Refugee Claim

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According to 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees of United Nations, the refugee shall apply to any person who, owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

Since its inception, Bestway Consulting has provided a comprehensive and thorough refugee law advice service to people seeking protection in Canada and Australia.

We are committed to helping asylum seekers and those people assisting them up to date about current refugee law and policy. We provide legal advice through telephone, email and face to face consultation to:

  • Asylum seekers who have permission to apply for a protection visa in Canada or Australia.
  • Those accepted as a refugee holding permanent visas who would like to bring their spouse or their children to Canada or Australia.
  • People have received a negative RRT decision in Australia

Bewtway Consulting also provides information session about protection visas and the refugee status determination process to various groups including community workers, students and general public in a wide variety of seminars and forums.

Refugee claim steps in Canada

  1. Complete immigration forms
    • If you are at an airport or at a Canadian border crossing, start your refugee claim by telling a Canadian Border Services Agency officer that you want to make a refugee claim. Staff at the Canada Border Services Agency will interview you. They will ask you to complete immigration forms and provide identity documents.
    • If you are already in Canada, visit a Citizenship and Immigration Canada office to start your refugee claim.
  2. Preparing for your refugee hearing:
    You should prepare for refugee hearing before the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. Your refugee hearing will be held within 30 to 60 days after the Board decides you are eligible to make a claim. The time of the hearing will depend on the country you are from and whether you made your claim at a port of entry.

Refugee claim steps in Australia (extract from Australian Human Rights Commission)

1. Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia with a valid visa

Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia on a valid visa and then apply for protection have their claims assessed through the refugee status determination and complementary protection system that applies under the Migration Act.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will make a primary assessment as to whether the person is a refugee according to the criteria set out in the Refugee Convention.

In some cases, a person may not be a refugee, but may nevertheless face significant human rights abuses, such as torture, if returned to his or her country of origin. If an asylum seeker is found not to be a refugee, the Department will assess whether he or she meets ‘complementary protection’ criteria – that is, whether he or she is owed protection under the ICCPR, CAT or CRC because if they were to be sent to another country there is a real risk they would suffer serious harm.

If a person is found to be a refugee or to be owed complementary protection, providing he or she satisfies health, identity and security requirements, he or she will be granted a protection visa.

People who are refused protection by DIAC at the primary stage have access to independent merits review by the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT), or in some circumstances the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). In some circumstances, they can seek judicial review of decisions made by the RRT or the AAT. In some exceptional circumstances they can seek Ministerial intervention to allow them to remain in Australia on other humanitarian or compassionate grounds.

2. Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat without a valid visa

In August 2012, the Australian Government introduced a system of third country processing for asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at an ‘excised offshore place’ (such as Christmas Island) by boat. In May 2013 this system was extended to apply to asylum seekers who arrive by boat anywhere in Australia. Under this system, asylum seekers who have arrived by boat must be transferred to a third country as soon as is reasonably practicable unless the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection exercises his discretion to exempt them from transfer.

If asylum seekers who arrive unauthorised by boat are allowed by the Minister to remain in Australia, their claims will be processed under Australian law.

If asylum seekers are transferred to a third country, their claims for protection will be processed under that country’s laws.

On 19 July 2013 and 3 August 2013 the Australian Government established resettlement arrangements with the Governments of PNG and Nauru respectively. The effect of these arrangements is that asylum seekers who are transferred from Australia to those countries will not only remain there while their claims are processed, but if found to be refugees, will be resettled in those countries, rather than in Australia.

* Please contact us as soon as possible if you have any question or issue in relation to refugee claim or protection visa in Canada or Australia.