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Canada offers refugee protection to people both inside and outside the country who fear persecution in their country of nationality or would face a risk to life or a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment is they are to return to their home. Applications for refugee protection can be made either at the port of entry upon arrival in Canada, or after you have already entered the country with a temporary resident visa.

Refugees can also be sponsored to come to Canada if an application is made from overseas. This will often require that you be outside of your country of nationality and that you have been approved by the UNHCR in your current country of residence.

Convention refugees are people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • political opinion;
  • nationality; or
  • membership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation

A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their home country or country where they normally live would subject them personally to:

  • a danger of torture;
  • a risk to their life; or
  • a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment