REFUGEE CLAIMS

Canada offers refugee protection to people in Canada who fear persecution or whose removal from Canada would subject them to a danger of torture, a risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

There are two types of refugees; Convention refugee and persons in need of protection.

Convention refugees are people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their home country or country where they normally live would subject them personally to:

Refugee claims in Canada 

There are two ways to apply for refugee protection in Canada:

 

You may or may not be eligible to claim refugee protection in Canada. Officers receiving your refugee claim will decide whether it is eligible for referral to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), an independent administrative tribunal that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters. The IRB decides who is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

Your refugee claim may not be eligible for referral to the IRB if:

If you arrive at a land border, you may not be eligible to make a refugee claim because of an agreement between Canada and the United States known as the Safe Third Country Agreement.

Refugee claims from outside Canada

Resettlement is the term used by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to describe the legal process of bringing a refugee to Canada to live as a permanent resident.

CIC relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), other referral organizations and private sponsorship groups to identify and refer refugees for resettlement in Canada.

Private sponsoring groups are groups or corporations that have signed an agreement with Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. In this agreement, they promise to provide funds and carry out certain duties to sponsor refugees who come to Canada.

CIC uses three legal processes, which are divided into refugee classes, for resettling refugees in Canada. The three refugee classes are:

Convention Refugees Abroad Class

You are a Convention Refugee if you are outside your home country, or the country where you normally live, and can’t return to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

You must also be:

Canada relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), other referral organizations and private sponsorship groups to identify and refer Convention Refugees Abroad to be resettled in Canada.

A Canadian visa officer then decides whether the person identified meets the requirements of Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, and if the person will be admitted to Canada.

Country of Asylum Class

The Country of Asylum Class is for people in refugee-like situations, who do not qualify as Convention refugees.

You are eligible for the Country of Asylum Class if you:

Canada relies mainly on private sponsorship groups to identify and refer refugees who meet the criteria of the Country of Asylum Class.

A Canadian visa officer then decides whether a person meets the requirements of Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, and if the person will be admitted to Canada.

Source Country Class

You are in the Source Country Class if you:

If you live in one of the following countries, you can apply directly for resettlement to Canada. Contact the Canadian visa office serving your region.

Please note the list of source countries changes from time to time. If the country where you live is not listed, you cannot apply for direct resettlement. You must be referred by a referral organization such as the UNHCR or a private sponsorship group.

To qualify in the Source Country Class, you must also:

You will have to pass a medical examination and security and criminal checks.

Private sponsorship groups identify and refer refugees from source countries designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). In unusual cases, people can apply directly for resettlement in Canada through the Source Country Class.

A Canadian visa officer then decides whether a person meets the requirements of Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, and if the person will be admitted to Canada.

Sponsoring refugees

Each year, millions of people around the world are forced to flee their homelands to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses. Often these people are never able to return home.

Groups and individuals can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada.

Sponsors are responsible for providing financial settlement assistance (except for Joint Assistance Sponsorship cases) for refugees once they arrive in Canada. Sponsors must also provide emotional and significant settlement assistance for the duration of the sponsorship period.

Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible to receive assistance from their sponsors for a longer period of time.

Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

There are several ways that individual Canadians, permanent residents and organizations can get involved in helping refugees build a new life in Canada.

Sponsorship agreement holders and their constituent groups

A number of organizations across the country have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are known as sponsorship agreement holders. They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees.

Most sponsorship agreement holders are religious, ethnic, community or service organizations.

Groups of five

A group of five is made up of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 who want to sponsor one or more refugees abroad to come to Canada and settle in their community.

The group must agree to support the refugee(s) it is sponsoring emotionally and financially for the full duration of the sponsorship-usually one year.

Community sponsors

Some community organizations can sponsor refugees to come to Canada.

The organization must agree to support the refugee(s) it is sponsoring emotionally and financially for the full duration of the sponsorship. Community sponsorships usually last one year.

Joint Assistance Sponsorship

The Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) program enables organizations to work in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to resettle refugees with special needs.

These organizations are called sponsorship agreement holders and their constituent groups. A sponsorship agreement holder is an incorporated organization that has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Refugees under the JAS program receive income support from the Government of Canada. They are also matched with a private sponsorship group.

CIC provides financial assistance to cover the cost of food, shelter, clothing and essential household goods. Private sponsors provide help to refugees adjusting to life in Canada, significant settlement assistance and emotional support

If the Humanitarian and Compassionate Application is approved, the applicant will be asked to undergo Immigration medical exams and obtain police clearances. Once the medicals and police clearances are passed, the applicant will be called in to pick up their Canadian Permanent Residence Card (PR Card).

If the H and C application is refused, then the applicant can appeal the negative decision by Canada Immigration to the Federal Court of Canada within 15 days of the refusal.

Contact Information

Location: Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

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