March 13, 2023

What is a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment?

Posted by Amanda D'Angelo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

A Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, otherwise known as a “PRRA” is an application offered to eligible applicants by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which allows the applicant to demonstrate how their lives would be at risk if they were removed from Canada. A CBSA Officer determines if you are eligible and CBSA will only check to see if you are eligible after they begin the removal process [1].

PRRAs are used to make sure individuals are not being removed to a country where:

  • The individual would be in danger of torture;
  • The individual would be at risk of persecution;
  • There would be a risk to their life or of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment [2]

In most cases, a twelve (12) month bar applies to the following persons:

  • Persons who have received a negative decision from the Immigration Refugee Board (IRB) on a claim for refugee protection
  • Persons who have received a negative decision from IRCC on a past PRRA application
  • Persons who have received a negative decision from the Federal Court (FC) on an application for leave or judicial review regarding a claim for refugee protection or a PRRA decision.

The PPRA bar does not apply to individuals whose:

  • Refugee claim has been rejected based on sections E or F of Article 1 of the Refugee Convention
  • Refugee protection has been vacated under subsection A109(3) [3]
  • Individuals who are national or former habitual residents of a designated country where conditions have changed [4]. A full list of the countries can be found here.

A PRRA is a two-part application. The first step consists of filing the PRRA form within 15-days of notification. The second step allows the applicant an additional 15-days to submit evidence and written submissions, as to why they feel they would be at risk if returned to their country of nationality or habitual residence[5]. This information is the critical part of the application process.

 Who Cannot Apply for a PRRA?

An individual cannot apply for a PRRA if they:

  • Made a refugee claim that was ineligible because of the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • Were found to be a Convention refugee in another country that they can go back to
  • Are a protected person and already have refugee protection in Canada
  • Are subject to extradition [6]

A PRRA is an essential application for those who are ready to be removed from Canada and fear returning to their country of nationality. It is important to note that PRRA processing times are not listed online, and processing times can vary. To learn more about PRRA applications or for assistance with your PRRA application contact us today!