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Refugee & Asylum

Refugee & Asylum

The Canadian refugee system has two main parts:

  • The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for people who need protection from outside Canada and
  • The In-Canada Asylum Program for people making refugee protection claims from within Canada

The asylum program works to provide refugee protection to people in Canada who:

  • have a well-founded fear of persecution or
  • are at risk of torture, or cruel or unusual punishment in their home countries


Some people are not eligible to claim refugee protection in Canada.

Note – if you are under a removal order, you cannot make a refugee claim.

Officers who review your refugee claim will decide if it will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The IRB is an independent board that decides immigration and refugee matters.

The IRB decides who is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They are not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

  • race
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • nationality, or
  • membership in a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.

person in need of protection is a person in Canada who cannot return to their home country safely. This is because if they return, they would be subject to a:

  • danger of torture
  • The risk to their life, or
  • risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Not everyone is eligible to seek asylum. There is a set procedure with strict deadlines to claim refugee status in Canada. If returning to your home country can result in prosecution, torture or punishment. Please contact us and see if you can benefit from refugee and asylum class.