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Pre-removal risk assessments

Canada is committed to ensuring that people being removed from Canada are not sent to a country where they would be in danger or at risk of persecution.

If you are told to leave Canada, you will be given a notice that the removal order is being enforced. At that time, if you are eligible, you will be given the opportunity to apply for a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA). If you apply, an officer will review your application, as well as documents and other evidence you provide in support of it. If you previously made a refugee claim, the officer will limit their consideration to new evidence, or that which you were not able to present at your refugee hearing. You may be asked to attend an interview. If you are eligible to apply for a PRRA, you will be given an application form and guide. You will have fifteen (15) days in which to apply.

When you receive your PRRA forms, your removal order is suspended for 15 days. This suspension will remain in effect until:

  • you notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that you do not intend to apply for a PRRA;
  • you miss the 15-day application deadline; or
  • you apply for a PRRA and your application is rejected (or you withdraw your application or leave Canada by choice).

Note: If the PRRA application forms are mailed to you, you will be given an additional seven (7) days in which to apply.

In support of your application, you will be able to submit written evidence to help explain the risk that you would face if removed from Canada.

In reviewing your case, the officer will consider:

  • risk of persecution as defined in the Geneva Convention;
  • risk of torture; and
  • risk to your life or the risk that you may be subjected to cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Note: Remember, you are responsible for keeping your application up-to-date. If your circumstances change and this may affect your application, it is your responsibility to inform CIC of the change. This is so that decision-makers have all the information that you want considered for your application.

Some people are not eligible

Some people are not eligible for a PRRA. You are not eligible if you:

  • are a protected person (that is, you presently enjoy refugee protection in Canada);
  • were found to be a Convention refugee by another country and you can return there;
  • made a refugee claim and it was not eligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) because you came to Canada from a safe third country;
  • made a refugee claim, which was rejected by the IRB (includes abandoned or withdrawn), and less than 12 months have passed since that time;
  • applied for a PRRA, which was rejected by CIC, and less than 12 months have passed since that time;
  • are subject to extradition (extradition is a formal request that Canada return you to another country because you are a suspected or convicted criminal).

In the event of a sudden change in country conditions, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism may exempt certain nationals from the bar on accessing a PRRA. Regulations have been developed to specify criteria which must be considered when determining whether or not an exemption should be granted.

For more information, please see the Notice of Regulatory Changes to Applications for Permanent Resident Status and Changes on Accessing a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment.

If your application is accepted

If the PRRA officer accepts your application, you may receive the status of “protected person.” This means you can stay in Canada and you can apply to become a permanent resident.

If your application is rejected

If the PRRA officer rejects your application, you will receive a written notice. Your removal order comes into effect again and you may receive a reasonable period of time to ensure your departure from Canada. If your application is rejected, you may apply to the Federal Court of Canada for a review of the PRRA officer’s decision.