WINNIPEG — For asylum seekers, illegally crossing into Canada is only half the battle of staying in the country permanently.
It can take more than a year sometimes to receive permanent residency in Canada, but before that can happen, a number of things need to go right for asylum seekers.
“This is your case, your refugee case. So if it’s not strong you can lose,” Ayale Mohamud, a counselor at Welcome Place, said
It all starts once the asylum seekers illegally enter Canada. Once arrested by police, the newcomers are brought to the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to make their initial refugee claim.
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If they are approved, they have two days from that time, to fill out a general information package, and submit it to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
“Information is the most important thing they need to start that process,” Mohamud said.
Once the general information is submitted, Mohamud said refugee claimants have 15 days to complete a basis of claim, normally a 12-page document explaining their individual story.
“You have to remember some of the key things, like what happened to you, when it happened to you, and what will happen if you go back.”
As soon as all of the preliminary information is submitted, claimants have to wait for their first hearing, which could take up to two months. If that hearing is approved, the wait for permanent residency can begin.
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Mohamed said it can take up to a year or more to receive the final approval on paper.