What is a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) and why is it issued?
If you have been issued a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) there is a strong likelihood that you are now facing deportation from Canada.
PRRA invitation are typically issued to those who facing removal from Canada. What this means is that you have been issued possibly an exclusion order, or a deportation order and before you are deported from Canada, you are provided an opportunity to have your risk examined before you are removed to Canada. Think of this something like a mini-paper-based refugee application.
What is section 112(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and who is eligible to apply for protection?
The world of PRRAs is managed by sections 112 and 113 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:
Application for protection
112 (1) A person in Canada, other than a person referred to in subsection 115(1), may, in accordance with the regulations, apply to the Minister for protection if they are subject to a removal order that is in force or are named in a certificate described in subsection 77(1).
112 (3) Refugee protection may not be conferred on an applicant who
(a) is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of security, violating human or international rights or organized criminality;
(b) is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality with respect to a conviction in Canada of an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years or with respect to a conviction outside Canada for an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years;
(c) made a claim to refugee protection that was rejected on the basis of section F of Article 1 of the Refugee Convention; or
(d) is named in a certificate referred to in subsection 77(1).
What is the process for consideration of an application for protection under section 113 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act?
113 Consideration of an application for protection shall be as follows:
(a) an applicant whose claim to refugee protection has been rejected may present only new evidence that arose after the rejection or was not reasonably available, or that the applicant could not reasonably have been expected in the circumstances to have presented, at the time of the rejection;
(b) a hearing may be held if the Minister, on the basis of prescribed factors, is of the opinion that a hearing is required;
(i) in the case of an applicant for protection who is inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality, whether they are a danger to the public in Canada, or
(ii) in the case of any other applicant, whether the application should be refused because of the nature and severity of acts committed by the applicant or because of the danger that the applicant constitutes to the security of Canada; and
(i) an applicant who is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality with respect to a conviction in Canada punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years for which a term of imprisonment of less than two years — or no term of imprisonment — was imposed, and
(ii) an applicant who is determined to be inadmissible on grounds of serious criminality with respect to a conviction of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence under an Act of Parliament punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 10 years, unless they are found to be a person referred to in section F of Article 1 of the Refugee Convention.
Who is eligible for a PRRA and what are the application requirements?
Not everyone qualifies for a PRRA, however. At other times, your risk assessment is limited because you became inadmissible to Canada for reasons of criminality. The most common reason someone can not make a PRRA is because they had a refugee claim heard within one (1) year of removal, or their first PRRA decision was refused within one (1) year.
When you submit your first application for a PRRA, your removal will be paused (known as “stayed”). Any subsequent applications will NOT result in removal being paused.
Is Pre-Removal Risk Assessment the same as a humanitarian & compassionate application?
A Pre-Removal Risk Assessment is NOT the same as a humanitarian & compassionate application. The assessment of personal risk is very different, and evaluation of adverse country conditions requires making submissions on personalized risk, not general country conditions.
When you receive your first PRRA invitation you are typically given 15 days to provide your application. It is incredibly important that you hire an immigration lawyer on an urgent basis. There are ways to extend submission deadlines, but IF YOU MISS the deadline, your deportation will not be paused (even if you provide the forms later).
What are the key factors that a PRRA submission should address?
A typical PRRA submission should be addressing some of the following risk factors:
- It is a personal risk;
- There is ineffective state protection;
- The risk is faced in every part of the country;
- The risk is not faced generally;
- The risk is not inherent incidental to lawful sanctions;
- The risk is not due to inadequate health or medical care.
These should not be taken lightly and you should be finding a competent immigration lawyer immediately upon receiving notice of your Pre-removal Risk Assessment invitation!
If you or anyone you know have received a PRRA invitation and need assistance with your application, contact Shory Law at your earliest convenience to speak with our immigration lawyers who can guide you through the process.