return to live in your country. If IRCC believes you have returned to your country to live, they will try to convince the IRB-RPD to take away your refugee status
    • The reasons that you asked for refugee protection no longer exist and you are no longer in danger in your country. If you can show that there are serious reasons why you cannot return to the country where you were previously persecuted this reason will not apply to you.

What you can do to protect your refugee status in Canada

 There are a number of things you can do to protect your status in Canada, including:

  • Do not apply for or renew a passport from your country or countries of nationality if you have been granted refugee protection in Canada
  • Do not use your country 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 country or countries of nationality
  • Make sure that the evidence, documents, forms and testimony which you provide to the IRB-RPD for your refugee hearing are true and correct
  • Do not exaggerate evidence or provide information to the IRB-RPD that you know is not true
  • Do not hide information that is important about your refugee claim from the IRB-RPD
  • Use a legal representative with a good reputation to assist you with your applications in Canada. Do not take legal advice from people who are not allowed to practice immigration law or who advise you to misrepresent your case
  • Think carefully before applying for citizenship in another country because it may mean losing your ability to stay in Canada as a protected person or permanent resident
  • Apply for Canadian citizenship as soon as you are eligible. When you apply, your immigration file will be examined by IRCC to make sure you qualify and have not done anything to make you inadmissible. Before you apply for Canadian citizenship, consult with a legal representative. Once you become a Canadian citizen you cannot lose your status unless you obtained your status through misrepresentation
  • Do not commit a crime that will make you removable from Canada. There are some crimes that can cause removal of a refugee claimant, protected person and even a permanent resident.  If you are involved in a criminal matter before the courts, let your criminal lawyer know your immigration status and ask how a conviction might affect your status in Canada.