OTTAWA - Canada is giving some failed asylum seekers from Russia a chance to stave off deportation, saying conditions in that country have changed.

The Immigration Department says reports of violence against the LGBTQ community in Chechnya mean people could be at risk if they're forced to return.

The department says that means people from Russia may now be eligible for a pre-removal risk assessment if they received a final decision on their case between July 1, 2016, and June 30 of this year.

The PRRA, as it is known, allows those slated for deportation to argue they cannot be sent back to their country of origin for safety reasons.

Currently, people whose asylum claims are not accepted can't apply for a PRRA for at least 12 months, but the immigration minister has the authority to exempt some or all people from that restriction.

Refugee advocates have been pushing the Liberal government to make it easier for members of the Russian LGBTQ community to get to and stay in Canada after reports emerged earlier this year that gay and bisexual men were being imprisoned and tortured in Chechnya.