Pre-removal Risk Assessment
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) provides that, with certain exceptions, persons in Canada, who are subject to a removal order that is in force, may apply to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for protection. This mechanism is called the Pre-removal Risk Assessment (PRRA). For most applicants, a positive determination results in the granting of refugee protection and the opportunity to apply for permanent residence as a protected person.
PRRA is based on the principle that persons should not be removed from Canada to a country where they would be at risk of persecution, torture, risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. Consequently, PRRA has the same protection objectives as the refugee determination process at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) and is considered on the same consolidated grounds: the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees; the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (‘Convention against Torture’); as well as risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, as provided in the IRPA.
PRRA candidates may be divided into the following categories:
- persons whose refugee claim has been rejected (this includes withdrawn or abandoned claims);
- persons whose refugee claim is ineligible for referral to the IRB, except those that are ineligible vis-à-vis the Safe Third Country Agreement as per A101(1)(e);
- individuals who left Canada following a rejected refugee claim or PRRA, and more than six months have passed since their departure from Canada;
- previous PRRA applicants who are still in Canada; and
- Other individuals who never previously sought refugee protection in Canada, and are now facing removal.
In cases where the applicant had a refugee hearing before the IRB, the PRRA is restricted to new evidence that arose after the negative decision or evidence that was not reasonably available at the time of the decision.