1. Learn how a refugee claim can affect your right to apply for H&C

If you make a refugee claim in Canada, you can make a to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) only if you withdraw your claim before you present any at your refugee protection hearing. You withdraw your claim by:

  • writing to the Refugee Protection Division of the (IRB), or
  • saying you withdraw your claim at the beginning of your refugee protection hearing.

Make sure to get legal advice before you withdraw your claim. If you withdraw it, you can never make a refugee claim in Canada again.

If your refugee claim was rejected

If you make a refugee claim and your claim is rejected, you cannot make an H&C application until at least one year from the date that your claim is finally:

  • rejected
  • abandoned, or
  • withdrawn after evidence was presented at your hearing

This is often called the “one-year bar”.

If you challenge a decision to reject your refugee claim, the one-year period does not start until you get a final decision. For example, if you disagree with a decision of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD), you might be able to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD). If you do this, you cannot make an H&C application until one year after the RAD rejects your appeal.

And if you apply to the Federal Court to review a decision of the RPD or the RAD, you have to wait until one year after the Federal Court refuses your application.

You could be forced to leave Canada within that year.

When the “one-year bar” does not apply

There are 2 situations where the one-year bar does not apply. It does not apply if either:

  • forcing you to leave Canada would not be in the best interests of a child who’s directly affected by you leaving, or
  • your life or the life of one of your would be at risk because one of you would not be able to get necessary health or medical care if you were forced to leave.
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