A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because he or she has suffered harm and/or has a well-founded fear of future harm because of who they are. This may include harm that is based upon one’s race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or some other characteristic about oneself that cannot be changed, such as one’s sexuality.
Canada has an obligation to grant protection to Convention refugees and persons in need of protection under a number of United Nations conventions to which it is a signatory. These include the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) and the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984).
Yes, you must first apply to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). You must show that you cannot be settled in your country of present residence.
To come to Canada as a refugee, you must be:

  • Referred by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or another designated referral organization, or
  • Be sponsored by a Private Sponsorship Group.
You cannot apply directly for resettlement to Canada at any embassy or a visa office.
A number of organizations have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are known as sponsorship agreement holders. They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees.

Most sponsorship agreement holders are religious, ethnic, community or service organizations. There are 100s of Private Sponsorship groups in Canada. Following is a list of Private sponsors working in Ontario.

Processing times vary significantly depending on the applicant's country of origin. Typically, they are between 10 and 20 months for government sponsored refugees and closer to 45 months for privately sponsored refugees. Processing times will vary based on:
  • Type of application submitted;
  • Volume of applications received;
  • How easily we can verify information;
  • How well and how quickly you respond to any requests or concerns;
  • Whether the application is complete.
Many more people want to immigrate to Canada than the Government of Canada can bring in each year under their annual immigration plan. Applications received after the maximum has been met may have to wait longer to be processed.
We are bridging the gap between Canadian Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program's claimers and the Private sponsors in Canada. We just want to make sure that people should not use illegal ways to come to Canada by risking their lives, reputation or money.

We are a nonprofit running with the donations from individuals and International fund like United Nations, Amnesty International and other organizations working for Refugees protection.
  • To claim refugee protection, you must first pass the Refuge Claim Exam on our website
  • After you have passed the exam you will have to download and fill the IMM5476E form available on our website, to hire a representative.
  • While submitting IMM5476E form after signing it manually, you have to provide asked documents translated in both English and French languages (Both translations are compulsory)
Refugee Protection Division rule 32(1) provides that a refugee claimant or protected person must include an English or French translation with any document that is not written in one of those languages. RPD Rule 32(2) provides that any document the Minister wishes to use must be in the language of the proceedings, or be accompanied by a translation into that language. RPD Rule 32(3) provides that the translations must be signed by a translator.

The RPD frequently receives documents that have not been translated, or have been translated but are not authenticated. Sometimes these documents have been translated by a web-based tool, such as Google Translate. Such translations do not comply with RPD Rule 32, cause delays to the proceedings and may not be accepted by the presiding member.

Canada Shelter insists and imposes to provide the translations in both English and French languages to avoid any difficulty in future as well enhance the chances to attract Private Sponsors who prefer French translations.

Translation Services on our panel are:

1. www.wbtranslators.com
2. www.languall.com
3. www.floraltranslations.com (Recommended)
After hiring the representative you have to submit dually filled following forms
  • BASIS OF CLAIM
  • SCHEDULE A BACKGROUND / DECLARATION
  • GENERIC APPLICATION FORM
  • ADDITIONAL DEPENDENTS FORM
the hired representative (without any fee) will prepare your application.
The refugee protection department will determine if you are eligible for protection by evaluating whether you meet the definition of a refugee. The definition, which can be found on CIC website, states that a refugee is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to and avail himself or herself of the protection of his or her country of nationality or, if stateless, country of last habitual residence because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The determination of whether you meet the definition of a refugee will be based on information you provide on your application.
You have a right to consult any individual or any organization in your native country at no cost to the Canadian Government or Canada Shelter.
It is very important to understand that the person making a decision on your refugee protection claim may not be familiar with your country or the political and social circumstances there. As a result, claims are decided based primarily on the evidence submitted as well as on the credibility of your written statements. If you do not provide very detailed information in a well-organized manner, your claim for refugee protection will likely be denied, even if you have a genuine fear of persecution in your country. Moreover, time is of the essence in refugee protection claims. Because of the time limits on filing a claim, it is important to begin as early as possible the preparation of your application and the evidence that will be submitted in support of your application.
You will have to demonstrate that you meet the United Nations (UN) definition of a Convention refugee or that you are a person in need of protection as described in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Convention refugees are people who have a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of nationality because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Membership in a particular social group can include, but is not limited to, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic violence and HIV status. Persons in need of protection must show that if they return to their country of nationality, they will personally face a danger of torture, a risk to their life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.
If you do not provide “Hire a Representative Form” and the asked documents with translations on time, the Canada Shelter will abandon your claim. This means you will not be able to apply for next 5 years through Shelter Canada as punishment. It is very important that you submit asked form documents and translations on time if you wish to continue to make your refugee claim.
You must list your spouse and all your children on your Application for refugee protection regardless of their age, marital status, whether they are included in your application or filing a separate refugee protection application.
There is no fee to apply for refugee protection. Not to Any individual, Organization or Embassy.
Canada Shelter was founded on January 11, 2014 as a Non-Profit Welfare organization in Canada. From our inception, we have engaged in advocacy that aims to provide legal assistance to the people who want to come to Canada as a refugee. We are providing legal assistance to the people in Asia, Africa, and Middle East regarding Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program.

