Canada protects the following persons:

(i)         Conventional Refugees

A Convention refugee is a person who, by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside each of their countries of nationality and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to avail themself of the protection of each of those countries; or not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of their former habitual residence and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to return to that country.

(ii)       Person in need of protection

A person in need of protection is a person in Canada whose removal to their country or countries of nationality or, if they do not have a country of nationality, their country of former habitual residence, would subject them personally to a danger, believed on substantial grounds to exist, of torture within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention Against Torture; or to a risk to their life or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if

  1. the person is unable or, because of that risk, unwilling to avail themself of the protection of that country,
  2. the risk would be faced by the person in every part of that country and is not faced generally by other individuals in or from that country,
  3. the risk is not inherent or incidental to lawful sanctions, unless imposed in disregard of accepted international standards, and
  4. the risk is not caused by the inability of that country to provide adequate health or medical care.


A refugee claim can be made at the port of entry of Canada or insider Canada at the offices of the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). For inside Canada claims, there are specific IRCC application forms that need to be completed.

After an examination at the port of entry by an immigration officer or by IRCC officer insider Canada, if you are found eligible to make a refugee claim, the claim will be referred to the  Refugee Protection Division(RPD)  of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) for determination.

Subject to some exemption, you may not be eligible to make a refugee claim, or your claim may not be eligible for a referral to the RPD if you:

  • are already subject to a removal order;
  • are recognized as a Convention refugee by another country that you can return to;
  • were granted protected person status in Canada
  • arrived via the Canada–United States (US) border and subject to Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the USA;
  • 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; and
  • abandoned or withdrew a previous refugee claim


RPD is responsible for adjudicating refugee claims and determining if the claimant is a conventional refugee or a person in need of protection. All claims which are made inside Canada are first dealt by the Canada Border Services Agency or IRCC, and if the claim is found eligible, then it is referred to the RPD for a hearing.

RPD is also responsible for adjudicating the applications made by the Minister of IRCC to cease or vacate the refugee status or protection conferred by the RPD on permanent residents of Canada or protected persons.


RAD deals with appeals from the decisions of the RPD and has the authority to decide if the decision of the RPD was wrong in fact or law or both.

Seeking a refugee claim or claim for protection is a complex process, and it is vital that a person shall understand the process and law involved in such proceedings. It is crucial to have legal advice before you go the route of refugee claim and prepare yourself for examinations and assessment of your evidence. You can contact our office to consult one of our lawyers to protect yourself and your loved ones.