Pre-Removal Risk Assessment

The Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) is back-ended application for protection that enables Canada to meet its obligations under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The CAT prohibits all refoulement (return) to a country where a person is at risk of torture or cruel or unusual treatment or punishment. By offering persons in Canada the opportunity to apply for such protection prior to being removed to their home country, Canada abides by CAT.

The unfortunate reality is that PRRA applications have a very low success rate: 2 to 4% country-wide. There are numerous reasons for this:

  • you can only submit evidence that has arisen since your refugee claim, if you have had one; if you haven’t submitted a refugee claim, you can submit any evidence;
  • you must show that the risk is personalized, that is, that you as a person are likely to suffer the risk;
  • if you come from a country where large areas of the country are at risk due to civil war, famine or drought, you are precluded from making that argument in your PRRA;
  • if you are claiming protection because your country is unable or unwilling to provide for your medical care, even life-sustaining medical treatment, you are again precluded from making that argument in your PRRA, unless you are being singled out by the government by discriminatory treatment.
You do not need a lawyer to represent you for your PRRA; however, given the emphasis on research and arguments, if you truly believe that your life may be at risk if you return to your country, it is recommended that you do retain counsel to represent you.