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  • Writer's pictureAlejandro Gonzalez

Refugees in Canada

Updated: Mar 23

Canada has a strong tradition of welcoming refugees from around the world.


If you are fleeing your country because you fear persecution, you can apply for asylum in Canada. If you are granted asylum, this gives you refugee status and the right to stay.
If you are fleeing your country because you fear persecution, you can apply for asylum in Canada. If you are granted asylum, this gives you refugee status and the right to stay.

As a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, people from all over the world ask me on how to apply for asylum in Canada.


To claim for asylum, you must be physically present in Canada or be seeking entry into the country at a port of entry such as a Canadian airport or the border with the US.


Keep reading to know more.


What is a refugee?

A person is granted refugee status because they have a well-founded fear or are persecuted, and cannot be protected within their country or return to that country.  You must fear persecution.


International law defines that refugees "are people who seek protection in another country after having fled their homes to escape persecution, conflict, violence, serious violations of human rights or other events that seriously alter public order. Consequently, since their country of origin is unable or unwilling to protect them, these people need another country to provide them with international protection".


You can apply for asylum if you fear persecution for at least one of the following reasons:

Race:

You are a member of an ethnic group, and/or any specific social group of common ancestry or origin which constitutes a minority. 


Religion:

When you follow certain religious belief(s), and the government where you live prohibits you from practicing these beliefs, and you are even subject to death threats, torture and persecution, such as being a Christian in a Muslim country.


Political Opinion:

You are subject to persecution for political opinion, when you openly oppose the government or political party in the power where you live, and for this reason you receive threats of death or damage to your physical integrity. 


Social Group:

Individuals who are human rights activists, members of the LGBTQ+ community, trade unionists, defenders of nature, and people who suffer domestic or sexual violence. 


Nationality:

Those at risk of suffering genocide, torture, sexual violations due to belonging to a certain nation or for being stateless.  

Includes the persecution of ethnic, linguistic and cultural groups that identify a certain nationality.



What should you do? 

If you believe that you meet any of the ground for persecution, (you might) be considered a refugee, this is a procedure instructed by the Canadian government, through a determination process. 



Officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will review your application and ask you questions about your application.
Officers from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will review your application and ask you questions about your application.


How does Canada protect you? 

Canada is responsible for determining if you are a convention refugee or a person in need of protection. 

A convention refugee_ is someone who fears being persecuted in their country of origin due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion and social group.

A person who needs protection_is someone who fears persecution or the danger if you return to your country of origin (or the country where you normally live).



What is the process like?

You must be in Canada, for the Canadian authorities to hear your allegations, if you are eligible to start the determination process.


Then, they will refer your case to the Immigration Refugee Board so that through the determination process they can decide your request. 


When a person is granted asylum, they can:  

  • Remain legally in Canada with protection from being arrested or deported for immigration reasons.

  • Request asylum for your spouse and children in case they are found outside Canada.

  • Work and study in Canada at domestic prices.

  • Travel outside Canada, except to the country from which you fled.

  • Apply to become a permanent resident and citizen in Canada.

  • Get health insurance, some financial help, language training, job training.



I am in the United States, can I claim asylum in Canada?


It depends. You should know that asylum seekers who enter Canada through the border with the United States are generally denied entry.


However, there are exceptions to this policy. We hope that this article has been helpful to you; if you want to talk to me to guide you through this process, write to me at alejandro@mevoyacanada.net 



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