Our mission is to provide legal help to the people seeking protection and resettlement in Canada. To help the people who have a well-founded fear of persecution or are at risk of torture, or cruel or unusual punishment in their home countries. We want to make sure that people should not risk their own lives or their families' lives by adopting illegal ways to seek safe places outside their country.
We are not a commercial entity but a nonprofit with partial resources. To Contact us always use contact us form or the following email. bonjour@canadashelter.com
The Refugee Appeal Division (RAD) is the tribunal to which you may appeal when the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) has rejected your claim for refugee protection (a negative decision).

The RAD can also decide an appeal made by the Minister on a positive RPD decision.

The RAD is separate and independent from the RPD.
When you appeal to the RAD, you are asking a higher tribunal (the RAD) to review the decision made by a lower tribunal (the RPD). You must show that the RPD made mistakes in its decision. These mistakes can be about the law, the facts, or both. The RAD will decide whether to confirm or change the RPD’s determination. It may also decide to send the case back to the RPD for re-determination, giving the directions to the RPD that it considers appropriate.

The RAD appeal is primarily a paper-based process where the member generally decides without a hearing, on the basis of the submissions and the evidence provided by the parties (you and the Minister, if the Minister intervenes). In certain circumstances, the RAD may allow you to present new evidence that the RPD did not have when it made its decision. If the RAD accepts your new evidence, it will consider the evidence in its review of your appeal.
RPD decisions that allow or reject a claim for refugee protection can be appealed to the RAD.
The Minister may decide to appeal a decision made on a claim for refugee protection. In addition, you also have the right to appeal to the RAD unless your refugee protection claim falls into one of the categories in the next frequently asked question. If you appeal to the RAD, you are the appellant. If the Minister decides to participate in your appeal, the Minister is the intervener.
You cannot appeal the RPD’s decision to reject your refugee protection claim if:
  • you are a designated foreign national;
  • your refugee protection claim was withdrawn or abandoned;
  • the RPD’s decision states that your claim has no credible basis or is manifestly unfounded;
  • you made your claim at a land border with the United States and the claim was referred to the RPD as an exception to the Safe Third Country Agreement;
  • the Minister made an application to cease (end) your refugee protection, and the RPD’s decision allowed or rejected that application;
  • the Minister made an application to vacate (cancel) the decision to allow your refugee protection claim, and the RPD’s decision allowed or rejected that application;
  • your claim was referred to the RPD before the relevant provisions of the new system came into force; or
  • your claim for refugee protection was deemed to be rejected under Article 1F(b) of the Refugee Convention because of an order of surrender under the Extradition Act.
There are two steps involved in appealing to the RAD:
1. Filing your appeal
You must file your notice of appeal to the RAD no later than 15 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision. You must provide three copies of your notice of appeal to the RAD Registry in the regional office that sent you your RPD decision.
2. Perfecting your appeal
You must perfect your appeal by providing your appellant’s record to the RAD no later than 30 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision. You must provide two copies of your appellant’s record to the RAD Registry in the regional office that sent you your RPD decision.
To make sure the RAD will review the substance of your appeal, you must:
  • provide three copies of the notice of appeal to the RAD no later than 15 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision;
  • provide two copies of the appellant’s record to the RAD no later than 30 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision;
  • make sure that all of the documents you provide are in the right format;
  • clearly explain the reasons why you are appealing; and
  • Provide your documents on time.
If you do not do all of these things, the RAD may dismiss your appeal.
The following time limits apply to your appeal:
  • You must file your notice of appeal no more than 15 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision. You must file your appellant’s record no more than 30 days after the day on which you received the written reasons for the RPD’s decision.
  • The Minister may decide to intervene and submit documentary evidence at any time before the RAD makes a final decision on the appeal.
  • If the Minister decides to intervene and to provide submissions or evidence, the RAD will wait 15 days for your reply to the Minister and to the RAD.
If you miss the time limit to file the notice of appeal or the appellant’s record and you still want to continue with the appeal, you must file an application for an extension of time. The application form is available on the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada website and from the RAD registries.

