2.C Settlement and Integration
C.1 What is the status of refugees upon arrival?
(i) What legal status do refugees have upon arrival in their country of resettlement?
How Canada Does It
When privately sponsored refugees’ applications are approved by the Canadian overseas visa office, the visa officer will issue a permanent resident visa to Canada. When refugees arrive in Canada, a migration officer at the port of entry verifies their documentation and, if valid, issues a Confirmation of Permanent Residence. Thus, they have permanent resident status upon arrival in Canada.
In exceptional cases, overseas visa officers may issue temporary resident permits where circumstances do not permit full medical and security screening overseas. In these cases, processing for permanent residence is completed after refugees arrive in Canada.
Refugees approved by overseas visa offices for resettlement to Canada will receive a permanent resident visa to travel. When they arrive in Canada, an officer at the port of entry will ask to see the refugees’ passports and other travel documents, and will make sure the permanent resident visa is still valid. The officer will then give the refugees a Confirmation of Permanent Residence, which they must sign.
Refugees can choose to remain permanent residents indefinitely so long as they continue to meet the requirements to maintain permanent residence, or to apply for Canadian citizenship upon meeting requirements (see 2.C.1(iii)). It is also possible for refugees to renounce permanent residence or for their status to be revoked (see 2.C.1(iv)).