About Refugee Claimants

Becoming Neighbours


A man cradles his new born child
Illustration by Anika Bauman

People who leave their home country due to persecution and ask for protection in another country are called refugee claimants or asylum seekers. Canada’s refugee determination system provides a pathway for refugee claimants to apply to be legally recognized as refugees based on principles established in the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. Refugee claimants are separate and distinct from resettled refugees (privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees). Resettled refugees are welcomed into Canada as permanent residents, having been granted protection before their arrival (for example, while living in a refugee camp).

Refugee claimants, on the other hand, arrive at an official Canadian port of entry or cross the border irregularly, completing a journey to Canada that is often precarious. Presenting themselves to authorities for refugee protection, refugee claimants are screened for identity, security, and eligibility. Then they continue through Canada’s refugee determination system, a complex process that is impacted by multiple variables. This journey typically takes months — and sometimes even years. Refugee claimants who are granted refugee protection can apply for permanent residence, which begins the reunification process with family members waiting to come to Canada. Meanwhile, refugee claimants are vulnerable to misinformation, exploitation, and isolation as they struggle to secure shelter, employment, and a community of belonging. Since 2011, an average of 30,000 refugee claimants have arrived in Canada each year, with the highest number arriving in 2019 (64,045) and the lowest number arriving in 2013 (10,365).

NEXT PAGE: About Kinbrace ->


Buy a hardcopy | Donate Now | Contact the Kinbrace community

© 2021 Anika Bauman. All rights reserved.



Kinbrace | Refugee Housing & Support

Inspiring transformative communities where refugee claimants and Canadians flourish together.