Canada Refugee Program


People who have to leave their home country against their own will are refugees. Different countries have programs to welcome and save them. Canada is one of them that does it through the Canada Refugee program.

This text will explain all about the Refugee program for Canada. It will cover the two types of programs, the eligible refugees who can apply for it, requirements, application, and more.

What are the Canada Refugee Programs?

There are two refugee programs for Canada:

The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program

It got introduced to help people who are outside of Canada.

Who is Eligible Refugee for Resettlement?

Not every refugee can apply to stay in Canada. He/she must get identified by one of the following three options:

  1. United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or Referral organizations

The UNHCR prioritizes refugees for resettlement:


It is when the refugee has security or medical issue. In this case, he/she needs immediate help.


This case is for refugees who suffer from a medical risk. They must receive resettlement in six weeks.


There is no threat, risk, or medical issue for the refugee. His/her application will get processed on the priority level.



The UNHCR picks refugees from the countries they have applied for. They distribute the refugees to the countries that accept refugees. Canada is a country that accepts refugees.

  1. A private sponsor

A few sponsors reside in Canada wich can recognize refugees for resettlement:

The Sponsorship Agreement Holders

Such organizations have entered into a sponsorship agreement with the Canadian government. They work in two ways:

  • They take the responsibility to sponsor the refugee
  • Work with other partners to sponsor the refugee.

Groups of Five

A combination of five Canadian citizens/permanent residents associates together to provide resettlement for a refugee. The people provide living costs for the refugee over a year.

Community Sponsors

Such communities consist of:

  • Corporations
  • Associations
  • Organizations

The come up with a plan to provide resettlement for refugees. They provide financial support for the refugee over a year. They find refugees in the following ways:

  1. Refugees’:
  • ethnocultural groups.
  • community groups
  • Religious associations (churches, etc.)
  • local community


  1. The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program connects the refugees that the UNHCD has found with a sponsor in Canada.


Are there Requirements over Canada Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program?

Yes. You have to comply with the following conditions to be eligible for the Canada Refugee Program:

  • The refuge must qualify as a :
    • Country of Asylum Class, or
    • Convention Refugee Abroad Class


The refugees will qualify only if:


  • They might get indicted because of their:
    • Participation in a particular social group.
    • Political status
    • Nationality
    • Religion
    • Race
  • A war, Military conflict, Civil War, Armed dispute, etc. have had a serious effect on the refugee if it has violated the refugee’s human rights.
  • The refugee is not in Canada at the time of application.
  • Refugees are not residing in the country of their nationality to receive its protection. Also, they might be scared to get protection form their country.
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or a private sponsor must refer them as refugees.

There is no stable option for refugees. Stable options are as follows:

  • Returning voluntarily

When the refugee can not return to his/her home country by his/her will. It is when the situation in the home country is not good for a safe return.

  • Local integration

It is not possible that refugees become integrated locally in the country they want to get asylum in.

  • Resettlement in another country
  • Pass the IRCC’s medical and criminality tests. The officers of the IRCC will conduct such tests abroad.

The application process for Canada Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program


The application process for Canada Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program is as follows:

1. Eligibility

Research before you begins the application process. See the eligibility criteria and the ways you can apply for the Canada refugee program. Not everyone is eligible. It might be impossible for you to comply with the requirements.


2. Application

Visit the IRCC’s website and receive the application package. It contains the required forms and information.

3. Referring

There are two possibilities in this stage:

If a referral organization or the UNHCR refers to the refugee, the abroad branch of IRCC informs the refugee how to submit the application.

When the IRCC gets the application, they will mail the refugee:

  • An assigned file number
  • A letter of confirmation

3. IRCC’s decision

If the IRCC accepts the application, they will pick a province or city for the refuge to get settled.

 4. Referring to a private sponsor

Providing that a private sponsor has referred to the refuge, the group must submit the application form to the IRCC. The group will do it on behalf of the refugee. When IRCC accepts the application, the refuge has to resettle in the province or city where the sponsor is from.

5. Moving to Canada

The IRCC and the sponsor will make the arrangements for the refugee to move to Canada. It does not matter who will sponsor the refugee. Whoever the sponsor is, they will inform the refugee of the steps to follow.

The In-Canada Asylum Program

The In-Canada Asylum Program allows people who are already in Canada to apply for refugee status. This program provides refugee protection to people who cannot return to their country of nationality due to fear of prosecution or because they may be tortured or punished.

Who is Eligible for Canada Asylum Program?

You will be eligible for the Asylum Program under the Canada refugee program if you come into the following conditions:

You must be a conventional refugee

It means that you are outside of your home country because you might get indicted/ prosecuted for your

  • Membership to a special social group.
  • Your political status
  • Religion
  • Race

You must need protection

The refugee can not return to his/her come country due to:

  • An inhuman or unusual punishment
  • A threat to your life
  • Torture

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) decides whether you are eligible for the Canada Asylum Program. The final decision is up to them. The IRCC provides the cases to them if you are eligible.

Who is not eligible for the getting analysis by IRB?

The IRCC officials may not provide your case to the IRB. They will not do it if they do not find you fit. The reason they might reject you is as follows:

  • Another country has recognized you as a Convention Refugee. You may go to that country.
  • The refugee has entered Canada through the Canada-US border.
  • Refugee poses a threat to the Canadian community or has committed criminal activity.
  • The refugee has made a previous attempt for asylum. He/she was not eligible to get referred to the IRB.
  • The IRB rejected refugee’s request for asylum.
  • The refugee is subject to a removal order.
  • Refugee has given up a refugee claim.

In-Canada Asylum Program Application Process

The application process for the In-Canada Asylum Program under the Canada refugee program is as follows:

1. Eligibility

See if you are eligible before you apply for the In-Canada Asylum Program. The eligibility criteria got explained above. If you are not, do not waste your time and find a different way.

2. Application package

First, you have to download the application package from IRCC. It contains all the instructions you have to go through.

3. Requirements

The application packages contain a list of requirements. You have to gather all of them:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of marriage
  • Travel document
  • Four photos. Provide photos takes in the latest six months and passport size.
  • Baptismal record

Remember that you have to provide the original form of the above requirements.

  1. Translation

Providing that your documents are not in English or French, have them translated. The translator must be certified and verify the translation.

5. Medical test

You have to pass a medical test. It is to assure you pose no health threat to the public. If you have a contagious disease, the officials will decide on your case.

6. Submission of the application

When you completed all the procedures and completed the form, submit it in person to the IRCC.

7. Processing

Wait until the IRCC’s officials decide on your application. The processing time depends on different elements. When the authorities decide on your application, they will inform you.

Let’s sum up…

This article explained everything about Canada Refugee program. It covered who can apply for the Canada Refugee program, different ways to do it, requirements, the application process, and many more.

Do you need to know about Canada visas? Visit the left-sidebar. You could also go through the homepage of the Visa Library to know more about other countries’ visas.

Providing that you have achieved experience or knowledge about visas, share them with us in the comment section. They are a huge help for applicants.

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