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5 Simple Ways to Immigrate into Canada as a Refugee

Canada being a friendly country also gives opportunities to refugees to immigrate to Canada.

When you are trying to immigrate into Canada as a refugee, you will not need to use the popular economic and family class. Rather, you will opt for the less popular programs including the Refugees and Protected Persons and the Humanitarian categories.

Canada being a friendly country also gives opportunities to refugees to immigrate to Canada using simple ways to immigrate into Canada. These refugees include those who are fleeing from dire circumstances in their countries of residence.

However, Canada had the plan of including 59,000 refugees and protected persons as immigrants in 2021.

With the current situation in Afghanistan and other countries, you will discover the five simple ways to immigrate to Canada as a refugee in 2021. 

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5 Simple Ways to Come to Canada as a Refugee

Refugees planning to immigrate into Canada must put into consideration these five simple ways to immigrate into Canada as a refugee.

Claim refugee status from inside Canada

One way to move into Canada as a refugee is to claim refugee status when you are inside Canada. If you think that you may face torture, risk your life, or be subjected to inhuman treatment in your home country, you can decide to claim refugee status if you are already in Canada.

If you arrived Canada through the Canada-USA border, it is not necessary that you claim refugee status in Canada, since it will not be granted became of the agreement between Canada and the USA that says people who want to make a refugee claim must do so in the first safe country they arrive in.

However, you can be exempted from this rule if you arrive in the USA first but your family or relative is living in Canada. In such cases, the rule does not apply to you.  

When you claim refugee status from inside  Canada, it will be decided whether your claim will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), an independent tribunal that takes special decisions on immigration and refugee matters. 

Who Can’t Make a Refugee Claim From Inside of Canada?

The IRB may declare you ineligible to enter Canada as a refugee if you:

  • can return to another country as a conventional refugee 
  • have been granted protected person status in Canada
  • arrived in Canada using the Canada–United States border
  • have made a refugee claim in another country
  • are not admissible to Canada on security grounds or because of criminal activity or human rights violations
  • made a previous refugee claim that was not found eligible
  • made a previous refugee claim that was rejected by the IRB
  • abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim

Resettle in Canada as a refugee

If you desire to immigrate to Canada as a refugee, you may decide to resettle there as a refugee which means that you have previously entered Canada as a refugee.

In this case, you will have to be referred to immigrate to Canada as a refugee since you cannot apply directly to live in Canada.

You will also have to fill the application package to apply as a Convention Refugee or as a Humanitarian-Protected Person abroad and also pass a medical exam and security and criminal check to be admissible into Canada. You can receive a referral to enter Canada as a refugee in two ways:  

  • the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
  • private sponsorship group.

Get Sponsored as a Refugee

You can also be sponsored to live in Canada as a refugee in two ways. You can be referred by the United Nations Refugee Agency or by a private sponsor.

After your referral, it is the duty of a Canadian visa officer to decide whether you meet the minimum requirements to be resettled in Canada as a refugee.

If you meet the requirements you’ll be admitted to Canada as a refugee. You can be sponsored in two ways: 

  1. Private sponsorship
  2. Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program

Private Sponsorship

A person sponsoring a refugee to immigrate into Canada must be a member of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program, a group that allows private groups and individuals to sponsor eligible refugees abroad.

The support can run up to a year where the refugee may receive the following assistance from the group or individual: 

  • start-up costs, such as furniture and clothing;
  • on-going monthly costs for basic necessities, including housing, food,
  • public transportation; and social and emotional support

Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program

This is a program made for refugees referred by the UNHCR and has been screened by the Canadian government.

This program reduces the burden on individuals as the sponsorship is shared with the Canadian government. The BVOR is specifically for the most vulnerable refugees.

Resettlement of Afghans Outside of Afghanistan

Canada has decided to resettle 20,000 refugees from Afghanistan following the takeover of the government by the Taliban.

So, Afghanistan’s living outside the country have been granted refugee status by Canada. A special humanitarian program will focus on resettling people such as:

  • woman leaders
  • human rights advocates
  • journalists and people who assisted Canadian journalists
  • persecuted religious minorities
  • LGBTI individuals
  • immediate family members of one of the above

Resettlement of LGBTQ2 Refugees

You can also decide to immigrate to Canada as a refugee if you are in the LGBTQ2 group, one of the most vulnerable groups in the world.

