Refugees and people need in protection are those in or outside Canada who fear returning to their home country. In keeping with its humanitarian tradition and international obligations, Canada provides protection to thousands of people every year. Canada offers refugee protection to people in Canada who fear persecution or who may be at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, and are unwilling or unable to return to their home country. If you feel that you will be persecuted or otherwise at risk as mentioned above, if you return to your home country, you can seek protection in Canada as a Convention Refugee or a person in need of protection. To be eligible, you must apply from within Canada or at a point of entry to Canada.

Convention Refugees:
A Convention Refugee is a person who is outside her or his home country or the country where he or she normally lives, and who cannot return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on religion, race, nationality, political opinion ormembership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.

Person in need of protection:
A person in need of protection is a person in Canada, who is afraid to return to her or his home country or the country where the person normally lives, because of:

a risk of torture
a risk to life or
a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

Some people are not eligible:
Some people are not eligible to claim refugee protection in Canada. You cannot apply if any of the following conditions apply to you: Recognized as a Convention refugee by another country to which you can still return.You have already been granted status as a protected person under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or its regulations, but have had your protected status removed.You arrived in Canada, directly or indirectly, from the United States and must comply with the Safe Third Country Agreement (see below).You are not eligible to enter Canada because of security, criminal activity or human rights violations.You have had a previous refugee protection claim rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).You made a previous claim for refugee protection and your claim was found to be ineligible on security or other grounds.You started a previous claim, but you abandoned or withdrew it.

Safe Third Country Agreement:
Under an agreement with the United States, refugee claimants must seek asylum (protection) in the first safe country where they arrive. For example, if you entered Canada at a land border from the United States, you will not be able to claim refugee protection in Canada. Sometimes there are exceptions (such as those who already have family in Canada). You can find more information about the Safe Third Country Agreement in the Related Links section on

Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada:
If you are found eligible to claim protection as a refugee, your claim will be referred to the Refugee Protection Division of the IRB. The IRB is an independent body that makes decisions on immigration and refugee matters in canada.