Refugees and people needing protection are people in or outside Canada who fear returning to their home country. In keeping with its humanitarian tradition and international obligations, Canada provides protection to thousands of people every year.
Refugee claims in Canada
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.
If you feel that you will be persecuted or otherwise at risk as mentioned above if you return to your home country, you may be able to seek protection in Canada as a refugee
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:
·Membership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.
Person in need of protection
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:
·A danger of torture;
·A risk to their life; or
·A risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Officers receiving your refugee claim will decide whether it is eligible for referral to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) 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:
·You have been recognized as a Convention refugee by another country to which you can return;
·You have already been granted protected person status in Canada;
·You arrived via the Canada-United States border
·You are not admissible to Canada on security grounds, or because of criminal activity or human rights violations;
·You made a previous refugee claim that was found to be ineligible for referral to the IRB;
·You made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB; or
·You abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim.
Safe Third Country Agreement
The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States applies to Refugee claimants only who are seeking entry to Canada from a U.S. border. Under this agreement, Refugee claimants must seek asylum (protection) in the first safe country where they arrive. For example, if you entered Canada at a land border from the United States, you will not be able to claim refugee protection in Canada. Sometimes there are exceptions (such as those who already have family in Canada).
Resettlement from outside Canada
Citizenship and Immigration 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. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identifies refugees to be resettled in Canada when there is no other solution or no effective protection available to them. 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. Canada relies mainly on private sponsorship groups to identify and refer refugees who meet the criteria of the Country of Asylum Class.
·Source Country Class
You are in the Source Country Class if you live in a country that has been named a source country of refugees. Private sponsorship groups identify and refer refugees from source countries designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).In unusual circumstances, refugees from some countries may apply directly for resettlement to Canada through the Source Country Class.
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.
Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible to receive assistance from their sponsors for a longer period of time.