Refugee claim reinstated days before deportation

Jenny Rokhline
January 31, 2020
When the door closes it is possible to fight to have the said door reopen to present your case in court.

Emma came to Canada with a tourist visa to visit her ailing parent. As she stayed in Canada the security situation in her home country has deteriorated and Emma decided to apply for refugee protection in Canada. Emma’s English was poor at the time and she decided to find an immigration consultant who spoke her native tongue. After filing her refugee claim, Emma remained in Canada waiting for her refugee hearing to be scheduled. Unfortunately for Emma, it took many years before her hearing was scheduled.

Years passed, Emma worked in Canada with the refugee work permit and continued waiting for her refugee hearing. During these years Emma moved from one apartment to another, always updating Immigration Canada and her consultant of her new residential address. What Emma did not know was that she also required to update her residential address with the Refugee Board. She never did that believing that her legal representative will update her address.

One day Emma received a letter from the Canada Border Services Agency asking her to come in for a meeting. Surprised, Emma tried to call her representative but did not succeed. During the interview with the Canada Border Service Agency she was told that she missed her refugee hearing and was scheduled to be deported from Canada. In panic, she called Legally Canadian and we started to untangle the mess with her refugee matter. There is only one way to reopen a refugee matter that was determined to be abandoned like in Emma’s case: you need to show that there was a violation of natural justice – meaning something has happened in this case that the failure to reopen it would be unjust. In Emma’s case the violation of natural justice was that she never received notice of her refugee hearing. We had to file an urgent application to have the refugee matter reopened because she was not given an opportunity to present her refugee case and have her risk assessed.

So what happened?

Emma’s refugee matter was reopened and her deportation was cancelled. A new refugee hearing was scheduled where Emma will be able to present her case.

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