The Canadian government aims to offer a safe haven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group and those at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
A claim for protection may be made from outside or inside Canada. Contact us for more information and making an asylum claim from within Canada. We also handle all appeals of negative decisions and Pre-Removal Risk Assessment applications. Refer to our blog for more in-depth and informative pieces on Refugees in Canada.
Outside of Canada:
To come to Canada as a refugee, you must be referred. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a designated referral organization, or a private sponsorship group can refer you. You cannot apply directly to as a refugee. To be referred, you must fall into one of these two refugee classes.
1) Convention refugee abroad class
You may be in this class if you:
- are outside your home country,
- cannot return there due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on
- political opinion
- nationality, or
- membership in a particular social group. Examples: gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Convention refugees can be sponsored by:
- the Government of Canada (government-assisted refugees),
- a group of people or an organization (privately sponsored refugees), or
- a mix of both (blended visa office-referred refugees).
You can also be a Convention refugee if you have the funds needed to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada. You will still need the UNHCR, a referral organization, or a private sponsorship group to refer you.
2) Country of asylum class
You may be in this class if you:
- are outside your home country, or the country where you normally live, and
- have been seriously affected by civil war or armed conflict, or
- have been denied basic human rights on an ongoing basis.
Country of asylum class refugees can be privately sponsored. You can also be in this class if you have the funds you need to support yourself and your family after you arrive in Canada. You will still need the UNHCR, a referral organization, or a private sponsorship group to refer you.
Who is not eligible?
You are not eligible if:
- you have another stable option for protection, such as an offer to be resettled in another country,
- you become a citizen of another country, which will then protect you,
- you choose to return to the country you left, or
- the reasons you left your country no longer exist.
If you are referred, you will need to fill out the application package to apply as a Convention refugee or as a humanitarian-protected person abroad. You will need to pass a medical exam and security and criminal check. Contact us to complete these applications with ease and without undue complications and delay.
Canada offers refugee protection to people in Canada who fear persecution and who are unwilling or unable to return to their home country.
A person in need of protection is a person in Canada who cannot return to their home country safely. This is because if they return, they would be subject to a:
- danger of torture
- risk to their life, or
- risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
Your refugee claim may not be eligible to be referred to the IRB if you:
- have been recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to.
- have already been granted protected person status in Canada.
- arrived via the Canada-United States border.
- are not admissible to Canada on security grounds, or because of criminal activity or human rights violations.
- made a previous refugee claim that was not found eligible.
- made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB.
- abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim.
Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States
Canada has an agreement with the United States where people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in.This means that if you enter Canada at a land border from the United States, you cannot make a refugee claim in Canada. In some cases this rule does not apply (for example, if you have family in Canada).