2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.1 Who is Eligible to be sponsored?
(vi) What other defining criteria may be used to determine refugees’ eligibility for community sponsorship?
How Canada Does It
In addition to having to meet the Convention Refugee or Country of Asylum Class definition (see 2.A.1(ii) and 2.A.1(iii)), refugee applicants must show their claims are credible, that they have the ability to establish in Canada, that they have no other durable solution in another country, and that they are not otherwise inadmissible to Canada for security or medical reasons (see 2.A.6). In addition, for some sponsorship streams, Canada requires individuals to be recognized by UNHCR or their host state as refugees.
ASSESSING CREDIBILITY: Convention Refugee applicants must establish the facts underlying their claim of persecution on a balance of probabilities, but need only show there is a reasonable chance they would face persecution in the future.
ABILITY TO ESTABLISH: Visa officers will determine whether refugee applicants will be able to provide for themselves and their dependents and do not have any impediments to joining the full time labour force, even if it is at minimum wage. In making this assessment, the officer will consider whether the refugees have relatives or sponsors in Canada, the ability to speak or learn to speak English or French, the potential for employment, and resourcefulness. In practice, very few refugee applicants are refused resettlement to Canada based on lack of ability to establish.
DURABLE SOLUTION: The Canadian visa officer must be satisfied that there is no reasonable prospect, within a reasonable period of time, for refugee applicants to obtain another durable solution. There are three possible durable solutions according to Canadian procedures: voluntary repatriation to the applicant’s home country; local integration into the refugee’s country of asylum; and resettlement in a country other than Canada.
ADMISSIBILITY: Once eligibility criteria are met, refugee applicants must undergo security, criminality, and medical admissibility screening. Refugee applicant will not be allowed to come to Canada if it is determined they are a security or public health threat. For more information, see module 2.A.6.
REFUGEE STATUS RECOGNITION DOCUMENT: For some streams of Canadian sponsorship, the Government of Canada requires individuals to possess valid proof of refugee status from UNHCR or their host state in order to be eligible for sponsorship.