The Minister can seek in certain circumstances to have a person’s status as a protected person or refugee removed

Cessation & Vacation of status Hearings

Cessation and Vacation Lawyer Refugee

Cessation & Vacation of Refugee or protected person status Lawyer


The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada can issue a decision which would in essence lead to the loss of a person’s status as a refugee or protected person and potentially permanent residence in the following circumstances:

  1. A person can cease to hold their refugee status if they voluntarily re-avail themselves of the protection
    of their country of nationality or obtain protection from another country (citizenship).
  2. A person can have their refugee status vacated if they obtained their status as a protected person by directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to their claim.

What are the consequences if the Minister is successful in their application for cessation or vacation?

If the Minister is successful in their application for vacation or cessation it can lead in some cases to loss of permanent residence status which in effect would allow the Minister to initiate removal proceedings.

The Law allows for the loss of one’s permanent residence status if refugee protection ceases under section 108 (1) (a) to (d) of the Act and/or if there is a finding of inadmissibility under A 40.1

There might be no loss of permanent residence status if refugee protection is removed because of a change in country conditions.

What is the process under a vacation or cessation proceeding at the Immigration Refugee Board of Canada?

The Minister will usually send an Application for cessation or vacation which contains a summary of the allegations being raised by the Minister along with relevant documents that the Minister intends to rely on in support of its application to cessate or vacate the person’s protection.
The person subject to the vacation or cessation proceeding should as soon as possible obtain, if possible, a record of the initial determination/hearing(s). 
The person concerned should determine what the applicable test is and how to address the arguments being raised by the Minister. 
The Board will schedule a hearing.
At least ten (10) days before the cessation or vacation hearing the person concerned should provide a copy of any documents it intends to rely on at the hearing.
At the hearing the person concerned will need to demonstrate based on the applicable test (cessation or vacation) that the Minister’s application should not be granted. The Minister will argue that the Application should be granted. 
After hearing both parties, the Member will need to deliberate and determine whether the Minister’s application should be granted or not. 

What can a lawyer do in a vacation or cessation proceeding?


A Cessation and Vacation Lawyer can assist you in:

  • Assist you in obtaining a copy of your record from the Board
  • Review your matter and advise you as to the strength and weaknesses in your matter
  • Explain to you the applicable test in simple terms that you can understand
  • Assist you in determining what documents to obtain or provide the Minister and the Board
  • Prepare you for the hearing and determine if procedural accommodations are required
  • Assist you providing disclosures to the Minister and the Board
  • Attend your hearing and ask you questions in response to the Minister’s questions
  • Make oral or written submissions at the hearing as to why the Member should not grant the Minister’s application to cessate or vacate your status.
  • Make further submissions or submit additional disclosures if necessary by way of an application post hearing 
Although you can opt not to have representation it might be in a person’s interest to have legal representation in light of the consequences if the Minister’s application is granted. 
In Ontario if individual’s do not have the financial means to pay for a lawyer they might be able to get a Legal Aid certificate.

What are my chances of success under such determination processes?

The statistics for 2020 and 2021 indicate that most applications for cessation or vacation were granted and led to the loss of refugee protection or protected person status. The statistics are regularly published on the Board’s website

If a cessation or vacation application has been made against you or a loved one you may want to book a consultation to discuss your matter with us or complete the form below.

Please note that this is general Information and should not be construed as legal advice.


Refugee Cessation or Vacation Form

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