Refugees

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Refugees to Canada

Refugees and persons in need of protection are people within or outside Canada who fear persecution and 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.

Learn about Canada’s role

Canada is recognized around the world for its leadership in offering safe haven to people who need refugee protection. Find out more about what Canada is doing to help refugees.

Resettlement from outside Canada

CIC relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), other referral organizations and private sponsorship groups to find and refer refugees to be resettled in Canada. Find out more about refugees from outside Canada. People who can be resettled from outside Canada fall into two classes.

1) Convention Refugee Abroad Class

You may be in this class if you:

  • are outside your home country; and
  • cannot return there due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on:
    • race,
    • religion,
    • political opinion,
    • nationality, or
    • membership in a particular social group, such as women or people with a particular sexual orientation.

You must also be:

  • outside Canada, and want to come to Canada,
  • referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or another referral organization, or be sponsored by a private sponsorship group, and
  • selected as a government-assisted or privately sponsored refugee, or have the funds needed to support yourself and any dependants after you arrive in Canada.

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, and continue to be, seriously and personally affected by civil war or armed conflict, or have suffered massive violations of human rights.

You must also be:

  • outside Canada,
  • referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or another referral organization or be sponsored by a private sponsorship group, and
  • privately sponsored, or have the funds needed to support yourself and any dependants after you arrive in Canada.

You will have to pass a medical exam and security and criminal checks.

Some people are not eligible

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; or
  • the reasons for your fear of persecution no longer exist.

Sponsor a refugee

People can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. Sponsors must provide financial and emotional assistance for refugees once they arrive in Canada.

Claim refugee protection from inside Canada

If you feel that you will be persecuted or at risk if you return to your home country, you may be able to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.

Get help from within Canada

Find out more about the services available to refugees once they arrive in Canada.

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