The most significant countries of origin (by birth), in terms of numbers:
Despite the steady increase in asylum seekers, the Regional Program for the Settlement and Integration of Asylum Seekers (PRAIDA) maintains a high standard of quality in delivering services to its clients. Over the decades, PRAIDA has acquired strong expertise that allows it to deal with a significant number of requests, without compromising on the quality of health care and social services. As noted in its mission statement, the organization ensures the well-being of asylum seekers and their families at all times, in a manner that respects their rights and dignity.
Greater numbers of people have been trying to claim asylum in Canada by crossing the border with the United States in locations other than the Customs clearance area. Nevertheless, the increase in claims to PRAIDA by asylum seekers is not out of the ordinary. This trend has existed since the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the U.S. was implemented in 2004.
What is PRAIDA?
The mandate of PRAIDA is to meet the needs of individuals requesting refugee status in Quebec, in accordance with Law 80 on Health and Social Services. PRAIDA is based in the Côte-des-Neiges CLSC, a member of the Integrated Health and Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal (CIUSSS West-Central Montreal).
PRAIDA’s mandate starts when a person who requests refugee status receives an official document from the Quebec Immigration Service identifying him or her as an asylum seeker.
For any questions about the services that PRAIDA offers please go to this page.
What are the steps for someone who requests PRAIDA’s services?
• At the border
Whether the person arrives in Canada by land, air or sea, the process is the same: the border agent located in Quebec identifies the person and registers his or her request. Then the asylum seeker is immediately referred to PRAIDA during business hours, or to a YMCA residence after business hours. In the latter case, the asylum seeker meets a PRAIDA representative on the next business day, and that person welcomes, analyzes, orients and refers the asylum seeker, according to his or her psychosocial and medical needs.
• YMCA residence in Westmount
The Westmount YMCA residence welcomes, lodges and feeds refugees and asylum seekers until they receive their first social assistance cheque. This service is covered by a contract between the YMCA and PRAIDA.
Does an asylum seeker have access to health care and social services?
Yes. An asylum seeker can gain access to health care and social services free of charge. Medical coverage is handled by the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).
What happens when an asylum seeker receives refugee status?
Once an asylum seeker has received refugee status, he or she submits a request to receive services from the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) and from the Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ).
What happens to an asylum seeker who does not receive refugee status?
PRAIDA offers support to a person whose refugee status request is denied. In this case, PRAIDA provides psychosocial follow-up, if necessary, and helps clients:
- to prepare a request for permanent residence for humanitarian reasons
- during the judiciary review process of the federal court
- to request a pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) before being removed to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada IRCC
- who come from countries under moratorium (indefinite suspension of their removal)
- to prepare for their voluntary departure or removal from Canada
*** Please note that the Laval Holding Centre is not within our mandate. For more information on this subject, please visit the internet site of the Canadian Border Services.