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Immigration: Refugee Protection

The main objectives of Canada's refugee program are to save lives and to offer safe heaven to persons with a well-founded fear of persecution based on on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group, as well as those at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. On the other hand, Canada will weigh these objectives against the other objectives such as protecting the health and safety of Canadians and maintaining the security of Canadian society.

Refugee protection may be conferred on several types or classes of people through different ways. Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad are determined abroad. They may be issued permanent resident visas to enter Canada as permanent residents. They may also be issued temporary resident permits to enter Canada as temporary residents; once in Canada, they are protected persons and may apply for permanent residency.

For those in Canada, there are two ways to become protected persons: "claiming" for refugee protection or "applying" for refugee protection. Those who are eligible for making a refugee claim may be conferred refugee protection by the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board Canada (IRB) either as a Convention refugee or a person in need of protection. Those who are not eligible for making a refugee claim may be conferred refugee protection by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada through a process called Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) as long as no exception or restriction applies to them. Either way, successful claimants or applicants may become protected persons and apply for permanent resident status.

The overseas family members of a protected persons may apply for permanent residency within one year after the protected person becomes a permanent resident as long as they are included in the protected person's application for permanent residency in Canada and are not inadmissible.

While refugees and persons in similar circumstances in need of Canada's protection are determined by the Federal government, those who are destined to Quebec must meet Quebec's selection criteria.

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