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Refugee & Humanitarian


Canada is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. Each year Canada grants permanent residence to approximately 30,000 refugees under an elaborate refugee protection process comprising of two main components, the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program administered outside Canada and the In-Canada Refugee Protection Process.

A convention refugee is a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country. A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their country of nationality or former habitual residence would subject them to the possibility of torture, risk of life, or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Most approved refugees are granted asylum status inside Canada and make their claim at a Canadian port of entry or at an inland Canada Immigration Centre office. Once a CIC officer decides that a refugee protection claimant is eligible to be referred, the claim is sent to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) where a hearing takes place before an independent tribunal comprised of Refugee Protection Division members who determine whether the claimant is a convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

The hearing although non adversarial in nature usually takes place in the presence of the applicant’s legal counsel and the government’s refugee claims officer. If approved the claimant may apply for permanent residence from within Canada. The process generally concludes in about 18 months. Prior to the hearing claimants may be entitled under Canadian law to obtain employment authorization or student authorization.

Certain categories of individuals are not eligible to have their claim referred to the IRB. There are several issues that can impact on the success or failure of a refugee claim. Further information may be obtained.

Canada's Refugee Protection and Humanitarian Resettlement Program aims to help and protection to individuals who need refuge due to persecution, violence, or other forms of harm in their home countries. The program is governed by various immigration rules, regulations, and acts, including the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

To be eligible for refugee protection in Canada, individuals must meet the definition of a refugee as outlined in the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This definition includes individuals with a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group if they were to return to their home country.

The process of seeking refugee protection in Canada involves several steps:

1. Refugee claim: Individuals who believe they meet the refugee definition can make a claim either at a port of entry or within Canada. They must indicate that they are seeking refugee protection and provide supporting documentation.

2. Eligibility determination: The claimant undergoes an eligibility interview conducted by an immigration officer who assesses whether they meet the requirements for refugee protection. This assessment includes evaluating the claimant's credibility and the veracity of their claim.

3. Refugee protection determination: If the claimant is found eligible, they will attend a hearing before the RPD. During the hearing, the claimant presents their case, provides evidence, and shares their personal experiences. The RPD will then decide based on the claimant's testimony, evidence, and the prevailing country conditions.

4. Decision and appeals: The RPD decision can grant refugee protection or refuse the claim. Either party can appeal the decision to the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) within specific timeframes.

5. Resettlement program: Canada also offers humanitarian resettlement programs for refugees who are unable to return to their home countries. These programs facilitate the selection and resettlement of refugees who are outside of Canada and need protection.

If granted refugee status in Canada, individuals are entitled to several benefits and services. These include access to healthcare, social assistance, language training, and support for education and employment. Refugees may also can eventually apply for Canadian citizenship.

However, there are also potential challenges and disadvantages. Language barriers, difficulties finding employment, discrimination, and the need to adapt to a new culture and environment are some common challenges faced by refugees. Additionally, the process of seeking refugee protection can be complex, time-consuming, and there is no guarantee of acceptance.

It is important to refer to official government sources, such as the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding Canada's Refugee Protection and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, including immigration rules, regulations, and acts. These sources can provide comprehensive details and guidance on the specific processes and requirements involved in seeking refugee protection in Canada.

Worldway Migration Services

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