Suppose you find yourself in Canada and have filed for refugee status but, for some reason, wish to withdraw your application. In that case, this article guides the process of withdrawing a refugee claim in Canada and delves into the potential consequences. Here, we’ll cover:
1. IRCC/CBSA Withdrawal Applications
2. RPD Withdrawal Applications
3. RAD Withdrawal Applications
4. The 12-Month Ban
5. How We Can Assist You
Withdrawing a Refugee Claim Before it has been referred to Refugee Protection Division (RPD)
The initial step in the refugee claim process involves applying to the immigration authorities at an inland office or a port of entry. Subsequently, officers review your claim, and if deemed eligible, you are referred to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). However, if you wish to withdraw your application before this referral occurs, the following scenarios may unfold:
1. The immigration officer will complete form IMM 5317B, titled “Withdrawal of a Claim for Refugee Protection before Referral to the RPD,” and provide you with a copy for your records.
2. If you are at a port of entry, you may be allowed to withdraw your request to enter Canada. However, if a removal order has already been issued for you, it becomes enforceable.
3. If you are inside Canada and a removal order has been issued, it will be enforced. Typically, this is a Departure Order. If no removal order has been issued and you possess valid status in Canada, you may remain in the country.
4. You can file another refugee claim in the future.
It’s important to note that withdrawing a claim before referral does not fall under the withdrawal types defined by the Immigration Act. Therefore, the limitations discussed later in this article do not apply to this situation.
Withdrawing a Refugee Claim with RPD
The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) is responsible for hearing refugee claims within Canada. If you have already been referred to the RPD by IRCC and wish to withdraw your claim, follow these steps:
1. Download and complete form RPD.24.01, heading “Notice of Withdrawal of a Claim for Refugee Protection“. You can fill out the form by hand or electronically, but your signature must be handwritten.
2. Submit the completed form to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Alternatively, you may express your withdrawal request orally during the hearing.
3. The RPD is likely to accept your withdrawal request; however, they may refuse it if they believe that the withdrawal would be an abuse of the process (Section A168(2)). Even if they reject the withdrawal application, you may still face refusal of the application.
When you withdraw your application with the RPD, you may face the following consequences:
– You will receive a removal order within 15 days from the date the RPD accepts your withdrawal (Section A49(2)(d)).
– You will be ineligible to file for refugee status in Canada in the future.
Withdrawing a Refugee Claim with RAD
The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) handles appeals of decision of RPD. If Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) has received an appeal notice from you or IRCC and you wish to withdraw it, follow these steps:
1. Download and complete form RAD.22.01, titled “Notification of Withdrawal of an Appeal.” You can fill out the form by hand or electronically, but your signature must be handwritten.
2. Submit the completed form to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
3. Similar to the RPD, the RAD is likely to accept your withdrawal request, but they may refuse it if they believe it would be an abuse of the process (Section A168(2)). Even if they reject the withdrawal application, you may still face refusal of your application.
When you withdraw your appeal to Refugee Appeal Division (RAD), you will receive a removal order within 15 days from the date RAD accepts your withdrawal (Section A49(2)(d)).
The 12-Month Ban
Should you decide to withdraw your refugee application or appeal, you will be subject to a 12-month ban on the following applications starting from the date the Division accepts your withdrawal request:
– Temporary Resident Permit (TRP – Section A24(4))
– Immigration under Humanitarian and Compassionate considerations (H&C – Section A25(1.2)(c))
– Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA – Section A112(2)(b.1)): However, the PRRA ban may extend to 36 months if you are from a designated country. It’s worth noting that IRCC ceased designating countries for refugee applications in May 2019.
During the 12-month ban period, you are prohibited from submitting any of the mentioned applications. If you attempt to do so, IRCC will reject your application. Regrettably, for designated foreign nationals, the 12-month Ban escalates to a five-year ban.