How to Settle as a Refugee in Canada?

In accordance with its long-established traditions of protecting human rights, the federal government of Canada provides political asylum and protection to thousands of people who qualify and come to the country as refugees every year. Refugees are persons who, for some reason, fear to return to their home country – either because they have been persecuted by the government as opponents to the ruling regime (the so-called political dissidents) or because they have been discriminated against. People against whom a removal order has been issued cannot file a refugee claim. Also, your refugee claim may be considered ineligible in the following cases: if you have already been admitted as a refugee by another country where you can return; if you come to Canada from the United States; if you are not allowed to enter Canada for security reasons or because you have a criminal record in your home country, etc.

You need to file a refugee claim as soon as you enter Canada by air, sea, or land. It is a responsibility of Canada’s border authorities to assess the eligibility of the refugee claims that they receive. If the officer finds that your claim is eligible, he or she hands it to the Refugee Board of Canada for decision. Alternatively, you may file a refugee claim with an office of Citizenship and Immigration Canada while you are already in the country. In this case, you may download an application kit from the official website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada. No matter how you file a refugee application, make sure you have some identification document with you, be it a travel passport or a driving licence.

Government assisted support is delivered by non-for-profit organizations and includes assistance in finding employment, accommodation, food, clothing, and other necessary resettlement assistance. Refugees receive financial assistance and resettled refugees are granted loans. The refugees coming to Canada are taken care of by groups of private persons who have signed agreements with the immigration authorities to support such people. Some of the sponsors’ duties and responsibilities are: providing financial settlement assistance to the refugees, once they have set foot on Canadian soil; giving emotional support to their dependent refugees during the sponsorship period which lasts one year in most cases.

The refugees who are resettled in Canada fall in three categories: convention refugees abroad, country of asylum, and source country class. The last category allows refugees from some countries to apply for direct resettlement to Canada under extraordinary circumstances. Note that application fees apply for all types of refugee status applications. The fees are payable online or through a direct bank transfer. Once a refugee claim is accepted, the applicant receives a status of protected person, which allows him to stay in Canada and apply for permanent residence.

The Women at Risk program targets women who are in need of urgent protection or whose life in is danger in their country of origin. Although these applicants do not have to show settlement potential, they are required to pass security, criminality, and medical requirements. They may be privately sponsored by persons and groups that provide settlement assistance.