The application for an extension of time must follow rule 6 (Application for extension of time to file or perfect) and rule 37 (How to Make an Application) of the Refugee Appeal Division Rules. You must provide three copies of your notice of appeal and two copies of your appellant’s record with your application. You must also provide an affidavit or solemn declaration that explains why you missed the time limits.
No. The purpose of this form is to gather information from a refugee claimant about their claim to help prepare and conduct the hearing properly.
No. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship standard is whether or not there is a serious possibility that you would be persecuted if you go back to your country.
Some typical examples of refugee cases include:
  • Members of minority religious groups or ethnic minorities who fear persecution from the general population or non-governmental organizations where the police are unable or unwilling to protect them.
  • Members of an opposition political party who fear retribution because of their political opinion or their refusal to support the government.
  • People who are persecuted by a powerful criminal gang or mafia such as drug traffickers.
  • Homosexuals who are persecuted simply because of their sexual orientation.
  • Women who fear beatings from their husbands, violence or other serious forms of punishment from other family members.
  • Women who refuse to conform to expectations such as arranged marriages, dress code and genital mutilation. In fact Canada is a world leader in recognizing gender-based persecution and has issued guidelines to ensure that these claims are dealt with in a fair and sensitive manner.
In all the above cases refugees must explain what persecution they fear and why they cannot receive protection from their government.
Yes, in most cases Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) respects the principle of family unity. Therefore, a family will typically have one decision.
There is no guaranteed way to know if you will be accepted since a single decision maker of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board will hear your testimony and must decide if your claim is credible. That is why it is essential to provide documentary proof of your story and to be well prepared for your hearing, and to hire a lawyer who is an expert in refugee law. Since June 28, 2002, the government of Canada accepts refugees who fear cruel and unusual punishment, a risk to their life, or torture. However, your claim will not be accepted if your fear is one of generalized violence faced by everyone in the country, if it is based on a need for medical treatment, or if you can obtain protection from the authorities in any part of your country. Furthermore, if the Refugee Board believes that you are a member of a terrorist group, have participated in human rights violations or have committed serious non-political crimes, you can be excluded from refugee protection. If you are a citizen in more than one country, you must explain why you cannot obtain protection in all your countries of citizenship. If you can automatically obtain protection in another country then you could be denied protection in Canada.
As of December 2004, refugees entering Canada by land from the United States are no longer allowed to make their refugee claims at the Canadian Port of Entry. However, this does not apply to refugees who make their refugee claim from inside of Canada, regardless of how they arrived. It does not apply to people arriving at Canadian airports even if they first passed through the U.S. Even in claims made at the U.S. - Canada border, exceptions apply for children under 18, and for refugees who have extended family members in Canada including parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts.
The UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is the basis for refugee law in Canada. Convention refugees are people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, political opinion, nationality, or membership in a ‘particular social group.’ To be accepted as a refugee, applicants must demonstrate that they face persecution based on one of these grounds. Internationally, sexual orientation and gender identity have been protected under social group, political opinion, and religious persecution in some jurisdictions. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has also recognized them as protected grounds of persecution.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that sexual orientation is a ‘social group’ within the context of determining convention refugee status (Canada v. Ward, [1993] 2 S.C.R. 689). This means that someone with a well-founded fear of persecution based on their sexual orientation can seek protection in Canada. The court defined a “particular social group” as: (1) groups defined by an innate, unchangeable characteristic; (2) groups whose members voluntarily associate for reasons so fundamental to their human dignity that they should not be forced to forsake the association; and (3) groups associated by a former voluntary status, unalterable due to its historical permanence. The Ontario Women’s Justice Network provides a detailed overview of refugee status in Canada.

