1. Get legal advice

If you’re thinking of making making a or a refugee claim, it’s very important to get legal advice first.

Why getting legal advice is important

Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to get advice from a lawyer who knows both immigration and refugee law:

  • They can tell you whether you have the right to make a refugee claim or an H&C application. Steps 2 and 3 have more information about this.
  • They can tell you whether you might succeed if you make a refugee claim. And they can tell you whether you might fit into the definition of a or .
  • They can tell you what rights refugee claimants have. For example, they can tell you about your right to health care, a work permit, a study permit, and social assistance.
  • They can tell you whether you have a chance of succeeding if you make an H&C application.
  • They can tell you how long it might take to get a decision, depending on whether you make an H&C application or a refugee claim.
  • They can tell you if there are other legal issues that affect your situation. For example, you might be from a country that Canada is not sending people back to because of the human rights situation there.

Also, if you make an H&C application, this does not give you the right to stay in Canada until you get a decision. So you need to get legal advice to find out about the risk of being forced to leave Canada while you wait for a decision.

No right to do both at the same time

You cannot make an H&C application and a refugee claim at the same time. You have to choose between the two.

So it’s important to get legal advice before you decide what to do.

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