UNHCR registered and documented refugees (Convention Refugees)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees processes and registers many as Convention refugees worldwide. Under the UNHCR referral program, the referrals are sent to the visa office closest to the location of the refugee and the refugee can submit a permanent application directly to the Canadian embassy.

In-Canada Asylum System Refugees

Should a potential refugee find themselves in Canada (whether documented or not) and has a fear of persecution on one or more of the grounds of discrimination, then a refugee claim can be made from within Canada and the individual can have a formal hearing before a Member of the Refugee Protection Division.

Convention Refugees Abroad Class

Applicants can make a formal application to a Canadian embassy to assess their individual situation as to whether it fulfills the conditions of a Convention refugee. The officer can make a ruling under section 145 of the IRPA regulations declaring the person a Convention refugee and in turn allowing permanent residency

Section 97 IRPA, inside Canada, persecuted due to non-Convention refugee conditions

Where a refugee does not necessarily fit under the definitions of persecution applied to Convention refugees, but faces the risk of death, torture or cruel and unusual treatment, an application can be made under Section 97 of IRPA so the person can be declared as one who is “in need of protection”.

Inside or outside Canada Humanitarian and compassionate applications pursuant to Section 25 of IRPA

Section 25 allows the Minister of Immigration complete discretion to grant permanent residence to individuals who may not be qualified by any other specific provisions of IRPA. It is a powerful tool which can be used in a wide range of circumstances to justify entry on “humanitarian and compassionate considerations relating to the foreign national.”

Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad Class and Country of Asylum Class

These two classes cover, pursuant to Sections 146 and 147 IRPA Regulations, individuals who are not Convention refugees, but in similar circumstances. This category also includes those who “have been, and continue to be, seriously and personally affected by civil war, armed conflict or massive violation of human rights.”

Temporary resident applicant (inside or outside Canada)

Temporary resident permits are discretionary and issued pursuant to Section 24(1) of IRPA where individuals do not meet the requirements of entry into Canada or who may be inadmissible for a variety of reasons. Similar to the humanitarian assessment, the permit can still allow individuals entry and if they are here on a temporary basis for three years, they can qualify for permanent residence.

Public Policy directives mandated by the Minister on an as-needed basis

From time to time, the Minister has the authority to issue directives to address certain global situations and crises pursuant to Section 25.2(1) of IRPA. Such temporary allowances have, for example, been made for Haitian earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami victims. This remedy is sporadic and can be withdrawn upon the crises passing.

To determine which category best fits your situation, please complete the detailed questionnaire outlining your background and personal history.

About the Author
David Aujla Immigration Lawyer, Vancouver & Victoria

David attended universities in BC and Ontario with degrees in Biochemistry, Philosophy and Law. He graduated from the Western law school in 1974 and has practised law for over forty years. His sole focus of practice is Canadian immigration law and he advises clients worldwide... Read More

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