Refugee Program

Individuals who have fled their home country with a well-founded fear of persecution due to race, religion, social group, political opinion, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality, may be granted refugee protection in Canada.

Claiming Asylum in Canada

Individuals who present themselves at a Canadian port of entry, an inland Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may make an asylum claim. From there, the CBSA or IRCC agent will determine if this individual is eligible to claim asylum. In addition to providing well-founded proof of persecution in their country of origin, those seeking asylum will also undergo biometric, biographic, security, and criminality checks before they can be granted refugee status in Canada.

Refugee Sponsorship

There are many ways that Canadians, their communities, and organizations sponsor refugees and help them to resettle into their new life in Canada. These sponsorship programs help refugees find a place to live, provide financial, social, and emotional support, and donate food and clothing as they resettle and adjust to life in Canada.

Groups of Five is a private sponsorship program where five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents sponsor one or more refugees to resettle within their community. These sponsors must be over the age of 18 and can only sponsor applicants who already hold refugee status in Canada. A semi-private sponsorship program, the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program has private sponsors collaborating with the Government of Canada to sponsor a United Nations Refugee Agency-identified refugee.

Corporations and organizations can also lend a hand at sponsoring refugees as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, a Community Sponsor for applicants who already have refugee status in Canada, or via the Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program, where organizations partner with the Government of Canada to sponsor refugees with special needs.

Appealing a Decision

In the unfortunate event that an asylum claim is denied, you will be required to leave Canada and return to your home country. Denied applicants may, however, submit an application to appeal this decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada within 15 days of receiving the written decision from the Refugee Protection Division. You will have a total of 30 days from receiving the written decision of denial to file and Appellants Records. The RAD will decide on your appeal within 90 days, unless an oral hearing is required.

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