Canada has a long history of providing protection for vulnerable groups including the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and two-spirit (LGBTQ2) community.

Canada helps these people by giving funds to the Rainbow Refugee Society, a society that works with sponsorship agreement holders to sponsor LGBTQ2 refugees to come to Canada.

Who qualifies as a refugee in Canada?

Foreign nationals, who fear persecution, who are at serious risk of harm, and who cannot get protection in their own country often seek refuge in Canada.

People who are recognized as refugees are allowed to stay in Canada and may apply for permanent residence status, and eventually may apply to become Canadian citizens.

The Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) is an independent tribunal that will make a determination as to whether the applicant will receive refugee status.

In some cases, such as those involving criminality or security issues, the decision is made by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Persons in Need of Protection

A Person in Need of Protection is a person in Canada who, if removed to their home country or country where they normally live would be personally subjected to:

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

Convention Refugee

Convention Refugees are people who are living outside their national country and, because of fear of persecution, cannot be protected within their country or return to it. That fear of persecution must be well-founded and based on their:

  • race
  • religion
  • nationality
  • political opinion

Country of Asylum Class

The Country of Asylum Class is for people who are outside of Canada and in refugee-like situations but who do not qualify as Convention Refugees.

A person is considered to be a member of the Country of Asylum Class if an Immigration Officer determines that they have been, and continue to be, seriously and personally affected by:

  • civil war
  • armed conflict
  • massive violation of human rights.

5 popular programs to use for Migrating to Canada in 2021

Express Entry Program

If you are not planning to immigrate to Canada as a refugee, the best immigration program for you is the Express Entry System which allows you to enter Canada as a skilled worker.

This system gives the IRCC, the authority to assess, recruit, and select immigrants who are skilled and/or qualified under federal economic immigration programs including:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

Family Class Sponsorship

You can also immigrate to Canada using the Family Class Sponsorship. This is another popular program in Canada’s immigration policy. Families in Canada have the opportunity to sponsor their relatives to come and live in Canada permanently.

Before you can sponsor anyone to Canada under the FCS, you must have attained permanent residence status or become a Canadian citizen and you can only sponsor your spouse or children who are under the age of 22 years unless in special cases where there are exemptions.

You can no longer sponsor your parents but they can visit Canada using Super Visa Category.

LMIA Work Visa

Another option for immigrants who do not want to immigrate into Canada as refugees are to get Canadian job offers, apply for a work visa, and then on that basis, immigrate to Canada.

This means you have to get a valid job offer, your employer applying for an LMIA through Service Canada, and then the applicant applying for the work permit after the LMIA is approved. This process can lead to permanent residence.

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

Many Canadian provinces including Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and others have developed their own immigration programs that help applicants immigrate to Canada using the special program.

However, before you can apply under the PNP category, you must reside in the particular provinces when you arrive in Canada. You may not need a job offer to qualify for the PNP.

View Popular Provincial Nominee Programs for Canada Immigration
  • Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP)
  • British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP)
  • Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)
  • New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP)
  • Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee Program (NSPNP)
  • Northwest Territories Nominee Program (NTNP)
  • Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)
  • Prince Edward Island Provincial Nominee Program (PEI PNP)
  • Quebec Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)
  • Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)
  • Yukon Nominee Program (YNP)

Canadian Investor Immigration

High net worth individuals who have and manage businesses in other countries can immigrate into Canada under the Canadian Investor Immigration program. There are two types of investor programs in Canada: 

  1. The Federal Investor Program  
  2. The Quebec program. 

Both programs require that the applicant have a high net worth and have a large investment in an approved investment fund for a 5 year period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you immigrate to Canada as a refugee?
Typically, refugees don’t immigrate to Canada. Rather, they can be referred by refugee organizations for resettlement and sponsorship within Canada. But in cases where you do not qualify as a refugee, you can try over 100 immigration and visa programs available in Canada depending on your situation.
Are there other options for Canadian Migration?
There are other ways to obtain  Canadian immigration such as the CEC category, Humanitarian and Compassionate application, Refugee Claims, as well as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.