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COMMONLY USED IMMIGRATION TERMS
 


Adversarial proceedings: A process involving opposing parties, where one is contesting the case of the other party.

Administrative tribunal: A decision-making body with a licensing, certifying, approval or other adjudicative function. Although it is not a court of law, it directly affects the legal rights of a person.

Canadian citizen: A person who was born in Canada or who has been granted Canadian citizenship.

Convention refugee: A person who meets the definition of a refugee contained in the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. In general, it is someone who has left his or her home country and has a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, and is unable or, by reasons of his or her fear, unwilling to seek the protection of the home country.

Detention review: A formal review of the circumstances and reasons for detaining a foreign national or permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Excluded persons: Persons who are excluded from the definition of a Convention refugee or person in need of protection. Excluded persons are, among others, persons who have committed a serious non-political crime outside Canada, a crime against peace, a war crime, a crime against humanity, or, are guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, or have taken up residence in a country where they have rights and obligations similar to those of a national of that country.

Expedited process: A shortened process used for determining refugee protection claims that appear to be manifestly well founded. A refugee protection officer interviews a refugee protection claimant, and if the officer makes a favourable recommendation, the claim is forwarded to a member for a decision on the claim. A full hearing is held if the claimant is not granted refugee protection at the expedited process.

Foreign national: A person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Judicial review: A judicial review is different from an appeal on the merits of the case. The Federal Court of Canada will allow an application for judicial review of a decision, where the applicant shows, for example, that the decision under review contains an error of law or of fact, or that a principle of natural justice has not been respected.

Immigrant: A person who comes to settle in Canada as a permanent resident.

Immigration admissibility hearing:
A hearing conducted to determine whether a foreign national or permanent resident may lawfully enter or remain in Canada.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act:
The Act of Parliament that governs matters concerning immigration and refugee protection in Canada. The Act came into force on June 28, 2002.

Leave for judicial review:
Means the permission of the Federal Court of Canada to begin an application for judicial review.

Member: A person who makes decisions on cases in one of the divisions of the Immigration and Refugee Board.

Non-adversarial proceedings: Proceedings in which no one is opposing the case.

Permanent resident:
A person who has been granted admission as an immigrant, but who has not become a Canadian citizen.

Permanent resident visa holder:
A person who holds a visa for permanent residence, but has not yet been admitted to Canada as a permanent resident by an immigration officer.

Person in need of protection: A person whose removal to his or her home country would subject him or her to a danger of torture or to a risk to life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Pre-removal risk assessment: An assessment conducted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada of the risk to a person of removing him or her from Canada. Canada adheres to the principle of non-refoulement. Based on that principle, a person must not be removed to a country where the person would be at risk. A person under a removal order may apply to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration for a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment.

Principles of natural justice:
The principles of natural justice include the right to be heard, the right to be represented by counsel and the right to be judged by an impartial and independent decision maker.

Quasi-judicial: Similar to a court proceeding. "Quasi-judicial" refers to decisions made by administrative tribunals, which are not courts of law but to which the principles of natural justice apply.

Refugee protection claimant:
A refugee protection claimant is a person in Canada who requests protection as a Convention refugee or as a person in need of protection. If refugee protection is granted, the person may apply for permanent residence.

Refugee protection determination hearing:
A hearing in which a member of the Refugee Protection Division of the IRB decides a claim for refugee protection.

Refugee protection officer:
An employee of the IRB who participates in the refugee protection determination process. Refugee protection officers are "neutral", i.e., they have no interest in the outcome of the case and their role is not to oppose the refugee protection claim.

Regional Documentation Centres: Documentation centres of the IRB's Research Directorate that are open to the public. The Research Directorate collects and disseminates information on international affairs, human rights, and immigration and refugee issues (see addresses at the end of this booklet).

Removal order:
A departure, an exclusion or a deportation order requiring a person to leave Canada.

Safe third country:
A country designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations as a safe country of transit or residence in which an individual could have found protection as a refugee before arriving in the country where the person is now claiming refugee protection.

Sponsor: A Canadian citizen or permanent resident who sponsors a member of the family class to enter or remain in Canada as a permanent resident.

Visitor or a temporary resident:
a person other than a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or Minister's Permit holder, who is lawfully in Canada or who seeks to come to Canada for a temporary stay.


 
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