Refugee claims in Canada entering from the USA

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Information for people considering making a refugee claim in Canada entering from the USA

Warning: The following is general information only. For details, check the law or consult legal counsel.

Cautions

·         If you apply at an official border crossing and you do not meet one of the exceptions to the Safe Third Country Agreement, you will not be allowed to make a refugee claim in Canada. You will be immediately returned to the USA where you may be detained and put into removal proceedings.

·         If you are found ineligible to make a refugee claim for other reasons (e.g. you made a previous claim in Canada, or you are inadmissible for serious criminality or security), you will immediately face deportation to your country of origin (not the USA). You may be held in immigration detention. There will be very little opportunity to show that you are at risk.

·         If you are found eligible to make a refugee claim in Canada, you will need to show that you face persecution in your country of origin. If you do not face persecution, your claim is likely to be rejected and you will face deportation to your country of origin (not the USA).

·         It is often difficult to show that you face persecution if you have been outside your country of origin and living in the USA for several years.

·         Do not expect to have an immediate right to work in Canada. If your claim is eligible, you may apply for a work permit but processing takes months. Claimants from Designated Countries of Origin must wait 180 days before they can apply.