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Refugee Protection

Can I file in Buffalo?

Q. I am an avid reader your immigration section in the 24 Hours. I am in a difficult situation here in Canada and do not know what to do to gain status in Canada. I came to Canada a few years ago, I claimed refugee status and my application has been refused.
I am now without status and on the verge of being sent back home and I am rather desperate. I went to a consultant and asked whether I can file a skilled worker application in Buffalo and he said that of course I can. Other people though tell me that I cannot file in Buffalo and I am not sure what should I do? Pay the consultant to file in Buffalo or take some other people’s advice and file in my home country?

A. Of course, this is a question asked by many people who are in Canada and do not know the difference. But I am amazed by the response given to you assuring you that you may file your case in Buffalo. The legislation is very clear on this point. You came to Canada and claimed refugee status, you were not admitted to Canada legally for at least one year, therefore your application cannot be filed in Buffalo visa office. Only those people who came to Canada with a valid visa for at least one year can file to that visa office. All the others have to file in the countries of their citizenship or where they reside legally. Depending on each individual case and circumstances, there are other ways to file a legal application in Canada, one of them being the application based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Thank you for your question.

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