What It Means To Be a Refugee in Canada
Are you at risk in your home country? If you cannot get the protection you need, you may seek refuge in Canada. As a recognized refugee, you may be allowed to stay in Canada and then apply for permanent residence. This leads to a process by which you may become a Canadian citizen. As a certified immigration consultant, we want to help you learn more.
The Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) makes the decision whether you will have status as a refugee. The two types of refugees include Conventional Refugees and Persons in Need of Protection. If you do not meet the qualifications of either of these two types, you may still receive protections under a different class: The Country of Asylum Class.
Who Are Conventional Refugees?
There is a fear of persecution and people live outside of their home country because of a lack of protection inside their country. This fear of persecution must be based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion or a membership in a particular social group. Included are groups that might be general, such as sexual orientation, gender, past memberships or other groups of which there is presently membership.
LGBTQIA+: Can You Apply For Refugee Status?
Yes, you may qualify as a refugee if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning. There must be a well-founded fear of persecution in your home country. If you are involved in activism in the LGBTQIA+ area or in the HIV area, you may also qualify to claim status as a refugee to Canada based on political opinion.
You do not need to be “out” as far as your status in your home country; however, you may need to prove your LGBTQIA+ status to claim entry as a refugee. You may want to speak to a lawyer that has experience representing refugees.
What qualifies as persecution?
There may be threats of death, imprisonment by the government or non-government agencies or torture. It could even be a wife’s abuse from a husband. The refugee must show that there is no safe place within the country that could shield them from the persecution that they face.
Who Are Persons in Need of Protection?
These are people who are already living in Canada who, if removed back to their home country, would face subjection to the following:
- Risk to their lives
- Risk of cruel or unusual punishment or treatment
- They are not able to get protection from their own government
Regarding the Persons in Need of Protection or the Conventional Refugee classification, if the person is outside of Canada, they can make an application under the Convention Refugee Abroad Class. IRCC relies on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),
What is the Country of Asylum Class?
You may be living outside of Canada and are in a refugee-like situation. Not qualifying as a Conventional Refugee, an immigration officer determines that you are seriously affected by armed conflict, civil war or a great violation of human rights. If you are a refugee under this class, you must have a referral by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Another is a referral by an organization or sponsorship by a private group. If you have funds that will be needed to support yourself and your dependents after arrival in Canada, that might also be a reason to be part of this class of refugees.
Is Cover-19 Affecting Immigration and Refugees?
There may be restrictions on travel to Canada as well as delays in processing applications. There are some temporary changes in place. Find out more here. You can also learn more about how you can come to Canada only if you’re eligible to travel to our country.
Who Is Not Eligible To Come As a Refugee?
You may not be able to come to Canada as a refugee if you meet the following:
If you have another means of protection, such as the ability to be settled in another country; you choose to return to the country you left; you become a citizen of a different country, which offers you protection; or the original reasons why you left your country are no longer in existence.
Some Issues In Being a Privately Sponsored Refugee
If you are asked by your sponsor to pay money to cover the cost of your sponsorship, you do not have to pay it. No one should ask. (Note that Quebec may have different immigration rules.)
In most cases, privately sponsored refugees get help from their sponsors, not the Canadian government. However, the government may help with some initial costs.
Those refugees who are privately sponsored become permanent residents when they arrive in our country. They are eligible to receive the same settlement services, funded by the government, as other permanent residents. This includes the following:
- Help finding and keeping a job
- information and orientation services
- Language training
- Support in building community connections
Living in Canada After Arrival
There are services available to newcomers that can help in finding a place to live as well as help for daily life. Many of the organizations have services for refugees, seniors, women, youth and LGBTQ2. You may also find a mentor to help you in your Canadian way of life.
During your first few weeks of life in Canada, you will need to find a place to live as well as learn how to get around your city or town. Eventually you will need help with work or going to school and connecting with your community.
Want To Learn More?
We are licensed immigration consultants and can tell you more about permanent residency as well as becoming a citizen of Canada. Our services also include help with documentation; we are a notary public and assist in preparation of the paperwork.
Canada Safe Haven Immigration Consulting has two locations in Ontario. You can contact us by email to learn more about the path to becoming a proud citizen of Canada, free of a troubled past.