Application Process from Outside

Application Process from Outside

Canada is a strong supporter of human rights. It operates innovative immigration programs for refugees who seek protection. Eligible refugees can settle in Canada by applying for refugee status. Approval of the refugee claim helps an individual apply for permanent residency. There are two main programs for refugee protection. People can claim refugee status through the In-Canada Asylum program from within Canada. The Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program allows refugees to seek protection from outside.


One can seek protection in Canada by leveraging the Refugee Resettlement Program from outside Canada. The program mandates referral by a private sponsorship program or United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Canada offers a variety of resettlement programs as follows:

  • Government Assisted Refugees Program (GAR)
  • Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSR)
  • Blended Visa Office-referred Program (BVOR)
  • No individual can directly apply for obtaining resettlement as a refugee. The only way is through referrals. 

Government Assisted Refugees Program (GAR)

It involves government support like monetary and other aspects of resettlement. The support is available for one year or till the refugee can become self-reliant before the expiration of the one-year limit.

Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSR)

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees is applicable if you have a Refugee Status Document issued by the federal government or the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Sponsorship Agreement Holders, Group of Five, or Community Sponsors support refugees in settlement. 

Blended Visa Office-referred Program (BVOR)-

The program involves responsibility-sharing by private sponsors and the federal government to support refugees for one year. The first six months are the government’s responsibility. Private sponsors shoulder the accountability of supporting refugees in the second half.

The process of refugee settlement

The refugee settlement process begins with referral, followed by an assessment of eligibility and admissibility. The final recommendation follows the approval of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). 

  • Referral by the designated organization – Referral is the crucial requirement to obtain refugee status in Canada. The refugee has to be away from their home country. They must be eligible for the Humanitarian-protected Persons Abroad Class to obtain a referral from UNHCR, Private Sponsorship Group, or a designated Referral Agency. 
  • Assessment of eligibility – Eligibility assessment of the prospective refugee is the responsibility of a Canadian visa official. The process involves an interview for validation of the information. It is the most vital step in the entire refugee sponsorship process. 
  • Assessment of admissibility – It includes security screening by the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service). These determine admissibility before allowing the person to enter Canada. The assessment also involves medical and criminal screening. The applicant has to provide biometric data, digital photos, and fingerprints. It is mandatory for all applicants between ages 14 and 79. 
  • Final decision – The refugee may obtain permanent status after clearance from the CSIS and Canadian visa officials. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada issue the PR visa to the refugee along with a COPR (Confirmation of Permanent Residence). 

There is no appeal to the decision of refusal of the application. The individual may apply again by making a new application. The refugee may receive permission for a judicial review by the federal court. 

Refusal of an application for protection should not be the end of the road. We offer professional guidance to find an appropriate immigration pathway by assessing your situation. Get in touch with us now to explore helpful options to immigrate to Canada.

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