The Geneva Convention in 1951 was signed by many nations, including Canada. As a result, Canada grants permanent residency status to about 30,000 refugees every year.
This is processed by refugee protection scheme that comprises two major components:
A convention refugee is someone with a fear of persecution in their own country of nationality who is now unwilling to remain under the protection of that country. Whether it’s down to reasons of religion, race, politics or their membership of specific social groups, this fear is usually well-founded.
If deporting somebody from Canada to their home nation puts them at risk of cruel treatment, punishment, torture or even death, then the convention will usually determine that they are a person in need of protection.
Most refugees who get approved make their claims for asylum inside Canada at the port of entry or else at a Canada Immigration Centre office.
When a claim is made, a CIC officer must verify if it is eligible for a hearing. If so, the claim will be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). A tribunal will take place with members of the Refugee Protection Division, ultimately determining if the claimant is indeed a refugee or a person needing protection.
If they are approved, claimants can then apply for permanent residency while they are in Canada. This process typically takes approximately 18 months.
Prior to their hearing, Canadian law may entitle the claimant to obtain either a work permit or study permit. There are certain criteria that need to be met, as with any type of Canadian immigration. However, study visas and temporary work visas may well be viable options for refugees while they are waiting for a decision to be made on their status.
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