Pre-Removal Risk Assessment Canada – PRRA

PRRA Canada - Pre-Removal Risk AssessmentIndah, an Indonesian citizen, has received a removal order from Canada at a port of entry. While in the airport waiting for her flight, she calls her immigration consultant. Indah is afraid of going back home. She explains that her family will abuse her. Consequently, her immigration consultant suggests filing for the pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) at the port of entry. Indah agrees. Therefore, she approaches a CBSA officer and explains her intentions.

Canadian authorities remove hundreds of foreign nationals and permanent residents from Canada every year. Of course, the reasons for removals could vary. Some examples include inadmissibility to Canada and losing permanent resident status. Nonetheless, when they want to remove a person from Canada, they need to make sure they return to a safe country.

Table of contents

What is a pre-removal risk assessment?

A Pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) is the process to ensure a person is going back to safety despite removal from Canada. However, the authorities conduct PRRA only if a person asks for it.

Who may request a PRRA?

You usually receive a pre-removal risk assessment notification from CBSA. You then have up to 15 days to file for a PRRA. If you file, you have another 15 days to submit supplementary documents. Generally speaking, you may not file for PRRA without notification. However, an exceptional situation is when a person files for PRRA at a port of entry at the removal time.

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Who is eligible for a pre-removal risk assessment?

If you have received a removal order, then you could be eligible for a PRRA if you,

  • file for a PRRA at a port of entry after receiving a removal order
  • have not sought protection from the Canadian government in the past
  • are a failed refugee claimant or ineligible to file for asylum (conditions apply)
  • have received a notification of PRRA
  • are subject to a removal order because of security, human rights violations, serious criminality or organized criminality

Of course, I tried to simplify this list as much as possible. Consider consulting with a professional to make sure you are eligible.

Who is not eligible for a PRRA?

You may not apply for a pre-removal risk assessment under the following circumstances.

  • A Canadian court has issued an extradition order for you.
  • There is a 12-month ban for applying for a PRRA, and the ban is not over.
  • You have entered Canada from the United States, and the third safe country agreement applies to you.
  • Your removal order is unenforceable.
  • Another country recognized you as a convention refugee.

If you decide to withdraw the PRRA request, then the government won’t review your case voluntarily.

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What is the 12-month ban for a pre-removal risk assessment?

Any unfavourable decision by IRB on your refugee application could result in a 12-month ban for a PRRA. If you apply for a PRRA to IRCC and refuse your application, the 12-month ban applies to you. Adverse decisions include rejection, abandonment and withdrawal. Of course, citizens of certain countries could use PRRA without the 12-month ban. IRCC publishes the names of these countries on their website. For example, if you are a Venezuelan citizen who received an unfavourable decision between August 20, 2018, and August 19, 2019, you do not need to wait for 12 months.

Sometimes Canada offers exemptions for this ban due to adverse issues. You may visit IRCC’s website for the up-to-date list. We also publish the updates in our news section. For example, see our news stories about Chad and Iran in 2023 and 2022.

What is the application process for a PRRA?

A typical pre-removal risk assessment application includes the following documents and forms:

  • Forms
    • Application for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (IMM 5508)
    • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476), if you have a representative
  • Documents
    • Identity and relationship documents with their English or French language translations
    • Your written submission
    • Any supporting documents that show you deserve protection

You must mail the package to the following address (subject to change):

IRCC – Humanitarian Migration – Vancouver
#600 – 605 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC
V6B 5J3

There is no processing fee for PRRA applications. When you apply, any of the following scenarios could happen.

  • A PRRA oral hearing (rare but possible)
  • Requesting supplementary documents (rare but possible)
  • Approval of the application
  • Refusal of the application

Of course, your removal order becomes unenforceable while the officer is reviewing your application.

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Can I work while waiting for the outcome of the pre-removal risk assessment application?

If you already hold a valid work permit and submit your application in time, you may continue working in Canada. Regardless, if this is the first time you apply for a PRRA, you may also apply for an open work permit. Make sure to include the IMM 5553 in your application package. Of course, you may not work in Canada without a permit.

You may not work in Canada if this is not the first time you apply for PRRA or if you apply after the deadline.

Is free healthcare available to PRRA applicants?

The Interim Federal Healthcare Program (IFHP) is available for certain refugee claimants who later apply for PRRA.

What if I leave Canada while waiting for the outcome of my pre-removal risk assessment application?

Unfortunately, if you leave Canada, the immigration authorities refuse your application.

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What happens if IRCC refuses the PRRA application?

If the officer refuses your application, your removal order becomes enforceable, and you need to leave Canada. Of course, you could request a reconsideration or file for a judicial review.

What happens if IRCC approves the pre-removal risk assessment request?

If the officer approves your PRRA application, you become a protected person. You could apply for permanent residency in Canada upon becoming a protected person. However, certain approved cases are not eligible for permanent residence. For example, if your removal order was due to serious criminality.

We could help!

If you need to apply for a PRRA or have an inadmissibility issue, fill out the following form. We will contact you as soon as we can.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.