Canada generally accepts claims based on sexual orientation at a similar rate to other refugee claims. In Valoczki v. Canada ([2004] F.C.J. No. 612 (QL)) the Federal Court held that decision makers should not only consider whether a claimant is homosexual or heterosexual, but should also consider whether a claimant is bisexual. However, in practice, bisexual claimants are far more likely than other claimants to have their refugee status rejected (Rehaag, Patrolling the Borders of Sexual Orientation: Bisexual Refugee Claims in Canada, (2008) 53 McGill L.J. 59). One reason for this has been use of an understanding of sexual orientation as “innate” by some Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) members. This view of sexual orientation has been linked to the difficulties experienced by bisexual claimants, such as suspicion that their claims are fraudulent because they have had former opposite-sex relationships. However, recent decisions in the Federal Court have recognized that many people enter same-sex relationships after being in an opposite-sex relationship (NKL v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2011 FC 28 at par. 18). This understanding has been important to the recognition and protection of bisexual refugee claimants.

The supreme court of Canada has not yet clarified whether gender identity persecution is persecution based on social group, political opinion, or religion. However, Canada’s lower courts have taken on cases that deal with gender identity in refugee law. Appeals from the IRB are heard at Canada’s Federal Court, whose decisions set rules for future IRB cases. In Hernandez v. Canada ([2007] F.C.J. No. 1665), the Federal Court held that the IRB had erred in failing to consider that the claimant was transgender, or that she may face discrimination on the basis of her gender identity if forced to return to her country of origin. This decision was also important because the court noted that the claimant was hesitant to acknowledge her gender identity to immigration officials for fear of persecution. This is a common barrier for transgender and gender nonconforming claimants from countries where persecution is common. This issue is also covered in IRB guidelines for vulnerable persons. Hernandez is an example of a case in a lower court that supports gender identity as a social group. A law professor at the University of Ottawa has prepared a report for the IRB on sexual orientation, gender identity, and refugee law in Canada, which is an excellent source of more detailed information on the topic.
One requirement to be labeled a convention refugee is that a protection seeker must demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution. Persecution can come from state actors, such as police or the military, or from non-state actors, where the state is unwilling or unable to provide protection. Protection claimers must prove that they have been or will likely be persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity if forced to return to their country of origin. Demonstrating that they are discriminated against is not enough. The definition of persecution used in Canada was outlined in the case of Canada v Ward ([1993] 2 S.C.R. 689).

Even if protection claimer have not faced persecution in the past because they hid their sexual orientation or gender identity, their claim is still valid if they would experience persecution were they to live in their identity in their country of origin. In some nations, such as the US, refugees have been asked to “be discrete” about their sexual orientation when possible, to avoid persecution. However, the Canadian courts have not only rejected this approach, but also found the requirement to conceal one’s identity to be a form of persecution itself. In Sadeghi-Pari v Canada ((Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2004 FC 282, at par. 29), the Federal Court held that “expecting an individual to live in such a manner could be a serious interference with a basic human right, and therefore persecution” while referring to an IRB recommendation that a woman conceal her sexual orientation to avoid persecution. Cases like this one suggest that a refugee coming to Canada will not be expected to hide his or her sexual orientation or gender identity so as to return safely to the country of origin. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) plays an important role in the Canadian refugee system. Its mandate is to coordinate international efforts to protect refugees, and it directly refers many refugees to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, including LGBT refugees. As the official UN body interpreting the convention, it is an authority taken into account by Canadian courts. In recent years, the UNHCR has published information addressing the rights and needs of refugees seeking protection from persecution on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The UNHCR has created specific guidelines for claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity under that convention. These guidelines are not legally binding on the Canadian IRB, but do carry persuasive weight.

