Seeking Asylum in Canada

Photo: ©UNHCR/Andrea DiCenzo

If you are fleeing your country because you fear persecution, you can apply for asylum in Canada. If you are granted asylum, this gives you refugee status and the right to stay.

To apply for asylum, you must be physically present in Canada or be seeking entry into the country at a port of entry.

You can apply for asylum if you fear persecution for at least one of the following reasons:

Race or nationality

For example: You fear persecution because you are part of an ethnic or language minority group.


For example: You fear persecution because you are part of a religious minority or because you have converted to another religion.

Member of a particular social group

For example: You have been subject to violence because of your sexual orientation or gender, or you fear persecution because of your family ties.

Political opinion

For example: You are a journalist or blogger, a human rights activist, or you are or are perceived as a government opponent.

Or if you fear one of the following:

Risk to your life or cruel and inhuman treatment

You are facing a personal risk that is not faced by the general population. For example: You are the victim of a crime or you are afraid of revenge.

Risk of torture

You have been subject or risk being subject to severe mental or physical harm committed by the government authorities (under their orders or with their consent) to get information from you or to punish you.

The Canadian authorities are responsible for determining your refugee status. UNHCR Canada does not intervene or influence the process of determining whether someone can be considered a refugee in Canada.

To learn more about the asylum process in Canada, visit our website

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