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669 Who can enter Canada as a refugee? To stay in Canada as a refugee, you must fit into one of three categories. These are: convention refugees, designated classes, and special humanitarian cases. People who are recognized as refugees are allowed to stay in Canada and apply for permanent resident status, and eventually they can become Canadian citizens. The following information will outline who can enter Canada as a refugee under each category.
- Convention refugeesConvention refugees are people who are unable or unwilling to return to their home country because they believe that they will be persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.
Persecution has been defined to include such things as death threats, torture, or imprisonment by the government, guerrillas, or other non-government death squads. Any person who fears persecution in their home country, from which government or police cannot protect them, may make a claim of convention refugee status. The claim may be initially made by mail or in person at an airport, border, or Canada Immigration Centre. The claim will be decided by a tribunal called the Immigration & Refugee Board.
It is critically important that you see an Immigration lawyer before you fill out the forms that Immigration will give you to complete.
These forms are the most important documents that you will ever complete in relation to your refugee claim, and it is critical that you consult an Immigration lawyer who can discuss your problems in your home country with you. Any changes made on the forms that you provide to Immigration could cause problems at your hearing and may negatively affect your refugee claim.
- Designated classesDesignated classes are people who are in refugee-like situations who need resettlement. There are currently two designated classes that are recognized by the Canadian government. These are Indochinese persons, and Political Prisoners and Oppressed Persons. Members of these classes can also make a claim for refugee status.
- People in need of humanitarian assistancePeople in need of humanitarian assistance can also immigrate to Canada as refugees. These types of refugees are usually the victims of natural disasters or disasters created by people.
If you would like to apply for refugee status, you can obtain more information from a Canada Immigration Centre. You can also contact an immigration lawyer to help you prepare and handle your application. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you may be eligible for legal aid through the Government of Ontario Legal Aid Plan. More information about Legal Aid is available on Legal Line .