According to the UN Refugee Agency, over 85 million people have been forcibly removed from their home in recent times. Additionally, 20 million of these now live in a country that is not their own. Historically, Canada has always been a welcoming country. Thus, Canada accepts thousands of refugees every year. In fact, about 1 million refugees have made Canada their home since 1980. Today we will examine Canada’s refugee system. Additionally, we will analyze the mutual relationship between Canada and the lives of its refugees.
Different Refugee Types
There are three main types of refugees. Only people that fit these criteria can receive refugee status in Canada. First, are Persons in Need of Protection. These include people that would be subject to the following dangers in their home country: torture, a risk to their life, risk of cruel and unusual punishment/treatment. Additionally, it must be proven that they are not able to receive protection from their own government. Also, the person would face the same risk in all parts of their native country. Lastly, the risk must not be part of legal penalties, unless the penalties violate international standards.
The second type are Convention Refugees. These are people living outside of their home country that cannot return to it or be protected within it. The fear of persecution in their home country must be based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a social group, particularly essential ones like gender and sexual orientation. Those who make this claim must also be unable to escape to another part of their own country. Alternatively, this is referred to as having no internal flight alternative.
Lastly, are the Country of Asylum Class. This refers to people that live in refugee-like situations outside of Canada but do not count as Convention Refugees. These refugees must also be sponsored by the United Nations, a private sponsored group, or have the funds to support themselves and their family upon arrival in Canada. It must be determined that individuals have been and continue to be affected by civil war, armed conflict, or massive violations of human rights.
How to Claim Refugee Status
There are a few ways to claim refugee status in Canada. The most direct way is to do so at any Canadian port of entry. After a brief interview you will receive a form to complete within 15 days. If your claim is approved, you will be referred to an IRB hearing. This is usually done within 60 days of arrival and individuals are allowed to live In Canada while they wait. In fact, if you obtain a work permit during said time you can even work in Canada while you wait. This same process can also be done at an IRCC office in Canada.
The other way to claim refugee status is from outside of Canada. However, these cases are mostly done through sponsorship. Often, refugees will be sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). However, this is not the only possibility for refugee sponsorship. Private groups of usually 5 or more people can do so as well. Sponsorship is an important responsibility because it involves more than bringing an individual to Canada. Often, sponsorship also means providing financial, social, and emotional support while individuals adjust to their life in Canada. Lastly, there are various organizations and corporations that can help during the sponsorship process.
Once the process is done, you gain the status of “protected person”. At that point, you are allowed to live in Canada and apply for Permanent Residence. Conversely, there are other steps you can take if your claim is rejected. First, you can appeal the decision with a lawyer and a legal proceeding. You can also apply to the IRCC on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which can serve as a last effort to gain Permanent Residence.
Refugees are Good for Canada
The UNHCR compiled several statistics in 2019 to reveal the positive impact that refugees have on Canada. The original material can be found here, but we will analyze a few of the statistics that were mentioned.
First, it is naturally a concern that refugees will take more than they give economically. However, statistics show that refugees in Canada quickly grow out of dependency. In fact, most will contribute more to the economy than they take over time. Additionally, about 15% of refugees are entrepreneurs or self-employed. This means that many refugees create jobs for other Canadians. Lastly, the unemployment rate among refugees is very close to that of the average citizen. This means that refugees integrate well into Canada’s workforce.
To conclude, refugees are an important part of Canada’s society. Refugees contribute to Canada’s multicultural identity. Furthermore, they increase the general sense of tolerance and acceptance that Canada is so well-known for. Canada is a welcoming place, and even more so for those whose lives were threatened in their home country. In fact, refugees have the highest citizenship rate of all immigrant groups. Statistics show that they feel a sense of belonging as real as those born in Canada, which says a lot about the country’s people.
Find a Safe Home in Canada
Hopefully you never go through the difficult experience of being persecuted in your own home. However, Canada’s doors are open to all, refugee or not. At Gentium Immigration, we are dedicated to helping you find the right path to this country. Book an appointment with one of our registered consultants today to begin your journey. We hope to hear from you!