Matt had to leave his country when his family discovered he was gay. In Matt’s country homosexuality was illegal. He applied to come to Canada as a student hoping that by the end of his studies he could go back home and his sexual preferences would be forgiven by his family.
After studying in Canada for a year, Matt felt that his family has forgiven him for his “sin” as they called it, he missed them and was homesick. He flew back home. While his family were happy to see them, they were also determined to make him undergo a homosexual therapy – in other words, they wanted to fix him. When Matt refused his family threatened to kill him to wash the shame he brought on their name. Matt fled back to Canada.
In Canada, Matt realized that there was no going back home. His family was determined to rid themselves of a “sinner”. Matt filed an application for refugee protection in Canada and hired Legally Canadian to fight for his case. Matt’s biggest hurdle with his application was his credibility – the big question was whether he was really afraid for his life if he once already went home, to the place where he was saying he was to be killed. In legal words what Matt did is called reavailment – when a person voluntarily returns to the country of their persecution.
With Matt we put together a strong application and lined up witnesses. As expected, the refugee judge did not believe that Matt’s family was out to kill him (because he went back home when they already knew he was gay), but accepted that Matt was gay. Once this finding was made we needed to prove that Matt couldn’t live a closeted life back home and that if his sexual preferences became known his life would be in danger.
So what happened?
In a very lengthy written decision, the refugee judge called Matt a liar who was not really afraid to go back home, but then acknowledged that even a liar could be a liar and a refugee both. Matt has recently applied and received PR based on the refugee status.