There are two ways to file an asylum application in Canada:
- At an official Port of Entry
- Within Canada at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)office.
In both processes, Canadian officials will determine whether you are eligible to make an asylum claim. If deemed eligible, your case will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Commission of Canada, which will determine whether you are granted refugee status in Canada after a court hearing.
The Canadian government has placed restrictions on refugee claims made at the official Port of Entry. Under the Canada-US Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA), persons arriving in Canada from the US cannot make a refugee claim in Canada. (STCA), persons arriving in Canada from the US cannot make a refugee claim in Canada; unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement. These exceptions include:
- Have a valid Canadian visa, work permit or study permit.
- Be under 18 years of age with neither parent in the United States.
- Have close relatives living in Canada.
- Facing the death penalty in your own country or in the US
- Be a stateless person ordinarily resident in the U.S.
The Safe Third Country Agreement recognises the following family members for the purposes of the exception: spouse, legal guardian, son or daughter, father or mother, sister or brother, grandfather or grandmother, grandson or granddaughter, uncle or aunt, niece or nephew, common-law partner, and same-sex spouse with a legal status in Canada. If you are not sure whether you fall under one of the STCA exemptions, we will be able to offer you the best advice.