Are We Still Entitled To A PRRA Since The June 29, 2012 Regulatory Changes?


Mary Keyork
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How will PRRA regulatory changes affect our family?

We are a family from Guangdong, China, and we came to Canada to make refugee claims two years ago. In March 2012 our refugee claims were refused, and we have now been asked whether we would like to participate in the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Program. We were advised that we could decide whether to participate by August 30, and we would receive a payment from the government of $1,500 each. If we choose not to take the cash and stay in Canada, will we be arrested? Will we get to apply for a PRRA? How else can we remain in Canada?

Under the new regulations which came into force on June 29, 2012, refused refugee claimants can no longer make an application for a Pre-removal risk assessment, nor can they make an application on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, unless at least one year has passed since the refusal of the refugee claim. As your claim was only refused in March, you will have no other basis to apply to remain in Canada, and there is nothing to prevent your removal from Canada unless you do not have valid passports. If the immigration authorities can obtain passports for you and your family before March 2012, you will be removed from Canada without access to any further applications. If for some reason you are not removed by that date, you could initiate a humanitarian application, and you will also be entitled to a PRRA application before being removed. As there may be other issues you have not raised in your question, you should obtain specific legal advice from a lawyer.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Keyork provides Immigration Law services for hundreds of immigration applications in all categories and has appeared before all three divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board as well as at the Federal Court of Canada, successfully representing clients in complex immigration applications and hearings.
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