Withdraw refugee claim in Canada | How to do it and the consequences

Imagine you are in Canada, and you have filed for refugee status. However, for any reason, you want to withdraw your application. This article explains how to withdraw a refugee claim in Canada. Moreover, it explores the consequences of the withdrawal.

Withdrawing a refugee claim before referral to RPD

The first step in refugee claims is to apply with the immigration authorities. You usually refer to an inland office or file at the port of entry. However, the officers review your claim and, if eligible, refer you to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Nonetheless, you may withdraw your application before such a referral. Consequently, the following could happen:

  1. The officer will fill out IMM 5317B (i.e. “Withdrawal of a Claim for Refugee Protection before Referral to the RPD”). Of course, you will receive a copy for your reference.
  2. If you are at the port of entry, they may allow you to withdraw your request to enter Canada. However, if they have already issued a removal order for you, it becomes enforceable.
  3. If you are inside Canada and have already issued a removal order, they will enforce it. Nonetheless, it is most likely a Departure Order. Of course, if they have not given the removal order and you have status in Canada, you may remain in Canada until your status is valid.
  4. You may file another refugee claim in the future.

Remember: Withdrawing the claim before referral does not constitute the withdrawal types referred to by the Immigration Act. Therefore, none of the limitations I discuss in the remainder of this article apply to this group.

Withdrawing a refugee claim with RPD

The Refugee Protection Division or RPD hears refugee claims inside Canada. If IRCC has already referred you to the RPD, you must follow these steps to withdraw:

  1. Download and fill out the form RPD.24.01 (Notice of Withdrawal of a Claim for Refugee Protection). You may fill out the form either by hand or electronically. However, your signature must be by hand.
  2. Submit the form to the Refugee Protection Division (RPD). Alternatively, you may express your request orally at the hearing.
  3. RPD will likely accept your request. However, they may refuse your request if they believe the withdrawal would abuse the process [A168(2)]. Of course, even if they refuse the withdrawal, you may still face abandonment or refusal of the application.

When you withdraw your application to RPD, you could face the following:

  • You will receive a removal order in 15 days from the day RPD accepts your withdrawal [A49(2)(d)].
  • You may not file for refugee in the future. Of course, we are talking about refugee claims in Canada.

Withdrawing a refugee claim with RAD

The Refugee Appeal Division or RAD hears the appeals to RPD decisions. If RAD has received an appeal notice from you or IRCC, you must follow these steps to withdraw:

  1. Download and fill out the RAD.22.01 (Notification of Withdrawal of an Appeal). You may fill out the form either by hand or electronically. However, your signature must be by hand.
  2. Submit the form to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD).
  3. RAD will most likely accept your request. However, they may refuse your request if they believe the withdrawal would abuse the process [A168(2)]. Of course, even if they refuse the withdrawal, you may still face abandonment or refusal of the application.

When you withdraw your appeal to RAD, you will receive a removal order in 15 days from the day RAD accepts your withdrawal [A49(2)(d)].

The 12-month ban

If you withdraw your refugee application or appeal, you will face a 12-month ban on the following applications. Of course, the ban begins when the Division accepts your withdrawal request:

A 12-month ban means you may not submit any of the previous applications during the ban period. Of course, if you do, IRCC will refuse your application. Unfortunately, the 12-month ban turns into a five-year ban for designated foreign nationals.

Withdrawing other applications

I have another article that explains withdrawing other applications:

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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.