Current Canadian immigration and refugee provisions define two different types of
refugees depending on where the applicants are located when submitting a claim (from
within Canada or elsewhere), giving them different procedures and conditions to apply, as
well as different benefits and support once their claim is approved. Thus, under the In-
Canada Asylum Program, if the claim is successfully submitted in person from within
Canada at any Port Of Entry (POE), the applicant receives a Refugee Claimant status and is
entitled to stay in the country under certain conditions and limited rights while his/her
application is processed. In turn, through the Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement
Program, if the applicant’s claim is submitted from outside Canada, refugee applicants have
to remain outside the country until a decision on his/her claim is reached.
Once a refugee claim submitted from outside the country is approved, the applicant is
allowed to come to Canada and is eligible to be sponsored by private entities or public
funds. These refugees are known as Sponsored Refugees or Resettled Refugees and are
given particular benefits and support. Refugees granted status after applying from within
Canada (Successful Refugee Claimants), on the other hand, are permitted to remain in the
country but without any type of sponsorship and with different levels of support.
Using information provided to the author by Statistics Canada, this paper shows to be false
the common perception that most refugees come to Canada after applying from overseas
and arrive supported by the government or by private funds. In fact, the number of refugees
annually given Refugee Claimant status in Canada significantly exceeds the number of
Sponsored Refugees in the country. Moreover, the number of Successful Refugee
Claimants is also greater than the number of Resettled Refugees in the country. As this
research suggests, despite the efforts made by the government to reduce the number of
claims submitted from within Canada along with the number of Successful Refugee
Claimants, the Inland Refugee Program continues to be the main source of refugees in the
country over the period 2000-2014.
Escamilla, Camilo. (2016). Refugee Claims and Successful Claimants in Canada 2000-2014: A Description of a Forgotten Reality in Canada ( Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.