Refugees

Canada is a signatory to the Geneva Convention on the status of refugees. You can seek asylum or protection from Canada on Canadian soil or at a Canadian embassy. The process is very different depending on whether the application is made in Canada or abroad. In the first case, the legal guarantees provided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply. Asylum requests made abroad do not have these guarantees.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, in effect since 2002, provides that the reasons for which a person can apply for asylum are not only those provided for in the Geneva Convention (race, gender, religious beliefs, political or social group membership), but also those provided for in the Convention against Torture, as well as the fear of being killed, of inhumane treatment or the fear of cruel and inhumane punishment from a removal from Canada.

The best interests of a minor child are also taken into account in the evaluation of such application on behalf of displaced, persecuted or endangered persons. All refugee claims made in Canada are analyzed by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), a court established under the law.

Once granted asylum or protection, the person may apply for permanent residence in Canada along with the family members in Canada or abroad, subject to applicable laws.