2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.1 Who is Eligible to be sponsored?
(ii) How is “refugee” interpreted under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees?
How Canada Does It
In determining whether an applicant is a refugee in need of resettlement, Canada applies the Convention Refugee definition found in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention). The Refugee Convention describes refugees as people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling or unable to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation or gender identity and expression.
Refugee applicants must establish that they meet the following criteria of the Refugee Convention:
- They are outside each of their countries of nationality or, if they are stateless, they are outside their country of former habitual residence;
- They fear persecution;
- Their risk of persecution is well-founded, that is, the likelihood of the persecution feared is more than a mere possibility;
- The persecution feared is tied to at least one of the five following grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group;
- They are unable or, owing to their fear, unwilling to seek protection from their state;
- There is no reasonable internal flight alternative (also called “internal relocation alternative”) available to them; and
- They are not excluded under Article 1(D), 1(E), or 1(F) of the Refugee Convention.