Convention Refugees are judged according to the United Nations Convention on Refugees. A refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of residence and cannot return there for fear of persecution based upon that person's race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Refugees must attend a hearing to prove that they meet the definition of a Convention Refugee. Most refugees enter Canada as visitors, or come to Canada without a valid visa and make their claims at the Canadian border. There are new rules concerning refugee processing in Canada, including very fast processing times and strict limits on who is allowed to make a claim, and it is recommended that if you are contemplating a refugee claim, you should contact a lawyer even before coming to Canada or before making the claim if you are in Canada.
Refugees can also be sponsored by groups of 5 persons or more, or they can be selected directly by the Government of Canada.