2. Learn who can’t make a refugee claim
Question & AnswerWhat’s the difference between a refugee claim and an H&C claim?
The refugee claim process begins when you make a claim at:
- a , for example, a border or airport, or
- at an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office in Canada.
If you make your claim from within Canada, an IRCC officer interviews you and decides if you’re eligible for a hearing.
When you’re not eligible to make a claim
There’s more detailed information about the reasons why you might not be eligible to make a refugee claim in Can I make a refugee claim in Canada? Here are a few examples.
Safe third country rule
The safe third country rule applies to some people who make a refugee claim at a border crossing along Canada’s land border with the United States.
This rule may stop you from being able to make a claim in Canada. It’s meant to force people to make their refugee claim in the United States if they’re eligible to do that.
But you can make your claim in Canada if you can show that one of the exceptions to the rule applies to you.
The law says that people can only ever make one refugee claim in Canada.
So if you already made a claim, you cannot make another one.
Refugee claim in another country
You cannot make a refugee claim in Canada if:
- you were found to be a in another country, and
- you can return to that country.
You also cannot make a refugee claim in Canada if you made a refugee claim in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand. This is true even if one of those countries did not accept or make a decision about your claim.
Getting legal help
Before you make a refugee claim, get legal advice.
You could be detained if you don’t have a valid immigration status and:
- you try to make a claim at an IRCC office, and
- you’re not eligible to make a claim.