The Refugee Protection Division will grant refugee status to a person with a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The applicant will have to show that he or she cannot obtain the protection of the countries of which he or she is a citizen – for example, by seeking assistance from law enforcement authorities – and that he or she cannot find refuge within his or her own country. The applicant’s fear must exist at the time of the hearing.
The Refugee Protection Division will also be able to grant protected person status to a person in Canada who is at risk of torture, risk to life or risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment if the person demonstrates that they are unable to obtain the protection of their country and that they have no internal refuge. The person to be protected will have to demonstrate that his or her risk is “individualized”, that is, that he or she is specifically targeted.
The threat or risk must not result from the country’s inability to provide medical or health care, in which case an application for humanitarian and compassionate considerations would be the appropriate course of action.
A humanitarian and compassionate application may be made from Canada if a person would suffer undue hardship if forced to return to their country of origin to apply for permanent residency. The undue hardship that can be alleged is varied.