The UNHCR guidelines have articulated the difference between persecution and discrimination of LGBT people in employment, saying “While being dismissed from a job generally is not considered persecution, even if discriminatory or unfair, if an individual can demonstrate that his or her LGBTI identity would make it highly improbable to enjoy any kind of gainful employment in the country of origin, this may constitute persecution” (par. 25). Similarly, the UNHCR guidelines state that well-documented discrimination in such areas as child custody, freedom of expression, and pensions, and well-documented community ostracism might cumulatively constitute persecution (par. 24).

The guidelines warn that many protection seekers coming from countries where they face persecution have not lived openly in their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that decision makers should not rely on whether claimants conform to stereotypes to assess the validity of claims. The guidelines recognize the importance of cultural differences in understanding sexual and gender identity. They state that “not all applicants will self-identify with the LGBTI terminology and constructs as presented above or may be unaware of these labels. Some may only be able to draw upon (derogatory) terms used by the persecutor. Decision makers therefore need to be cautious about inflexibly applying such labels as this could lead to adverse credibility assessments or failure to recognize a valid claim” (Par. 11). These points are important as they address common problems in assessing claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The UNHCR has also reported that many countries that accept refugees also discriminate against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board has made use of the UNHCR Guidance Note on Refugee Claims Relating to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
Canada’s refugee and immigration programs allow refugee claimants and immigrants to list family members who are not able to accompany them at the time they enter Canada, but will be joining them after the fact. This allows them to link their applications and expedite the process.

However, Canada’s refugee and immigration system creates very specific barriers for LGBT families as it relies on recognition of family bonds by the country that families are coming from. Canada allows refugees and immigrants to list their spouses as non-accompanying family members, but does not allow common-law partners to do so. The effect of this is that Canada will not recognize partnerships where couples have not been able to access same-sex marriage. A couple fleeing a country due to persecution based on sexual orientation usually does not have access to marriage equality in their country of origin, and is unlikely to have been able to travel to another country to obtain a marriage license. The result is that same-sex partners who must travel to Canada separately will most often be unable to take advantage of the one-year window that Canada offers spouses.

Canada’s refugee and immigration programs also allow claimants to list dependent children who will not be able to travel with them. This can occur when families are separated due to the persecution that led to their refugee claim. However, Canada’s system creates specific barriers for the families who are forced to travel separately. Most governments worldwide do not allow individuals to adopt their same-sex partner’s biological child, or allow same sex partners to jointly adopt. As a result, Canada will not recognize that many parents in same-sex relationships are parents to their children, and as a result, they will not be able to access the resources available to parents who are in opposite sex relationships.
The Canadian government has several programs to help refugees resettle in Canada.
If you are a sponsored refugee who lands by air in Toronto, Immigrant Reception and Information Services (IRIS) will meet you at the airport.
As a refugee claimant, you need a work permit and a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to work in Canada.
There are many reasons. But a refugee is always someone facing persecution in his or her country of origin/nationality for one of five reasons these include political opinion, religion and race. Normally, those forced to move by natural disaster are not refugees, though in the popular media, this term is often used to describe such people. Those fleeing from a civil war may also not be refugees if none of the specific reasons applies to the undoubtedly very serious harms that they are at risk of in their country of origin/nationality.
The UN Refugee Convention includes that refugees should have the same access to elementary education as citizens of the country in which they have sought refuge. As regards all other education, it says that refugees should have at least as good access (including as regards remission of fees) as the most favoured foreign nationals in that country.
Important Note: This FAQ is intended to provide general information on Canada’s refugee and immigration system, and should not be treated as legal advice. You should seek the assistance of lawyer for immigration or refugee applications.