Refugees are persons who have run away from their nations due to a valid fear of getting persecuted. They shall be unable to get back to their respective home nations.
Canada Refugee Protection Programs—
- The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program, for individuals requiring protection from outside Canada; and
- In-Canada Asylum Program for persons making refugee protection claims from within Canada.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and with private sponsors, finds refugees for resettlement. No one is allowed to directly apply to Canada for resettlement. In addition, private sponsors across Canada are helpful in resettlement of refugees to Canada. For this, they have agreements with Canadian government for supporting refugees. Such groups are called Sponsorship Agreement Holders and offer sponsorship to refugees on their own or collaborate with others for doing so.
This program helps in providing refugee protection to persons in Canada having—
- A clear fear of getting persecuted; or
- A risk of torture/unusual punishment in their respective home nations.
Following persons are not eligible for asylum claims—
- Those having previous refugee claims not approved by Canada; or
- Those convicted of any serious criminal offence.
Help for Resettled Refugees—
The Canadian government or the government of the province of Quebec assists government-assisted refugees under the Resettlement Assistance Program with income help and essential services after they arrive in Canada. This income help is for up to 12 months or until they become able to fend for themselves (whatever comes earlier).
The program also offers such services for food, shelter and other necessities during the initial four to six weeks after the arrival of refugees in Canada by—
- Giving a welcome at the port of entry/airport;
- Help in finding a temporary shelter for living;
- Help in getting a permanent place for living;
- Assessment of their requirements;
- Getting details and helping them to know more about Canada;
- Giving referrals to other provincial and federal programs as well as to settlement programs.