For specific information about seeking asylum in Canada, click here.
Vermont Immigration and Asylum Advocates (VIAA), formerly Vermont Refugee Assistance (VRA), began in 1987 as a grassroots volunteer organization that supported refugees that had fled civil wars in Central America and traversed the U.S. to seek asylum in Canada. Since then, VIAA has helped thousands of refugees from all over the world access the Canadian asylum system.
At the end of 2004, a very restrictive bilateral agreement between the U.S. and Canada, the Safe Third Country Agreement, was implemented and it has had a tremendous impact on the right of persons who are in the U.S. or traveling through the U.S. to make a refugee claim at the U.S./Canada border.
In addition, on December 15, 2012 important changes to Canada’s refugee determination system came into effect. Please refer to the Canadian Council of Refugee website for more information at the following link.
VIAA provides legal counsel about the refugee claim process on both sides of the border and some logistical assistance. Throughout our history, VIAA has maintained a close working relationship with the border agencies of both countries as well as with Canadian immigration NGOs.
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