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Refugees can lose permanent resident status by going back to their country

On December 15, 2012, the Immigration Act changed. Now, permanent residents who started out as refugees or protected persons could lose their status if they get a passport from their country of origin and travel back to that country.

In this situation, they may get a notice that Citizenship and Immigration Canada is applying to “cease” their status because they “re-availed themselves of the protection of their country of origin.” When this happens, a hearing is held before the Refugee Protection Division.

Anyone who gets a notice that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration is making either a “vacation” or “cessation” application to end their protected person status should apply for legal aid as soon as possible.

It’s very important to gather evidence to explain the reasons for travel and present legal arguments about the scope of the new law because a cease status decision can’t be appealed to the Immigration Appeal Division.

To find out more about applying for legal aid for immigration problems, call 1-888-601-6076 (no charge) or visit our website.

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