Refugees and persons in need of protection are people within or outside Canada who fear persecution on going back to their home country. In keeping with its humanitarian tradition and international obligations, Canada protects thousands of people each year.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can also sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada.
Bringing refugees to Canada from outside the country is known as resettlement. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) resettles individuals and families based on referrals from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), other referral organizations, and private sponsorship groups.
Refugee Claim Process
Canada has obliged itself to protect genuine refugees, that is, not to send them back to persecution. People who get to Canada on their own can claim refugee protection at any border point, or inside Canada, at a Canadian Immigration Visa Office.
Refugee Status application processing times vary from one Canadian Immigration Visa office to another:
- Government sponsored refugees
- Privately sponsored refuges
- Dependants of refugees
Resettlement from outside Canada
People who can be resettled from outside Canada fall into two classes.
- Convention Refugee Abroad Class
- Country of Asylum Class
You are not eligible to resettle to Canada as a refugee from outside Canada if:
- You have another secure offer for protection, such as an offer to be resettled in another country
- You become a citizen of another country and have the protection of that country
- You choose to return to live in the country you had left
- The reasons for your fear of persecution no longer exist
Sponsor a refugee
You or your group can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. As a sponsor, you provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorship last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years. To sponsor a refugee you must hold a sponsorship agreement
Eligibility to become Sponsorship Holder.To be eligible to become a sponsorship agreement holder (SAH), an organization must be incorporated (a legally created organization). The organization must sign a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
A SAH can be a local, regional or national organization. It assumes full responsibility for managing sponsorships under its agreement. An SAH must be located in the community where the refugee or refugee family is expected to resettle.
Co-sponsors.A SAH can also form a partnership with an individual or another organization. These are known as co-sponsors. The co-sponsor must agree to help deliver settlement assistance and share the responsibility for supporting the sponsored refugees.