Refugee Claims Inland

Canada offers refugee protection to some people in Canada who fear persecution or who would be in danger if they had to leave. Some dangers may include:

  • torture
  • risk to their life
  • risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment

If you feel you could face one of these risks if you go back to your home country or the country where you normally live, you may be able to seek protection in Canada as a refugee.

Who Can Apply

To make a refugee claim, you:

  • must be in Canada
  • can’t be subject to a removal order

Eligibility

If you make a refugee claim, we’ll decide if it can be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The IRB is an independent tribunal that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters.

Your refugee claim may be refused if you:

  • are recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to
  • were granted protected person status in Canada
  • arrived via the Canada–United States border
  • have made a refugee claim in another country, as confirmed through information-sharing
  • are not admissible to Canada on security grounds or because of criminal activity or human rights violations
  • made a previous refugee claim that was not found eligible
  • made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB
  • abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim

The IRB decides who is a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection.

Convention refugees are outside their home country or the country they normally live in. They’re not able to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

  • race
  • religion
  • political opinion
  • nationality
  • being part of a social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation
  • A person in need of protection is a person in Canada who can’t return to their home country safely. This is because, if they return, they may face
  • danger of torture
  • risk to their life
  • risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment

Safe Third Country Agreement

Canada has an agreement with the U.S. that says people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in.

This means, if you enter Canada from the U.S. at a land port of entry, you can’t make a refugee claim in Canada. In some cases, this rule does not apply (for example, if you have family in Canada).

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