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Immigrate from inside Canada

If making a claim as a Convention Refugee or ‘person in need of protection’ status to immigrate from inside Canada, you must make your claim to an officer of the Immigration and Refugee Board at a CIC office. You must explain why you feel if you return to your homeland, you are in jeopardy of experiencing persecution based on on a variety of challenges listed below.

The United Nations Refugee Agency defines a ‘Convention refugee’ as a person forced to leave their homeland after experiencing and living in fear of horrible and very difficult conditions including persecution based on:

  • race – as many countries have a hostile climate and intolerance for other races, to the point of carrying a war
  • religious beliefs – many unreasonable punishments and restrictions are carried out throughout the world in the name of religion, particularly for converts
  • political opinion – as much passion surrounds politics, this can be a dangerous area for many; also political power can make life unbearable for many who oppose majority rule
  • nationality – a person’s place of birth can become a challenge on many levels in different countries, especially when borders become an issue
  • belonging to certain social groups – females at risk due to ultra-strict traditions and antiquated laws often suffer from a lack of human rights and are forced to live with unjust rules, pressures and treatment and punishments; this category also includes sexual orientation as members of the LGBT community continue to be harassed and persecuted in many countries

Also, to qualify for Convention refugee status, none of the following circumstances may exist:

  • another country that you can return to has already given you Convention refugee status
  • you have already been granted ‘protected person’ status in Canada
  • you entered into Canada at the border between Canada and the United States
  • you are not allowed in Canada for reasons of security, criminal background or human rights violations or are under a removal order
  • you have already made a refugee status claim that the IRB found to be ineligible or rejected
  • you made a previous application for refugee status and abandoned or withdrew it

Claiming asylum to immigrate from within Canada

The Immigration and Refugee Board defines the country of asylum class as “persons who have been and continue to be seriously and personally affected by civil war, armed conflict or massive violations of human rights and for whom there is no possibility, within a reasonable period of time, of a durable solution other than resettlement in Canada”.

Click here to see some statistics on the intake those seeking asylum in Canada in 2017.

In order to qualify to be considered a Member of the Country of Asylum Class, you must:

  • be privately sponsored or have sufficient funds to support you and any dependents, or
  • have met the criteria for a joint assistance sponsorship under the ‘special need’ categoryImmigrate from inside Canada
  • must be outside your country of nationality
  • pass medical, security and admissibility checks
  • unless you are in urgent need of resettling, you will need to show reasonable adaptability skills to settle in Canada including language skills, work experience and training

Canada has a ‘Safe Third Country Agreement‘ in place with the United States of America stating that refugee claims must be made in the first safe country a person arrives in, to avoid claims being made in both countries. (Certain exceptions exist where family members are involved). So if your plan is to immigrate from inside Canada, don’t make a claim United States as well.

See more about Refugee Streams in Canada.

See information on immigrating from Outside Canada.

This post is also available in: Persian