Refugees > Convention Refugee

Convention Refugee

Refugees who already have arrived in Canada may be eligible to claim protection if they fear persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion or would be in danger if they had to leave Canada.

Convention refugeeis a person outside his or her home country or the country they normally live in. They cannot return because of a well-founded fear of persecution caused by race, nationality, political opinion, religion, or membership in a social group, for example, people of a particular sexual orientation. Also, this status may apply to the person that suffers from a sustained or systemic violation of fundamental rights.

Only the Refugee Board of Canada decides who is considered to be a convention refugee. Canada offers protection and help to those people. That’s why if you feel that you could face one of these risks mentioned above if you go back to your home country, you may be eligible to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.

NOTE: if you are under a removal order, you cannot make a refugee claim.

Your refugee claim might not be qualified to be referred to the Refugee Board of Canada if you:

  • Have already got refugee status in Canada.
  • Have been recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to.
  • Arrived via the Canada-United States border.
  • Aren’t admissible to Canada because of human rights violations, criminal activity or on security grounds.
  • Previously made a refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB.
  • Previously made a refugee claim that wasn’t recognized as eligible.
  • Withdrew or abandoned a previous refugee claim.

The Canada–United States Safe Third Country Agreement

Canada has a special agreement with the USA where people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in. This means that if you come to the country at a land border from the United States, you cannot ask for the refugee status in Canada.

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January 2019

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