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Canada Welcomes Refugees, but the Requirements and the Process Are Complex

Every year, from every corner of the globe, individuals fearing persecution, violence or oppression in their home countries look to Canada as a refuge. Canada welcomes refugees seeking asylum; the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms speaks of every person’s right to life, liberty, and security, and approximately 14,500 refugees were settled in Canada in 2013 alone. Canadian law establishes standards, conditions, and processes for granting refugee protection that can be quite complex.

Canada’s System for Refugees

The Canadian refugee system is really two systems: one for claims of protection made by individuals already in Canada and one for those seeking protection from outside Canada. The standards for eligibility, the bases for ineligibility, sponsorship requirements, and procedures can be different depending on which path a refugee is taking in his or her efforts to enter or remain in Canada.

For refugees outside Canada to be eligible for what is called “resettlement” in Canada, the person must be outside their home country at the time of their application and have a well-founded fear of persecution in and cannot return to their native land because of their:

  • race
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • nationality, or
  • membership in a particular social group.

For those already in Canada who have a well-founded fear of persecution or who face a risk of torture, or cruel or unusual punishment in their home countries, Canada’s asylum program offers a way for them to remain in Canada, though people convicted of serious criminal offences and people who have had previous refugee claims denied by Canada are not eligible to make a claim for asylum.

Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Individuals who do not meet the definition of refugee or persons in need of protection may be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. This option is available to those who face “unusual, undeserved or disproportionate hardship” in their home country.

Butkowsky Immigration Law: Help for Those in Need

At Butkowsky Immigration Law in Toronto, we are committed to protecting the rights and well-being of individuals and families who turn to Canada for protection and safety. If you are seeking refugee status or have immigration questions or needs based on concerns about your safety in your home country, I am committed to helping you and giving your case the time and attention it deserves, because I understand that your future is at stake. Please give me a call at (416) 979-2127 or send me an email to discuss your immigration questions and concerns.

The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.

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